Pattaya Mail turns 12

Vol. XIII No. 42
Friday October 21 - October 27, 2005

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by Saichon Paewsoongnern


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Kingdom celebrates Chulalongkorn Day

Deluge turns city into a water-world

PBTA calls for urgent action on water shortage

The road to Pattaya begins in Kazakhstan

Police hold a meet-the-public day

36 years later, adoring fans still remember famous Thai film star Mitr Chaibancha

Man turned on by 11-year-old schoolgirl’s uniform is accused of rape

Lovestruck DJ has finger bitten in attempt to rape woman of his desire

Two thieves break into woman’s room and rape her before stealing cash and gold

Mayor makes a clean sweep by removing service girls from beach

Man poisons child and then hangs himself

Immigration police hold ceremony for National Police Day

Pattaya Police celebrate National Police Day with ceremony and promotions

Police briefs

Kingdom celebrates Chulalongkorn Day

Many activities planned for October 23

His Majesty King Chulalongkorn
the Great

Chulalongkorn Day, October 23, is a national holiday and ceremonies will be performed throughout Thailand to mark the day that the great King passed away in the year 1910.

This year, since the holiday falls on a Sunday, banks, government offices and many businesses will be closed on Monday, October 24.

King Chulalongkorn was instrumental in modernizing the Kingdom of Thailand and is credited with many visionary accomplishments, including the establishment of the Council of State, setting up 12 different ministries which reorganized the government administrative system and the abolition of slavery.

King Chulalongkorn’s other ambitious achievements included establishing trade and diplomatic contact with foreign governments, and introducing revolutionary changes throughout the kingdom regarding police security, a postal system, hospitals, and railroads.

The great King also was instrumental in maintaining the nation’s sovereignty during a critical period in history when powerful nations were expanding their influence and colonizing neighboring countries.

Local ceremonies will be held at the Chulalongkorn monument in front of the Banglamung district offices. Hundreds of community representatives, business owners, students and press will be present to pay their respects to a great king.

Deluge turns city into a water-world

Narisa Nitikarn

Forty minutes of heavy rains turned Pattaya into a water world on Monday, with floodwaters knee-deep in places and cars breaking down in the waterlogged roads, causing traffic chaos.

Vehicles backed up along Sukhumvit Road during the afternoon with the Naklua to North Pattaya stretch coming to a standstill.

The ground floor of many homes in the area were filled with water and mud.

Areas around Pacific Village and Phechtrakul Road, behind Big C in North Pattaya, Soi Buakao and many of Pattaya’s main roads such as Pattaya Klang crossing Route 3 and Beach Road flooded.

Pattaya Mail reporters drove around the city and found cars and motorcycles abandoned everywhere, adding to the traffic congestion. We also found drainage manhole covers raised to drain off the waters.

Pattaya City has continued to implement measures to solve the recurring flood situation. Huge stretches of existing drainage pipes have been raised and wider ones laid to replace them along shallow roads and Pattaya Klang Route 3. Nowadays the area does an efficient job of draining water, but a deluge can still cause temporary chaos.

The floods soon drained away and traffic and the city quickly returned to normal. But with a water shortage crisis still being the main topic of conversation in Pattaya, the irony of Monday’s floods did not pass unnoticed.

PBTA calls for urgent action on water shortage

Tourism season on the horizon

Ariyawat Nuamsawat

Pattaya Business and Tourism Association called an urgent meeting at Green Park Resort Hotel on October 12 to try and get a clear picture of the water supply situation in Pattaya, now becoming more critical than ever with the tourism high season about to begin.

PBTA chairman Thanet Supornsahatrangsee chaired the meeting, with Somsak Yonokpan, deputy chief executive of Chonburi and representatives of the Department of Irrigation, the Provincial Waterworks Authority Banglamung District, and East Water Co Ltd also in attendance.

The lack of tap water in the city has affected residents and tourists alike and those involved in the tourism business need to address the matter so as to minimize the effect in the up-coming high season for tourism, said Thanet.

