Vol. XIII No. 26
Friday July 1 - July 7, 2005

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Updated every Friday
by Saichon Paewsoongnern


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Happy Birthday HRH Princess Chulabhorn

CARAT flies through Eastern Seaboard

Governor calls meeting as water crisis deepens

Justice minister and police tour nightspots looking for drug users

Water supply officials lambasted by deputy PMs for current threat to industrial production

Pattaya Immigration office now open on Saturday morning

Mayor orders removal of illegal structure on Pratamnak Hill

Deputy mayor faces barrage of complaints from Jomtien residents

Drugs dealer nabbed with 100kg sack of ganja

Tattooed two attempt resale of stolen motorcycle

Jet ski champion accidentally shot

Police on full alert after 3-year old girl is raped

Police briefs

Happy Birthday HRH Princess Chulabhorn

Photo courtesy of the Royal Household

Born on July 4, 1957, Her Royal Highness Princess Chulabhorn is the youngest child of Their Majesties King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit of Thailand.

HRH Princess Chulabhorn has two daughters, Their Royal Highnesses Princess Siribhachudhabhorn and Princess Adityadornkitikhun.

Her Royal Highness graduated from the Faculty of Science and Arts at Kasetsart University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Organic Chemistry, First Class Honors, in 1979. Her Royal Highness completed her doctorate work in organic chemistry in 1985, and received her Doctor of Philosophy Degree from Mahidol University in July of the same year, and has a supreme record of academic achievement.

She undertook postdoctoral studies in Germany in 1987 and has since been a visiting professor at universities in Japan, Germany, and the United States of America. She holds Honorary Doctorate degrees from no fewer than nine universities around the world. In 1986, she was appointed as an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in London and was awarded the Einstein Gold Medal of UNESCO.

Her Royal Highness Princess Chulabhorn is chairperson of the Working Group on the Chemistry of Natural Products collaborative program between the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science and the National Research Council of Thailand.

HRH Princess Chulabhorn has received international recognition for her scientific accomplishments, in her appointment to various United Nations posts, namely special advisor to the United Nations Environment Program and member of the Special High-Level Council for the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction of the United Nations.

As a result of her experience as a scientist Princess Chulabhorn became aware of the difficulties Thai researchers have in obtaining the necessary funding for their research. In 1987, she established the Chulabhorn Research Institute to provide a new fundraising agency.

This institute now acts as a focal point for the exchange of intellectual and other resources in Thailand for the purpose of solving urgent problems confronting the country in areas of health, environment, and agriculture.

As president of the Chulabhorn Research Institute, the Princess currently directs five special research projects; the AIDS program, a program on restoration and integrated development of the flood-affected areas in Southern Thailand, seawater irrigation for cultivation of economic marine species and preservation of mangrove, the rabies eradication program and a special project for accelerated immunization in five southern provinces in Thailand. Through these programs the Princess plays an auspicious role in improving the environment and living standard of the villagers in a number of Thai provinces.

CARAT flies through Eastern Seaboard


  A Royal Thai Navy
S-76 “Huey” helicopter prepares to land aboard USS Rodney M. Davis
(FFG 60) during daylight landing qualifications. The training event took place during the Thailand phase of exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) 2005. CARAT is a regularly scheduled series of bilateral military training exercises with several Southeast Asia nations designed to enhance interoperability of the respective sea services.
(U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 1st Class Thomas J. Brennan) (Stories and more photos on page 5 and center pages)


Ambassador: CARAT Thailand skills pay dividends

Lt. Chuck Bell, Logistics Group Western Pacific Public Affairs and Chief Journalist Melinda Larson, Destroyer Squadron One Public Affairs

U.S. Ambassador to Thailand Ralph L. “Skip” Boyce helped open the Thailand phase of the 2005 Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise series June 20 by praising the Royal Thai Navy’s tsunami relief efforts, and drawing a parallel with skills enhanced during past iterations of CARAT.

