HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Jumbo sweep rounds up 9 elephants for begging on city streets

Woman struck by lightning while asleep under tree

Keep Pattaya Clean campaign part of enhancing international image

Deputy mayor orders fast remedial works at Jomtien Beach

Expert Group tackles energy efficiency

Tour company threatened with legal action over persistent bus parking offences

New voting system outlined for senate elections on October 16

Big turnout in advance voters for senate election

Culprits sought in chemical dumping at Khao Pancham Valley

No sweat - police use hi-tech drug tester on Lucifer revelers

Girl doped British man’s wine, stole his money and computer

Swiss customer attempts to strangle waitress

Youth from gay bar murders Japanese man in hotel room

Police briefs

Jumbo sweep rounds up 9 elephants for begging on city streets

Impounded pachyderms will be deported

Ariyawat Nuamsawat

Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn said he is determined to get wandering elephants of Pattaya streets permanently.

In light of this, Pattaya has finally taken stern action against the mahouts who bring their elephants begging into the city, with Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn and Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh coordinating a roundup in which nine pachyderms have been impounded.

The mahouts, accused of pestering tourists and leading their charges into possible danger from traffic, now face stiff fines.

The elephant roundup teams comprised volunteers, civilians, municipal officers and volunteer tourist police. City hall also coordinated with mahout training schools and the Thai Elephant Conservation Center in Lampang province to help catch the elephants and take care of them.

Nine elephants were rounded up from locations throughout Pattaya, including the Dolphin Roundabout, North Pattaya, Thepprasit Road, South Pattaya Road, Soi Korpai, Pattaya Third Road, Pattaya Beach Road and Jomtien Beach Road.

The mayor explained to the mahouts who cooperated well that the elephants would be sent to Pattaya Elephant Village for a period not exceeding three months. He also explained that the mahouts would be prosecuted for the offenses, and are liable to a fine not exceeding 10,000 baht.

The elephants may later be sent to Khao Kheow Open Zoo, although following a visit by the mayor to see the impounded beasts there is a possibility they will be sent back to their native province of Surin.

Woman struck by lightning while asleep under tree

Chatchanan Chaisree

Rescue workers of the Rochana Thamsatthan Foundation in Sattahip were called out on October 5 to attend to a woman who had been struck by a lightning bolt near the beach road entrance to the Strategic Fleet Naval Base.

At the scene, the team found the motionless Mrs Thanachaphorn Saisri, a 26-year-old Sattahip resident. She had suffered severe burns to her body and right hip. The rescue team took her to Queen Sirikit Hospital.

Thanachaphorn’s 16-year-old brother, Thavee Wongsalee, said that he and his sister were selling fruit as usual under a big tamarind tree at the entrance to the naval base. There was a heavy thunderstorm with strong winds. His sister was sleeping behind the stall while he was packing up for them to return home. There was a loud cracking sound as the thunderbolt hit the stall where his sister was sleeping. The force sent him flying but he suffered only minor injuries.

Thanachaphorn is now out of critical condition and recovering from her injuries, but will have to remain in hospital a little longer.

Keep Pattaya Clean campaign part of enhancing international image

Narisa Nitikarn

The start of the “Keep Pattaya Clean” campaign was announced on October 5, Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn leading a gathering in the car park of Tops Supermarket. Mayor Niran signed a declaration and handed out stickers to passers-by and motorists.

(From left ) Wuttisak Rermkijakarn, Pattaya deputy mayor, Pattaya Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn, Thanet Supornsaharungsri, president of Pattaya Business & Tourism Association and Wannaporn Jamjumras director of the Department of Public Health and the Environment campaign to keep Pattaya clean.

Also taking part were members of the Federation of Pattaya Shop Owners, the Pattaya Business & Tourism Association and government and private sector organizations.

Mayor Niran, addressing the rally, said that Pattaya is our home, no matter what nationality or religion. “Let’s make Pattaya a home that has valuable tourism resources, let us conserve natural resources and the environment so that people from all over the world wish to visit us.”

Thanet Supornsaharungsri, president of the Pattaya Business & Tourism Association, said that keeping the city clean is all part of projecting an international image.

Deputy mayor orders fast remedial works at Jomtien Beach

Responds to complaints about state of beach

Narisa Nitikarn

Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh led a delegation of officials from the departments of public health, environment, public works and sanitation to Jomtien Beach on October 5 to investigate complaints that beach concessionaires had lodged with council member Sanit Boonmachai.