The government is also trying to help solve this problem and has asked East Water Co, a private company that sells raw water to the Department of Irrigation, to lay a pipe from Bangpra Reservoir to the water filter house. This has now been done. They are also carrying out a project to lay a water pipe from Bangpakong River to provide at least 50 million cubic meters of water. The budget for this is 2.5 billion baht and the project is expected to be completed in November.

However, there is still an ongoing water shortage problem and therefore the PBTA in association with city hall and the Thai Hotel Association Eastern Chapter, held the meeting to gather as much information as possible in order to combat the problem.

Thanet said that statistics coming from official sources are unclear and often incorrect. When asking the government he said that he was told that water usage in Pattaya is 1.2 cubic meters per person per day but in reality the figure is higher, especially for businesses.

Many business people in Pattaya are worried because they have had many meetings but the problem is still not solved. Each time they have been told that there is enough water for people’s needs. The purpose of this meeting was to get a clear answer on what will happen, said Thanet. Would the water pipe being currently laid solve all the problems when it becomes operational in November? Will this be the final solution? If the shortage continues it will affect the local population and businesses and have a knock-on effect on tourism.

Thanee Thongprachum, director of the Provincial Waterworks Authority in Pattaya City, said the problem had been partially resolved as a result of recent heavy rains that had helped to replenish local reservoirs, though the total volume of water held is still relatively low.

Currently Mabprachan Reservoir is holding 3.2 million cubic meters of water, Saknok Reservoir has 790,000 cubic meters and the three other reservoirs in the area, Huay Khunchit, Huaysaphan and Nongklangdong have a combined total of 3.5 million cubic meters.

East Water has supplied 85,000 cubic meters of water and a further 10,000 cubic meters have been bought from Sattahip. The Provincial Waterworks Authority distributes 120,000 cubic meters of water to Pattaya City each day, which is sufficient for public needs.

However, there is a problem with the water being brought from Sattahip because of the Provincial Waterworks Authority system. Normally it should be able to transfer 12,000 cubic meters a day but because of some technical problems it can only currently transfer 2,000 cubic meters per day, which is causing water shortages in some areas. This problem is being addressed and would be resolved in a matter of days.

East Water is working quickly to install a pipe from Bangpakong River to Bangpra Reservoir. It is expected to be finished in mid November and the total amount of water supplied to the city will increase to 200,000 cubic meters per day. If everything runs as planned the city will have sufficient water even though reservoir levels are still low.

The Department of Irrigation is also working on a project to a lay a pipe in tandem to the one from Bangpakong which will divert water from Chayanuchit canal, which in turn takes water from Pasak Cholasit Dam and the Chao Phraya River. This will result in an extra 70 million cubic meters per year to make up for the shortfall in Bangpra Reservoir. This project is currently in the planning stage.

The road to Pattaya begins in Kazakhstan

Narisa Nitikarn

Kazakhstan’s ambassador to Thailand paid a visit to Pattaya and asked city hall for permission to name a road in Kazakhstan after the resort city.

Bakhitbek Shabarbayev, charge d’affaires of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the Kingdom of Thailand (left) visited Niran Wattanasartsathorn, Pattaya City Mayor (right) regarding the naming of a road “Pattaya Road” in Kazakhstan.

Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn welcomed Bakhitbek Shabarbayev, charge d’affaires of the Republic of Kazakhstan, at a city hall ceremony on October 14.

In the south of Kazakhstan there is a town called Chimden and it is intended to name a road in the town “Pattaya Road” as a gesture of friendship between the two cities.

Ambassador Bakhitbek also invited Mayor Niran to participate in the Kazakhstan independence celebrations on December 16.

Police hold a meet-the-public day

 Boonlua Chatree

Pattaya police held a meet-the-public day on October 10 so that people could state their problems and concerns and find ways in which the police could help them.

Pol. Col. Somnuk Changate.

Residents calling into Pattaya police station met with commander Pol. Col. Somnuk Changate, deputy commander of the crime suppression division Pol. Lt. Col. Nettasit Bunnuam, Pol. Lt. Col. Somchai Phongsai of the traffic police, Pol. Maj Sutham Chawseethong, crime suppression officer, and investigator Pol. Lt. Col. Preecha Satrut.