As U.S. Ambassador to Thailand Ralph L. “Skip” Boyce looks on, Rear Adm. Kevin Quinn, Commander Task Force 712 greets Adm. Pirasak Watcharamul, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Navy as he arrives for the opening ceremony during the Thailand phase of exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) 2005. (U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 1st Class Thomas J. Brennan)

“CARAT exercises and training events, such as deck landing qualifications by Royal Thai Navy helicopter pilots aboard U.S. warships, and challenging command-and-control scenarios, better equipped the Royal Thai Navy to aid the victims of this disaster,” Boyce told about 300 U.S. Navy Sailors from USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43), USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60), USS Rodney M. Davis (FFG 60) and USS Safeguard (ARS 50), and their Royal Thai Navy (RTN) counterparts standing shoulder-to-shoulder during the phase’s opening ceremony. Officiating the ceremony for the Royal Thai Navy was its Deputy Commander-in-Chief Adm. Pirasak Watcharamul.

During Operation Unified Assistance, the multi-national relief effort in response to the devastating December 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia, the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) deployed its helicopter carrier HTMS Chakri Naruebet to provide direct, immediate humanitarian support, Boyce said. “It is clear that CARAT not only improves the war fighting capabilities of our nations, but also our ability to assist each other in times of crisis.”

During the 2005 installment of CARAT Thailand, the U.S. Navy and RTN continued to refine their ability to work together in a variety of mission areas.

The multi-faceted exercise challenged the combined forces at sea, on land, and in the air.

The U.S. Coast Guard’s Maritime Safety & Security Team San Francisco (MSST) shared their skills through various combined visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) exercise scenarios pierside and afloat. Exercise events such as these that contribute to building skills applicable to the combat of seaborne terrorism and transnational crimes at sea were a focus of this 11th edition of CARAT.

During the at-sea phase, another highlight of CARAT Thailand involved Royal Thai Marines conducting amphibious operations from Fort McHenry via landing craft air-cushion (LCAC).

RTN pilots earned day and night deck landing qualifications when its pilots landed their Bell 212 and S76 helicopters on USS Rodney M. Davis (FFG 60).

Diving and salvage operations were conducted with the crew of USS Safeguard (ARS 50); and a variety of seminars in areas ranging from damage control to legal issues were also held.

A combined U.S. Navy and RTN command team led the at-sea.

In the midst of the exercise’s many operational events, participants also found time to interact on a more personal level. The four-ship U.S. task group arrived here June 17 and since that time Sailors from both navies have taken part in social and sporting events together.

“Exercises such as CARAT contribute not only to the operational readiness of all our forces, but also strengthen our long-standing friendship,” Ambassador Boyce emphasized during his opening ceremony remarks.

These friendships extend to the local community with U.S. Navy and RTN sailors working side-by-side during community service projects, several of which were held during CARAT Thailand. “This example is one of many that show the public a different aspect of our naval forces and the dedication of our militaries to community service, a vital part of their mission,” Boyce said. In addition to scheduled interaction with local children, the Sailors installed a water filtration system at one school.

Approximately 1,200 U.S. personnel and 1,600 from the RTN and Royal Thai Marines took part in CARAT Thailand.

In addition to the four-ship U.S. task group, other elements that took part included a P-3C Orion from Patrol Squadron (VP) 40, based at Whidbey Island, Wash. and an SH-60 Seahawk aircraft from Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron Lite 45 (HSL 45), based at Naval Air Station North Island, Calif. Mobile Mine Assembly Group (MOMAU) Ten from Okinawa, Japan and a Drone Detachment from Fleet Activities, Okinawa also participated.

Rear Adm. Kevin M. Quinn, commander of Logistics Group Western Pacific, who operates from Singapore, was responsible for overall CARAT coordination for U.S. participants in his executive agent roles as Commander, Task Force 712.