Ronakit Ekasingh (center in black), Pattaya deputy mayor and Sanit Boonmachai, Pattaya council member (right) and officials inspect the scene.

Ronakit told reporters that after Sanit received the complaints he carried out an inspection and found that the beach operators’ comments were justified. The problems included electricity seepage from a pillar near an umbrella and deckchair stand, and trees that had been cut down and left blocking the footpaths. Parts of the footpath had been damaged by the sea and remained in disrepair.

“I therefore ordered all parties responsible to remedy the situation urgently as there was a danger that operators and tourists could get injured and destroy the good image of Jomtien Beach,” said Ronakit. “The problems will be remedied as soon as possible. All issues have the same level of importance.”

Expert Group tackles energy efficiency

Part of regional program

 Narisa Nitikarn

The Department of Industrial Promotion (DIP) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) jointly staged an Expert’s Group Meeting at the Garden Seaview Resort to discuss innovative means of improving the efficiency of industrial energy end use throughout the Southeast Asia region.

This was the first step in a Thai government/UNIDO program to link energy-efficient operation with existing quality and environmental or energy management systems.

Building awareness amongst government and industry decision makers on measures to refocus business practices on core industry values is seen as being an essential part of the program, particularly in terms of global competitiveness, cost reduction, increased productivity and environmental compliance.

As fuel costs continue their steady increase in many Asian developing countries, improving the efficiency with which firms use energy is becoming a necessity. The meeting examined a different perspective designed to shift the focus of industrial markets from buying and selling energy-consuming equipment components such as motors, pumps, fans, compressors and boilers to the purchase and provision of services that result in optimization of industrial energy systems.

Tour company threatened with legal action over persistent bus parking offences

Ariyawat Nuamsawat

Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh, counselor Sanit Boonmachai and others visited the Srimongkol Tour Company at Building No 425/82-83 on Pattaya Third Road, close to the Pattaya Klang traffic lights, to follow up on complaints from the public that the company continually parked a big bus too close to the traffic lights, causing an obstruction and affecting traffic flow.

Counselor Sanit Boonmachai (left) and Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh (middle) discuss the matter with the company.

Company administrators were told they needed to introduce a parking system and allow only one bus at a time to stop to pick up passengers. If the company continues to violate this directive the matter will be taken further.

Ronakit said that this problem had been ongoing for a long time and they had made representations to the company via the Chonburi governor that they should stop parking the bus there or further action would be taken against them. The company had acknowledged the complaints and did comply with the directive for a while.

City hall has now given Srimongol a week to comply with the latest directive otherwise the case will be referred to legal representatives with an order to close down the company’s offices permanently.

New voting system outlined for senate elections on October 16

Narisa Nitikarn

Narong Piworn, deputy director of Pattaya School #3, was speaker at a meeting of teachers conducted at Pattaya District Office to explain the new voting procedures for the election of Chonburi senators, due to be held on October 16.

Narong Piworn, explains voting procedures to teachers to prepare for the elections on October 16.

Chonburi is the third province in Thailand to implement the new voting system. Teachers from all 10 schools under the jurisdiction of Pattaya council attended the meeting.

Narong said the system should be better than before, but it needs more preparation as the voting forms are stamped rather than being marked with a pen. He described the procedures and the method of checking good and bad vote forms to the teachers and assigned their duties for a smooth election.

The public can check their voting eligibility at Pattaya District Office in order to prepare for the 16th. Voting hours are between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Big turnout in advance voters for senate election

Narisa Nitikarn

Voters turned up in large numbers at the advance polling station at Banglamung Community Center to vote for Chonburi senators ahead of the official polling day of October 16.

The election is being held to replace outgoing senators who have completed their terms of office.

The public exercises their rights in large numbers.

Thirasak Chutuphong, head of the Pattaya Public Administration Office, said that the advance polling station was set up to allow citizens to exercise their right to vote even if they could not do so on the official day.

Some who did not reside in District 6 also turned up to vote but had to be turned away. District 6 includes Pattaya City, Banglamung Municipality, Laem Chabang Municipality, Koh Sichang Municipality, Nongprue Administration District, Nong Pla Lai Administration District and Takiantia Administration District.

Voting procedures have been changed with the use of rubber stamps to stamp the ballots instead of marking them with a pen. The ballots also show photos of the seven candidates so that voters are sure of whom they are voting for.

The seven candidates are Rear Admiral Krarim Phichaikul, Vichien Tangtham, Thanet Songthanavongse, Sarancha Sricholvatana, Kasem Hluangoon, Sanay Somsri, and Chao Maneewongse.