The occasion was part of the “Open the Police Stations to the Public” project, part of the Royal Thai Police Headquarters’ strategy for devising administration frameworks to fight crime, making the public, the communities, local politicians, private enterprises, government officials and the press all part of the process of auditing and administering police performance.

36 years later, adoring fans still remember famous Thai film star Mitr Chaibancha

Crowds gather at Jomtien Beach shrine to pay respects

Suchada Tupchai

Thirty-five years to the day, adoring fans still pay tribute to Mitr Chaibancha at the spot where he lost his life. Mitr died after falling from a helicopter during a film shoot on Jomtien Beach on October 8, 1970. Locals regard the memorial site, located in a quiet area on the little soi that runs parallel to, but inland from Jomtien Beach Road, as a shrine of good luck and those who adore the film star remember with great love the boxer-turned-actor.

Fans came to worship the memorial of Mitr Chaibancha at the shrine built in his honor.

For 35 years fans have come and prayed to his memory. He was a very well known movie star, and was idolized by his millions of fans. It was during the filming of Insee Thong (Golden Eagle) on October 8, 1970, in the then small village of Pattaya that Mitr was to make his last appearance. The stunt shot required him to cling onto the rope ladder of a helicopter, which was to get airborne and fly off into the sunset as the final scene in the movie. As the helicopter gained height Mitr lost his grip and fell to his death on Dongtan (Sugar Palm) Beach.

A shrine was built at the spot where Mitr died and is a place of pilgrimage for many of his devoted fans. They come from all walks of life and from different parts of Thailand.

Our reporter spoke to a flower, incense and candle salesman at the revered spirit house, who said many people from all walks of life come to pay their respects. “They think this will bring them good luck, especially with the lottery numbers,” he said.

The venerated wooden spirit house was built by Thanet Munprasitchai and is situated in a soi off Jomtien Road in front of the Banglamung District Revenue Department, at the back Jomtien Palm Beach Hotel. Inside the spirit house is a life-size statue of Mitr Chaibancha. He is holding a gun in his hand reminiscent of his numerous roles as an action movie star. The walls are lined with rare photographs of him together with other action stars.

Mitr’s life is a rags to riches story. Pichet Pumhem was born into poverty in Petchaburi Province on January 28, 1934. At the tender age of 8 his mother moved to Bangkok where he was introduced to and studied Thai boxing. In 1952 he became a lightweight boxing champion for his school, and eventually went on to win 2 Lightweight division titles, which gained him his first feel of fame. After finishing secondary school (M.6) he studied at Pranakhon College. A year later he was accepted into the Royal Thai Air Force aviation school where he trained to as a pilot. After graduation, he worked at Don Muang Military Airbase, teaching pilots how to fly and ‘dog-fight’.

In 1957 close friends showed his photograph to journalist Kingkaew Kaewprasert, who introduced him to Surat Pukkawet, the editor of a movie magazine. Before long he starred in his very first film titled Chart Sua. It was then that he decided to change his name from Pichet Pumhem to Mitr Chaibancha. He caught the attention of Thai movie fans after starring in “Chao Nakleng” using the character name Rom Ritthikrai from Insee Daeng series.

In 1959 he married Jaruwan in a private ceremony. In 1961 a son, Yuthana (Ton) was born. The marriage didn’t last long and ended in a divorce.

In 1961 he starred in his first film with Petchara Chaowarat titled Banthuk Rak Pimchawee. This was to be the beginning of one of the most celebrated hero-heroine partnerships. The Mitr-Petchara team made more than 200 films together.

In 1970, he started to produce his own films, in which he also starred as the leading actor. His first production Insee Thong, featured the return of Insee Daeng, or detective Rom Rittikrai.

On the morning of that fateful day, which was the last day of shooting, the script called for Mitr, having vanquished the bad guys at their hideout on Dongtan Beach in Pattaya to fly off in a helicopter. As the camera rolled, Mitr leapt from the ground to grab the rope ladder. The helicopter flew higher and higher. Within moments Mitr lost his grip and fell to the ground. The horror was all caught on film and was actually left in the final theatrical release for all to see.