Capt. Buzz Little, commander of San Diego-based Destroyer Squadron One, leads the task group and was embarked with his staff in Fort McHenry. Paul Hamilton is homeported in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and Rodney M. Davis in Everett, Wash. Fort McHenry and Safeguard are forward-deployed to Sasebo, Japan.

The RTN participants, led by Commander Frigate Squadron One Rear Adm. Supot Soodprasert, consists of HTMS Phuttayotfachulalok, HTMS Taksin, HTMS Rattanakosin, HTMS Sichang, and HTMS Bangrachan. Other units include the RTN’s Underwater Warfare Squadron and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team, Special Warfare Squadron, and four motor-launch sweeper boats.

Governor calls meeting as water crisis deepens

Ariyawat Nuamsawat

As Chonburi province’s water supply problems become more acute, Governor Pisit Ketphasook and Deputy Governor Wirawit Wiwattanvanich called a meeting to discuss the crisis with local administrators, water authorities and representatives from Eastwater Plc and the Eastern Region Artificial Rain Operations Centre.

The aim was to follow up on current progress in the region, particularly the artificial rain project, which has had some success.

Tawee Kanchana, director of the Eastern Region Artificial Rain Operations Centre, said the centre has recently received an additional two aircraft from the prime minister, bringing the total to six.

“We have two main responsibilities - the artificial rain project for the Eastern Seaboard to boost water levels in Chonburi and Rayong, the second to create rain in Srakaew with the main aim at providing water for the agricultural sector,” said Tawee.

“In the past we have had to face a number of obstacles and problems such as water to clean the aircraft and staff to release the cloud seeding chemicals as well as transport vehicles for the chemicals.”

The governor ordered Sattahip municipality to coordinate with the relevant offices to solve the problems with invoices for fuel, etc., to be paid for by the district office where they can later be reimbursed by the provincial administration.

The amount of water produced on a daily basis has been decreased in order to stretch levels until August, a time that in theory is the height of the rainy season.

In Pattaya, the previous 96,000 cubic metres per day production has been reduced to 85,000 cu m/day under the direction of the Department of Irrigation. The government has asked for assistance from Eastwater to transport an extra 100,000 cu m per day with 40,000 each going to Pattaya and Laem Chabang and 20,000 to Sriracha. However, Eastwater has been producing only 80,000 cu m/day.

The governor has requested the water authorities to cooperate with the company and local administrations to find a standard and ensure there is enough water for the future, particularly in Pattaya.

Justice minister and police tour nightspots looking for drug users

Fiasco ensues after minister leaves

Boonlua Chatree

Justice Minister Suwat Liptapanlop toured Pattaya’s nightclubs shortly after midnight last Friday evening, accompanied by senior drug suppression police and forensic officers.

Justice Minister Suwat Liptapanlop, senior drug suppression police and forensic officers toured Pattaya’s entertainment venues looking for drugs.

Their first stop was the Star Dice in Naklua. Police blocked the doors and began testing all 400 people inside for drug use. Only one person tested positive, namely Cheng Chang Ko, 31, from Hong Kong, who tests revealed was on methamphetamines.

Another tourist from Hong Kong, in a drunken state, began to create a scene and police moved in to detain him, placing handcuffs on him. He was later released when he had quieted down.

The justice minister was then led to Walking Street where a number of venues were inspected before he returned to Bangkok.

Police remained in Walking Street, however, and entered Lucifer Discotheque. Inside 400 people were herded together for drug testing. Club management turned off the air conditioning and the overheated atmosphere sent desperate clubbers gasping for the door. The result was broken glass and damage to the property as 10 police officers failed to hold their ground and test the frustrated crowd.

Water supply officials lambasted by deputy PMs for current threat to industrial production

Boreholes to be drilled and reservoirs connected  

Ariyawat Nuamsawat

A high-level government tour of Rayong’s water supply sources on June 24 has resulted in an order to drill boreholes and connect the reservoirs to ensure immediate supplies to the industrial estates.