On questioning voters as to why they were exercising their right to vote in advance, most stated that they were busy on the 16th, some had to travel outside Chonburi or travel abroad. Amongst the advance voters was Pattaya Deputy Mayor Wirawat Khakhai, who told polling station officials that he was traveling abroad on October 15.

Culprits sought in chemical dumping at Khao Pancham Valley

Patcharapol Panrak

Police and Plutaluang sub-district authorities are looking for those responsible for the unauthorized dumping of chemical waste in the Khao Pancham Valley.

Following complaints from villagers, volunteer police went into the deserted area late at night where they found a truck bearing Chonburi license plates and a railroad truck, also carrying Chonburi identification, parked in the valley and pouring chemical substances onto the ground.

Volunteer police officer points to toxic waste illegally dumped at Khao Pancham Valley in Plutaluang, Sattahip.

As soon as he saw the officers the driver locked his door and ran away into the forest. The vehicle was impounded and taken to Plutaluang police station.

Taweep Tangkaew, chief of the Plutaluang sub-district executive, said the villagers have reported the truck had been dumping the chemicals into the valley every night. A report has been made to Sattahip district chief Pongpat Wongtrakul, and the chemical substance is being analyzed. The authorities assume it came from Rayong Province.

No sweat - police use hi-tech drug tester on Lucifer revelers

Boonlua Chatree

More than 70 police officers led by no less than five deputy commanders raided Lucifer Entertainment on Walking Street just after midnight on October 6 in search of drug abusers and dealers.

Police test Lucifer revelers’ sweat for drug residue.

To prevent anyone making a break for it the police parked a bus and more than 20 police cars at the street exits. Then they set up their latest hi-tech drugs detection equipment, an Ion Scan that reads sweat samples in which it can detect narcotics residue.

While customers carried on drinking and dancing the officers tested 503 people, Thais and foreigners, with 345 women and 158 men providing sweat samples.

Out of this total, five women tested positive. Police then carried out a urine test on the five to confirm the results. They were later released to await the official test results from the Institute of Medical Science.

Pol. Maj. Gen. Somdache Chawcham, deputy commander of Region 2, said that the raid was carried out to help prevent the return of drugs to tourist spots and entertainment complexes and to prevent under-aged children from frequenting them.

Girl doped British man’s wine, stole his money and computer

Boonlua Chatree

Police have arrested a woman for doping a British visitor and stealing his notebook computer and 35,000 baht in cash.

Ratsamee Pongprasert was arrested for doping her John, then stealing his valuables.

An arrest warrant was issued for Miss Ratsamee Pongprasert on July 20. Police eventually found her on Beach Road, outside Royal Garden Plaza, on October 1. She was arrested and taken to Pattaya police station.

Ratsamee, a 22-year-old service girl, admitted that she had conspired with her partner Suthee Charoenrat, who is already in prison, to put a sleeping pill in a glass of red wine given to the British man in order to subdue him so that they could steal his valuables, namely a notebook computer and 35,000 baht in cash.

After stealing the valuables Ratsamee hid in the Pattaya Hill area until police arrested her. She said that she had stolen the man’s valuables as he had not paid her for services rendered.

Swiss customer attempts to strangle waitress

No kiss, food or drink for this man

Boonlua Chatree

A Swiss man attempted to strangle a Kiss Food & Drink waitress for no apparent reason, then paid her 5,000 baht to prevent any legal action against him.

Elmar Hermann Kehl (left) allegedly lost his cool and ended up paying a total of 6,000 baht because of it.

Police were called to the restaurant in Soi Diana Inn on Pattaya Second Road on October 1 where they found Miss Patcharee Pareeliam, a 23-year-old Chiang Rai native, in a state of distress. She said that an intoxicated Swiss man had attacked her. The man, identified as Elmar Hermann Kehl, age 44, was still at the scene.

Patcharee told police she was serving customers in the restaurant when the man came in. She had stepped aside to let him pass but for no reason whatsoever he grabbed her neck and started to choke her. One of her colleagues came to her aid and freed her from the man’s grip. Kehl was subsequently invited to the police station.

After being questioned Kehl asked Patcharee to forgive him for his behavior and agreed to pay damages of 5,000 baht to her if she would drop the case against him. Before freeing him police fined Kehl a further 1,000 baht and warned him that any repetition of this behavior would result in legal action and the possibility of his being deported.

Youth from gay bar murders Japanese man in hotel room

Boonlua Chatree

A Japanese man murdered in a hotel room was probably killed by an employee of a gay bar invited back to the room by the victim, police believe.