Early investigations thought that the ladder had broken, but it proved to be intact. Mitr’s death was ruled as an accident. Other theories allege that there should have been two takes for that final scene. The first would be of Mitr grabbing the ladder and flying at low altitude and a stunt man would have preformed the second shot at higher altitude. Unfortunately the crew was running out of film and therefore kept the cameras rolling unbeknown to the hapless star who could not hold on much longer.

Man turned on by 11-year-old schoolgirl’s uniform is accused of rape

Boonlua Chatree

A man trusted by a family to take care of their 11-year-old daughter raped the girl because he became sexually excited by her school uniform.

The mother of the 11-year-old named as Som (an alias) on October 11 filed a complaint with police saying that Termchai Intharakhom, age 36 years, had deceived the child into having sexual intercourse, causing her physical harm and mental distress.

Police arrested Termchai and brought him back to Pattaya police station for questioning. He told officers that he was paid to collect Som from her school in Soi Arunothai, Pattaya Klang. He said that his sexual desires were aroused when he saw her in her school uniform.

On October 10, the last day of the school term, he collected the girl as usual but tricked her into going to the short time 99 Hotel at Soi Naklua, which rents out rooms by the hour. There he raped her before taking her back home, and warned her not to tell anybody. He accepted that he deserved to be punished.

Som was taken for a physical check-up at Banglamung Hospital to confirm the rape, and then she and her mother were taken for an interview with the Chonburi prosecutor, an attorney, and a social welfare officer.

Som said that Termchai had picked her up in front of her school as usual but then took her to the 99 Hotel, manhandled her onto the bed when in the room, forced her to roll up her skirt and then raped her. He then threatened her that if she told anybody he would kill her. At first she stayed silent but told her mother after she had asked her what was the matter.

Lovestruck DJ has finger bitten in attempt to rape woman of his desire

Boonlua Chatree

Unrequited love drove an unemployed DJ to climb to the seventh floor of a building and force his way into an apartment where he attempted to rape the object of his affections, who bit his finger and shouted for help.

Pattaya police station received a radio call at 4.30 in the morning of October 12, that a man had broken into a room at the Seethong Rungruang hostel in Soi Yensabai, South Pattaya, and attacked a woman sleeping there.

At the scene police found that the room was locked, but heard someone inside shouting for help. The woman opened the door and told them that the man had already fled. Police searched the area and found him hiding under a car.

The woman was Miss Jintana Sakulthong, a 28-year-old native of Buriram. She works as a Thai traditional masseur in South Pattaya. Before giving a statement to the police she slapped the arrested man in the face and had to be restrained by the officers.

She told them she had been sleeping in the room when her assailant forced an entry, grabbed her from behind and put his finger into her mouth telling her not to shout or he would stab her.

Seeing that he had no knife, Jintana bit his finger hard and shouted for help. However, nobody could come to her aid as the room was locked.

The arrested man was identified as Somchring Poolrodkaew, age 26, from Sukhothai. He was an unemployed DJ. He said he had fallen in love with the woman and wanted to marry her. He wanted to take her to his meet his parents and said that he did not intend to harm her.

Somchring suffered some injuries whilst attempting to escape from the 7th floor of the building. Police charged him with forced entry and with attacking the woman.

Two thieves break into woman’s room and rape her before stealing cash and gold

Boonlua Chatree

Two assailants broke into the room of a boat tour operator’s assistant and raped her before fleeing with cash, a mobile phone and a gold necklace.

Banglamung police rushed to Chiam Charoen Apartments in Naklua in the early hours of October 8 where on the second floor of the two-story building they found a 24-year-old woman, given the alias of Miss Nim. She was wearing a white and pink striped nightdress and was clutching her lower abdomen in pain.

On questioning Nim told officers that she was sleeping when two assailants aged between 20 and 25 years broke into her room. They grabbed her while she was still asleep and when she screamed they punched her in the abdomen.