Somkid Jatusripitak, finance minister and deputy prime minister, and Phinij Jarusombat, deputy prime minister, were joined by government department heads as they inspected the main water reservoirs that supply the province’s industrial estates, namely the Nongplalai and the Dokkrai reservoirs.

Somkid Jatusripitak (right), finance minister and deputy prime minister, and Phinij Jarusombat (left), deputy prime minister, say the government must support and look after the industrial sector as best they can, “There is no government policy of reducing production.”

An urgent meeting was called, attended by government officials charged with solving the water shortage, and representatives from the Eastwater Company and the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand. Fingers were pointed in various directions as to who was ultimately responsible for the current crisis, after it was revealed that businesses were urged to conserve up to 40 percent of their water consumption. The trickle down effect has led to a slowing in production.

“Whether it rains or not, we must do what can be done to ensure there is enough water until mid August,” said Somkid. “The government does not have a policy of decreasing production in the industrial sector. This is to ensure confidence among investors.

“I now order those responsible to begin drilling water bores and complete them within seven days to ensure that there enough water that the industrial sector is not affected. They must have at least 200,000 cubic metres per day to use.

“There must be a pipe connecting the Nongplalai reservoir and Klongyai reservoir that can provide at least 10 million cubic metres of water to last at least through July,” said the finance minister.

Somkid said that relevant departments, the department of irrigation and Eastwater must work together to solve the short-term problems, regardless of rainfall.

“You will also not charge the private sector for this, at all!” he declared. “They have invested in the region and we must look after them, not wait until there is a problem and ask them to reduce production.”

Rayong Governor Samoe Jantra told the meeting there was enough water in the various reservoirs, including Namdokklai and Nongplalai, to supply the industrial estates until August 15, if nothing else is done. The levels in the Dokkrai reservoir are down 11.02 million cubic metres from their 2004 level of 60 million cubic metres. Nongplalai has just 21.3 million cubic metres.

The department of irrigation is coordinating with the Artificial Rain Operation Centre for the Eastern Seaboard and agricultural sector to attempt to increase levels in both reservoirs as well as the Bangpra and other main water supplies in Rayong and Chonburi. The project began on June 1 this year.

Jakramont Phasookwanich, Ministry of Industry permanent secretary urged that the project of connecting the various reservoirs must be completed within the next two years, not four as planned.

“This must yield at least 1 billion cubic metres of water, which is four times the amount needed currently, to avoid the same problems occurring in the future,” said Jakramont.

Pattaya Immigration office now open on Saturday morning

Narisa Nitikarn

The Immigration Department’s Pattaya office is now open on Saturday mornings in addition to its existing Monday-Friday service.

Police Colonel Itthipol Itthisarnronnachai, superintendent of Pattaya Immigration Police, announces half-day service for Saturdays.

Superintendent of Pattaya Immigration Police, Police Colonel Ittipol Itthisarnronnachai, said that the additional opening hours were necessary to provide greater convenience for the large number of foreigners in the city who require their visas extended and other support services.

Pattaya is the first of 54 Immigration checkpoints to provide Saturday morning service. The hours are from 8 a.m. to 12 noon.

Pol Col Ittipol said that the Immigration Department has also added an internet service for hotels, who can now declare their foreign guests faster. Usually the hotels report to the Immigration office, but now they send the information via the internet.

Mayor orders removal of illegal structure on Pratamnak Hill

Ariyawat Nuamsawat

An illegal structure built on Pratamnak Hill, near the Large Buddha Temple, is to be removed on the instructions of city hall.

The decision follows a site visit by Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn, Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh and city councillors and officers on June 22.

The mayor and his entourage inspect the area where building on public land has been carried out illegally.

The building, which is unfinished, is on public land and has been erected without authorisation. An order to halt work was given on April 21 this year, but building continued.

The mayor and his entourage inspected the area in order to negotiate with the builder to remove the offending structure, giving the persons responsible the opportunity to redeem themselves before the city takes legal action. If the building is not removed, the city will dismantle the building, invoice those responsible and proceed with prosecution through the court system. The land has been designated to build a monument to King Taksin.