Responding to a call, officers on October 7 went to the Day-Night Hotel in Nongprue district where they discovered diluted blood seeping under the door of room 1117. Inside, blood and water covered the floor. In the bathroom the tap was still on, and face down in the bathtub was the body of Takei Hiroyuki, a 70-year-old Japanese national.

The dead man was totally immersed in the water. He was wearing blue shorts and a gray t-shirt. Both hands were bound with a vest and both feet were bound with a t-shirt, as was his throat. His skull showed a three-inch open wound as if he had been hit with a heavy object and his arms, eyes and mouth were bruised. Police estimated he had been dead for about eight hours.

There was evidence of a fight in the room, which had been ransacked. Two large beer bottles lay broken on the floor and there was a broken soda bottle covered with blood splattering.

From the state of the room the killer probably used the three bottles on the victim’s head, knocking him unconscious before tying him up and drowning him in the bathtub. He then ransacked the room and took the valuables before disappearing. A cleaner had discovered the blood seeping under the door.

On questioning witnesses, police found that the victim had taken a young man to his room from the gay bar next to the hotel. Both the victim and the young man were not seen again. Police have surmised that the visitor murdered Hiroyuki, and are now searching for him.

Police briefs

Boonlua Chatree

Stepfather rapes, impregnates
14-year-old girl

A motorcycle taxi driver allegedly raped his 14-year-old stepdaughter and made her pregnant, according to the girl’s mother.

Mrs Nak Phoolairiab, age 29, took her daughter Cat (an alias) to Pattaya police station along with the girl’s 27-day-old son and asked officers to take action against her husband, Sangaun Tang-On, 29, currently residing in Pattaya Prison.

Nak said she had separated from her first husband, the girl’s father, and married Sanguan 12 years ago. Her husband worked as a motorcycle taxi driver at Jomtien Beach until Cat was in secondary school class 2.

In July, police arrested Sanguan for drug use and he has been in Pattaya Prison for the past four months. He is due to be released on October 30.

Cat told police that on a Saturday in December last year she was sitting alone in her home while her mother went out to work. Sanguan then returned home unexpectedly. He locked the doors and forced her into a bedroom where he raped her. He threatened her by telling her if she told anybody about the rape he would kill her. She was very frightened and kept quiet.

Her stepfather raped her on a number of occasions in the following weeks and she eventually fell pregnant. It was then she felt she had no choice but to tell her mother and leave school. She has now given birth to a son.

Nak reported the matter to police because she is afraid that when her husband is released from prison at the end of this month he will continue to attack and rape her daughter.

Driver flees after water truck runs over 1-year-old boy

The driver of a water delivery truck that hit and killed a one-year-old boy in Soi Wat Bunsamphan 9 behind Pattaya Hill Village fled the scene before police could arrive.

Officers found the body of Tawan Cheenpuang lying on his back wearing only a white t-shirt and no pants. He had died after the six-wheel truck ran over his body and fractured his skull. The blood stained vehicle, a green Hino owned by Marine Presser Co Part Ltd, was next to the body.

The boy’s parents, Amnat and Srinual Jeenpuang, said that the truck regularly delivered water to the village. The couple worked outside every day and often let their son run around alone in front of the house.

They said someone had telephoned them and told them about the accident and that their son had been killed. A Sawang Boriboon Foundation officer transported the body to Banglamung Hospital. Police will find the driver and charge him with careless driving resulting in death.

Two teenagers shot after dispute outside go-go bar

Two teenagers were shot after a dispute as they stopped their motorcycle at a Pattaya Klang traffic light.

The shooting happened just after midnight on October 2. Officers attending the scene at the entrance of Soi Nernplubwan found 18-year-old Waethin Noinil lying in a pool of blood next to a green Honda Wave motorcycle. He had been shot with a .38 caliber gun, the bullet entering his left chest and exiting through his back. Karan Kingkaew, also 18, had been shot with the same weapon and hit in the right wrist and left hip. Police transferred the injured men to Bangkok Pattaya Hospital.

Police searched the scene and found three .38 caliber bullets on the road. Witnesses said that two men on a Honda Wave motorcycle had fired a total of five shots at the two youths before fleeing in the Sukhumvit Road direction to North Pattaya.

Karan, whose condition was stable, gave a statement to police at the hospital that he and Waethin had earlier had a dispute outside a go-go bar on Soi Diana Inn with the men who subsequently shot them. He told police he would identify them. Waethin meanwhile remains in the intensive care unit.