One intruder proceeded to rape her while the second ransacked the room. The other assailant then raped her before both left. She ran after them and saw them get into a pickup truck but could not remember the license plate number or the color. Another man was waiting for the assailants in the pickup and they sped off. She then knocked on her neighbors’ doors and asked them to call the police.

After questioning police asked Nim to check her property. The wardrobe, desk and shelves had been ransacked. The assailants took a mobile phone, 8,000 baht in cash and a 1-baht gold necklace. Officers took her to Banglamung Hospital for treatment and to take samples for DNA testing.

Later a team of forensic officers inspected the room and found evidence that could be used against the assailants.

Police questioned the neighbors who all reported that they had not heard cries for help until Nim came knocking on their doors. They found they were unable to open the doors of their rooms as the assailants had tied all 11 rooms shut before breaking into Nim’s room.

Police are now wondering why the assailants picked on Nim and why they tied shut all the doors on the 2nd floor before breaking into her room, raping her and stealing her property. Police have questioned relatives and close friends as they are sure that the assailants are known to her.

Mayor makes a clean sweep by removing service girls from beach

‘Prostitutes are destroying Pattaya’s image’ says mayor

Narisa Nitikarn

A campaign to keep Pattaya’s beaches clean in a different way to the usual clearing away of bottles and tree branches began on October 10, when Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn directed a team of over 40 tourist police, police volunteers and municipal officials to sweep the beach of prostitutes, all the way from South Pattaya pier to the Dusit Resort at North Pattaya.

Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn (left) and officials inspect Pattaya beaches, asking service girls to leave.

In case any further moral support was needed for this onerous task, which took place during the night after 10 p.m., Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh and councilor Sanit Boonmachai were also on hand.

In his pep talk to the team before sending them out on duty, Mayor Niran explained his policy saying that prostitutes were using Pattaya’s beaches to offer their services, thus damaging Pattaya’s image.

He said that this has an affect on tourism, especially on female tourists who may also be looked on as prostitutes.

The team was advised to speak kindly and gently to the ladies of the night before sending them packing, and only to use stricter measures if they refused to cooperate.

In a separate instance of banishing conspicuous but friendly creatures from the view of sensitive tourists, the nine elephants arrested for begging a week ago have now been sent back to their home province.

Man poisons child and then hangs himself

Boonlua Chatree

A man poisoned the two-year-old girl his wife had by another man, and then hanged himself.

Officers from Banglamung police station were called out on October 2 to an area behind the National Housing Laem Chabang village where they found the body of Waree Panupab, 42, an employee of the Okayama spare parts production company, hanging by shoelaces from a tree.

Lying under the tree was the dead body of a two-year-old girl. Police estimated they had been dead for about two hours.

Investigations revealed that Waree lived with a woman named Prayoon and the girl at Building No 20 of the Laem Chabang Industrial Estate Authority.

Waree had argued with his wife after she had fallen pregnant by another man and left him to take care of the girl. At the beginning Waree did not know the girl was not his daughter but he found out later. He pleaded with his wife to end her extra-marital affair but she would not do so.

Late at night on October 1 the couple argued and Waree attacked his wife. Believing that he had killed her, he took the girl from the room and poisoned her before killing himself. Prayoon is currently in Chonburi Hospital receiving treatment.

Immigration police hold ceremony for National Police Day

Suchada Tupchai

Pol. Col. Ittipol Ittisarnronnachai, superintendent of Pattaya immigration police, led a ceremony of immigration police officers in making merit and putting food in the bowls of nine Buddhist monks on National Police Day, October 13.

Pol. Col. Ittipol Ittisarnronnachai, superintendent of Pattaya immigration police, led immigration police officers in making merit and putting food in the bowls of nine Buddhist monks.

The occasion was also used to promote three sergeants to the rank of senior sergeant.

October 13 is the anniversary of the founding of the Thai Royal Police and has been celebrated as such since the reign of King Rama VI. At that time Full General Luangchattrakarnkosol was director of the police department, and Field Marshal Por Pibunsongkram was prime minister. They initiated a ceremonial parade that was later replaced by a religious ceremony.

Pol. Col. Ittipol Ittisarnronnachai promotes Pol. Sen. Sgt. Maj Prasert Kawmukda.