City council chairman Tawit Chaisawangwong told reporters that the city administration has slated an improvement project for the land that includes a public park and the monument. The project is aimed at boosting the city’s number of public parks for residents and tourists alike.

“The city council has approved a 5 million baht budget for the project and the final considerations for the monument are now with the Office of the Royal Household. Once the approval comes through the project will be completed relatively quickly,” said Tawit.

“As for land reclamation, the city has notified the Royal Thai Navy, which holds the deeds to the land, that the city is reclaiming the area for public use and the area that has been selected will have the least negative affect on residents. The system is to ensure order and equality in dealing with cases such as this.”

Deputy mayor faces barrage of complaints from Jomtien residents

Narisa Nitikarn

Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh found himself facing a barrage of complaints on June 21 when he visited the Jomtien Soi 4 community to inspect the proposed construction site of a new entrance to the soi.

As he made his way around the area, the deputy mayor received a multitude of gripes from vendors and residents on subjects ranging from garbage through to footpaths and poor drainage.

Ronakit Ekasingh, Pattaya deputy mayor, ordered immediate removal of this sign, as it was in direct conflict with city regulations.

The deputy mayor inspected documents and proposed building plans by Jack Daigle, chairman of the Soi Nirvana Community Association. The proposed construction of an elaborate entrance to the soi had been submitted to the city for approval, with Daigle offering to pay for it. His reasoning, as told to the deputy mayor, was to improve the image of the soi and Jomtien Beach. Once completed the structure would be handed over to the city as public property.

Daigle voiced concerns over the lack of cooperation from vendors and residents in the area. The vendors themselves appeared upset the city was considering the proposal, with one vendor claiming that they didn’t see the point of the idea and that it could be construed as a self-promoting project.

Ronakit reassured them that the structure was for the benefit of the community and not for personal or business reasons and that Daigle intended to pay for the construction.

Fifty metres inside the soi, officials were pointed in the direction of a signpost stating only Soi 4 customers could park in the area. Ronakit ordered immediate removal of the sign as it was in direct conflict with city regulations. Daigle told the deputy mayor he was only trying to create some sort of order in the soi.

Shortly thereafter residents from Soi Wat Boon converged on the deputy mayor calling for help from the city in creating a footpath to Beach Road after house and shop owners blocked off the area.

Officials inspected the section of road only to tell those calling for assistance that the house and shop owners were within their right to do so as it was on their property. The city was unable to help them as the building design had already been approved many years ago.

Upon returning to Jomtien Soi 4 to further discuss the proposed construction, residents from Soi 5 approached the deputy mayor and called for assistance in clearing blocked drains that smelled and which overflowed each time it rained. Soi 4 residents meanwhile called for garbage bins to be installed in the area since there were none.

Deputy Mayor Ronakit promised the issues would be taken care of, and, “As for the construction project causing problems for vendors and residents, the issue will be put to the council for further discussion,” said the deputy mayor.

Drugs dealer nabbed with 100kg sack of ganja

Boonlua Chatree

A drugs dealer driving a car bearing police stickers and with a cargo of fertiliser in addition to a large sack of compressed ganja weighing 100kg with a street value of over 1 million baht, was arrested after a tip-off by a minor dealer on the lam.

Somboon (An) Klomkaew (front left) looks down as police sort through their haul.

Police armed with a warrant were in pursuit of Sompong Yoosabai, 40, for possession of 100 grams of a class 5 drug, namely dried ganja. Sompong had eluded them for several months, but he was eventually tracked down to a field beside the Niran Condo on Soi Arunothai, where he was tending a buffalo.

Sompong admitted he had been a ganja dealer but said that since he escaped arrest he had not done any dealing, instead ordering the drug from an agent for his own use. Following a police suggestion, Sompong called his dealer and arranged for a delivery. The drop-off point was to be next to the Public Health Centre on Soi Nern Plabwan. The dealer said he would be driving a red Mazda with red license plates.

When the car hove into view, Sompong stepped forward. So did the police. They detained the driver, Somboon (An) Klomkaew, and searched the car where they found two blue urea sacks and one white fertiliser sack. Inside was a clear plastic pack with a total of 98 bars of dried ganja, weighing in total 100kg.

Somboon, 30, said he had bought the ganja from a man named Oude, family named unknown, for the price of 10,000 baht per kilogram and was selling it at a price of between 15,000 and 30,000 baht per kilogram.

Police also noted that the Mazda was bearing Royal Police stickers on its front and back windscreens. The car has been traced back to an owner in the Klong Toey area.

Tattooed two attempt resale of stolen motorcycle

Boonlua Chatree

Tattooed thieves who stole a motorcycle and then attempted to sell it back to its owner have been arrested.

Manat Lapanit, 42, complained to police that two men had stolen his black Yamaha Nouvo motorcycle from where he had parked it on Walking Street. They had then contacted him and offered to sell the bike back for 5,000 baht.

Nawapol Parot and Wutthipong Saithaisong said they stole the motorcycle because the owner had left his keys in the ignition.

The police suggested he make an appointment with the thieves, and he arranged a rendezvous on Sukhumvit Road at the entrance to Soi Siam Country Club. Officers swooped when the thieves arrived with the motorbike.

The men were identified as Nawapol Parot and Wutthipong Saithaisong, both aged 22 and both heavily tattooed on their backs. They said they had stolen Manat’s motorcycle because he had left the keys in the ignition. Police charged them with theft.

Jet ski champion accidentally shot

Boonlua Chatree

Junior jet ski champion Supadet (Tam) Thansai was accidentally shot and injured while driving home on a motorcycle.

Police on June 17 received a call from Bangkok Pattaya Hospital that Supadet was in their care after having been struck by a .22 calibre bullet.

At the hospital, officers found Supadet, aged 18 and junior jet ski champion for Thailand in the 800 cc class, undergoing surgery to remove the bullet from his back.

He told officers that he and his friend, 20-year-old Choengchai (Boy) Thongdeenok, were riding along Sukhumvit Road. Choengchai was playing with a gun, which he accidentally discharged, the bullet striking Supadet. Choengchai fled the scene, leaving Supadet to seek help from passers-by.

Choengchai was arrested and charged with illegal possession and carrying of a firearm, and with causing injury. Supadet told police he didn’t want to pursue the case because he wants to continue racing in the USA and was afraid he would lose his rights of competing if the matter was made public.

Police on full alert after 3-year old girl is raped

Boonlua Chatree

A three-year-old girl was rushed to Banglamung Hospital after she was raped and beaten by an unknown assailant near the entrance to Pattaya Park Beach Resort.

The crime happened on June 18, when Pattaya police station received a call from Kan Cheankrachan, 37, saying that her adopted daughter had been attacked while she and her partner Ten Pringproh, 53, were away from home.

Officers went to the hospital where they found the girl, alias Om, in the intensive care unit. The child was unconscious. The sexual attack had torn her skin, and her skull had been fractured. She was on an intravenous drip and was being supplied with oxygen.

Kan and Ten were in the waiting room. They told police that while they were away they let the girl stay with her grandfather, Kroh Cheankrachan, 67. When they returned home they saw a neighbour carrying the girl out from the bushes, covered in blood.

At the crime scene Kroh led police to a mango tree some 100 metres from the family residence, where blood was found. He said the child had been left in his care when the couple went out to work. He let the girl play in front of the house alone. Kroh said he didn’t know she had been taken away until a neighbour saw her by the bushes, covered in blood.

Kroh said the assailant was probably a worker from a nearby construction site. The girl didn’t dare go with anybody, and wasn’t crying to annoy anybody. Whoever the attacker was, he had banged the girl’s head against the tree after raping her, knocking her unconscious.