Later the force came under the control of the Ministry of Interior, and was organized into divisions led by an officer with the rank of major general, along the lines of police forces in Europe. October 13, 1949, was the founding date of the Patrol Police and Provincial Police, and this date was therefore designated National Police Day. Police forces around the country make merit by offering food to priests and holding a promotion ceremony.

Immigration officers solemnly take part in the declaration ceremony.

Pattaya Police celebrate National Police Day with ceremony and promotions

Boonlua Chatree

At 10 a.m. on October 13, National Police Day, Pol Col Somnuk Changate, commander of Pattaya Municipal Police, organized a merit making ceremony, presenting food to nine monks in memory of police officers who have passed away. Plaques where also presented to those who have helped and supported police activities and are worthy of praise, esteem and admiration.

Amrik Singh Kalra, president of the Sikh community in Pattaya, receives a plaque from Pol Col Somnuk Changate, commander of Pattaya Municipal Police.

After the ceremony at the front of the police station Pol Col Somnuk awarded plaques to Pattaya’s volunteer police officers and municipal police officers who had carried out their duties with perseverance and discipline over the past year.

The occasion was also used to promote 34 police officers to a higher rank, a tradition on National Police Day.

Police briefs

Boonlua Chatree

Out one toilet and down another - Surin man’s scam goes down the pan

A man who stole entry fees from a restaurant toilet and then hid out in another toilet was flushed out by police and then claimed that he had no idea how the stolen money had arrived in his pockets.

Police received a report on October 9 that a thief had taken the money from the restroom at the Tropicana Hotel on Beach Road and that he had run off towards Pattaya Second Road with the attendant in pursuit. He was holed up in a public toilet on Soi 7.

At the scene officers were met by victim of the crime Suwatt Thanborisut, 23, who said that the culprit was lurking inside. Police ordered the man to open the door.

Piam Kaewphoem, a 39-year-old native of Surin, duly emerged. In his pockets the officers found about 300 baht in 1, 5 and 10 baht coins. They arrested him on a charge of theft. Piam denied the charge, saying he had no idea how the money got into his pockets.

4 ya ba dealers seized during one evening of police

Four people were arrested for dealing in ya ba in three separate cases during the night of October 12.

Police investigations had discovered that the class 1 drug was being sold from a room at the Bird Inn Hotel on Soi Bongkot. An undercover policeman went to the scene and made a purchase of ya ba, resulting in the arrest of A-Nan or Tia Rittidetpaisan, 27, who was found to be in possession of 100 pills.

Further investigations by police revealed that A-Nan had previously been convicted of ya ba dealing and had been jailed for three years in August 2002 for distribution of 113 ya ba pills. After being released from prison he returned to dealing in the illicit drug and this time would be facing up to 10 years imprisonment.

In another case police arrested Somkiat Udsai, 32, a guard at Niran Condo on Soi Arunothai. Undercover police again offered to buy ya ba, at a price of 500 baht a pill, and then seized 20 pills as evidence. Somkiat admitted that he had been selling to the inhabitants of Niran Condo for some time.

In a third case police arrested two women in a bronze Toyota Tiger pickup parked in front of Foodland Supermarket. They were identified as Suthanya Insawat, 45, and Ladda Naksua, 24. Both were inhabitants of Thawung, Lopburi. They were found in possession of 200 ya ba pills.

Cafe owner booked for illegal gun possession says he bought it from a policeman

A cafe owner found illegally carrying a gun and ammunition claimed he had bought the weapon from a police sergeant for self-protection.

In the early hours of October 12 the police received information that a man at the Look Kaew Cafe on Pattaya Third Road had a gun. At the scene they found Somchai Klinbuakaew, the owner of Khun Ying Cafe, also situated on Third Road. He was carrying a loaded 11mm caliber gun and seven rounds of ammunition.

The arms were not registered, and Somchai told police he knew that carrying the gun was against the law. He said he bought it from a police sergeant, who he named, and that he was only carrying the weapon to protect himself. He was granted conditional bail after paying a surety of 100,000 baht.

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