Police are now on full alert and warning residents that the man may strike again.

Om has since recovered but is under medical care for her head injuries. A semen sample was taken from her vaginal area for DNA testing.

Police briefs

Boonlua Chatree

Man struck in karaoke bar quarrel dies from injuries

A 24-year old man struck in the face while drinking with a group of friends in front of Jenjira Karaoke at Phothisarn Market died at the scene from his injuries. A karaoke bar owner later admitted to the assault.

Police called to the scene on June 20 found Jenjira employees and passers-by crowded around the body of the dead man, identified by the ID card in his wallet as Bunthan Torlobram, a resident of Khon Kaen. He was lying on his back, and had blood coming from his right eye. He had been struck across the nose, which was broken and impacted, and the right eye socket was broken and bleeding.

Witnesses at the scene declined to co-operate, saying they did not know what had happened. However, one person, who refused to give a name or formal statement, told officers in private that Bunthan had been drinking with four or five other men and that a dispute had arisen. One of the men hit him hard in the face with the handle of a gun, and Bunthan fell off his chair. The group drove away in a bronze coloured pickup, but before leaving they warned that they would shoot anyone who co-operated with the police. They had also stepped on the face of the deceased as they left.

At about 2 a.m. on the following day, June 21, Pattaya police station received a call from a man named Chansak Upachai, 25, of Kumpawapee district, Udon Thani province. Chansak said he was the owner of a nearby karaoke bar and wanted to surrender himself over the killing of Bunthan.

Chansak said he was drinking with his friends. They were drunk and became incensed over something the deceased was saying. They dared him to fight. Chansak hit the deceased one time and saw that he had lost consciousness. He said he didn’t hit him with a gun. When he realised that Bunthan was dead, Chansak went to ground in his hometown. His family advised him it was better to surrender himself than to flee, and so he contacted the police. He has been charged with manslaughter.

Goldsmith embezzled gold and diamonds to make jewellery for his private customers

A gold shop owner reported her own goldsmith for using the shop’s gold and diamonds to make jewellery for his private customers.

Somjit Srap-Aram, 46, owner of the Thong Heng Gold Shop in South Pattaya Road, claimed that Prasomsilp Bunprom, 34, had taken 40 diamonds and 30 grams of gold.

Checking back on receipts, Somjit had realised there was a discrepancy of 10,300 baht. She said that if the money was not repaid she would file for embezzlement.

Police invited Prasomsilp in for questioning. He admitted that he took the gold and diamonds from Somjit’s shop, but said he had no money to give back at this moment and that the owner should wait for a while.

Somjit was angry at this, stating that she had hired Prasomsilp because he is a very good goldsmith, but that he is dishonest. Prasomsilp promised to reimburse the money and the police released him.

Illegal gun ‘only for

Police on routine patrol in the early hours of the morning on June 18 spotted a suspicious looking man riding a black Honda Wave motorcycle on Soi Korphai, at Thepprasit Road.

Identified as Witsanu Saekhow, age 33, the man was found to be carrying a gun with four rounds of ammunition. The gun was unregistered. Witsanu told police he was carrying the weapon for self-protection. A friend had given it to him for free, and he had paid only for the ammunition, at 35 baht apiece. He said he had never used the gun to injure anyone.

Witsanu was charged with possessing the gun and ammunition and with carrying them in a public place.

Illegal Cambodian labourers seized on building site

Immigration police raided a commercial building under construction in Soi Sophon Cable TV on Pattaya Third Road and discovered about 100 Cambodian labourers working there illegally.

The workers fled in panic as the officers arrived, but 47 were caught. Taken to the Immigration Bureau, the 11 men and 36 women said they were brought into Thailand clandestinely by bus at the Aranyapratet border, and had worked for only one month. They earned 180 baht per day each, but hadn’t received any pay yet because the police had stopped them.

They were charged with working without a permit, and sent back across the border. Police are now investigating the building foreman and the owner of the property with a view to pressing charges.

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