Anuchit confesses; police aren’t convinced he acted alone
Suspect re-enacts shooting of Russian women
Tinakorn Meklee (right), believed to be the individual who
purchased the 9 mm pistol that was used in the shooting, is questioned by
plainclothes police officers.
Thailand’s acting national
police chief, Pol Gen Seripisuth Temiyavej (seated left) said he does not
believe Anuchit (seated 3rd from left) carried out the shootings on his own.
Anuchit Lumlert, who has confessed to the murder of two Russian women on
Jomtien Beach, was taken to the scene of the crime on Sunday morning where
he re-enacted the shooting for police.
The killings of Tatiana Tsimfer, 30, and Liubov Svirkova, 25, have attracted
news headlines worldwide and thrown the spotlight on Pattaya and its police
Explaining his movements, Anuchit said he had seen the tourists on the beach
and noticed a pair of shorts hung over a lounger. Thinking this was a bag
that might contain valuables, he stopped his motorcycle about 50 meters away
and returned to the two women. He said that they saw him, and screamed for
help. He pulled his gun out and fired a number of bullets at them, then rode
away. He said he tossed the murder weapon, a 9 mm pistol, into some roadside
bushes as he rode. Police using metal detectors searched and found the gun.
Police, using metal
detectors, search the area where Anuchit told them he had discarded the gun.
They eventually found the murder weapon.
Anuchit was not, however, able to adequately explain the quickness of the
shooting, which took only nine seconds, and police said that his actions did
not correspond to those of a robber intent on taking valuables.
After the murders, Anuchit had gone to his girlfriend’s apartment in Soi Wat
Thamsamakhee 4 and told her the whole story.
Anuchit then went to return the motorcycle to its owner, Monthon Boonmee,
30, and asked Monthon to contact Tinakorn Meklee, 21, his close friend, to
buy the murder weapon for 10,000 baht. Anuchit arranged to meet Thinakorn at
the entrance to Wat Nongprue. Tinakorn allegedly showed up with only 900
baht. Anuchit accepted the money and went to Bor Win in Sriracha, where he
hid in a house. Police learned of the address and arrested him there.
Despite police beliefs that others were behind the killings, Anuchit has
insisted that he was working alone and without any help. He pointed out that
if someone had hired him to do the killing, he would have had a driver
riding the motorbike for him.
Tinakorn Meklee has been charged with possession of an illegal weapon, and
police have arrested motorcycle owner Monthon Boonmee on conspiracy charges.
On the morning of Sunday March 4, as 24-year-old Anuchit was preparing to
re-enact his crime, Thailand’s acting national police chief Pol Gen
Seripisuth Temiyavej took a helicopter trip to Pattaya and went to the crime
He was met by Pol Lt Gen Assawin Kwanmuang, chief of the Provincial Police
Bureau 2, Pol Col Suthin Suppuang, superintendent at Pattaya Police Station,
Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh, and over 300 hotel and tourism business
For an hour, Pol Gen Seripisuth interrogated the killer himself. Later, at a
press briefing, he said there was enough evidence to show that Anuchit had
fired the gun. The pistol seized by police and the bullets collected from
the bodies matched. Anuchit had also confessed to his crime, but maintains
he was acting alone.
Pol Gen Seripisuth, however, said he does not believe Anuchit carried out
the shootings on his own and with robbery as the motive. An intensive police
Uproar at Burapha
as students accuse administrators of being ineffective
University may go autonomous but
no one knows pros and cons
Classes were cancelled for a day at Burapha University on February 22 as
students and lecturers attended a hearing for the Autonomous University
Constitution, and emotions ran high as the president of the university
failed to attend amid accusations that the administration was ineffective.
Dr. Pongprasert Hoksuwan
Although the voting has no direct effect on the change of the constitution,
its results will be presented to the education commissioners and studied
before a decision is made as to whether Burapha becomes an autonomous
university or remains under government control.
During the hearing, most of those attending complained about the university
administration’s performance, especially that of the president and the
trustees. They declared that the administrators had not attempted to explain
fully the advantages and disadvantages of an autonomous Burapha University,
and had instead urged each faculty only for a positive vote.
As a result, the situation is unclear and the lack of cooperation and
communication has undermined confidence in the way the university is run.
Many of the students fear that if the university were to become autonomous,
their tuition fees would increase.
Assistant Prof Dr Pongprasert Hoksuwan, of the Faculty of Education, said
that the procedure in making Burapha an autonomous university is an enormous
one, but each of those affected, students and lecturers, are still very
unclear as to what is entailed.
This hearing, said Dr Pongprasert, was being held as an attempt to force
clarification of the situation, so that opinions could be forwarded to the
necessary people making the decision.
The president of the university did not attend the hearing, citing a
previous appointment. Those attending noted that the hearing had in fact
been scheduled some considerable time previously. The Ministry of Education
had also directed that the hearing be held, saying that this was necessary
before a decision could be made on the university becoming an autonomous
Mayor adds to funding for music festival after TAT budget falls short
Festival moved to indoor stadium
City hall has added 4 million baht to the original budget of 15 million baht
allocated by the Tourism Authority of Thailand for the Grand Pattaya
International Music Festival, on the premise that the original amount was
not enough to justify the name of the event.
The festival is scheduled to take place March 16 to 18.
Niran Wattanasartsathorn doesn’t agree with the scaled-down version for the
Grand Pattaya International Music Festival.
A meeting on February 26 between city hall and the TAT discussed both the
location and the budget. The event last year had been a success because the
city had over 40 million baht to spend and the occasion had left many great
memories in the minds of music enthusiasts. However, this year the TAT cut
the budget to 15 million baht. With that amount, said city hall, there could
be only one stage at Bali Hai Pier.
Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn didn’t agree with this scaled-down version of
the event, and has authorized a further 4 million baht for another stage.
The meeting was an acrimonious one. Schedules and a list of singers have yet
to be released; however, the RS Promotion Company, the Grammy Entertainment
Company, and MTV are scheduled to send acts.
Update: Another meeting was held at city hall on March 2, where it was
decided to use the extra 4 million baht to expand the festival to another
stage. In past events, a second stage had been erected at Soi 6, but due to
that area now being occupied by a private organization, organizers decided
to move the festival to the Pattaya City Indoor Stadium in the area of Soi
Chaiyapruek 2. The main stage will be constructed in the large indoor
stadium, which has air conditioning, and the added stage will be outside.
The surrounding area will be used for setting up merchant stalls, selling
goods, auto accessories and other music lovers’ “must-have” items.
Hardship payments to be increased
Deputy Mayor Wutisak
Rermkitkarn (right) presents support money to one of the elderly people.
The number of people receiving support from the hardship fund established to
help the elderly, the disabled, and the victims of AIDS has increased to
193, requiring a current budget from city hall of 72,100 baht.
Arunrasamee Boonkerd, head of the social work section at the Pattaya Social
Welfare Division said that the fund had been started in 2004 with Pattaya
City managing a budget from the Department of Social Welfare and Development
to support three disabled people and one AIDS patient.
Subsequently, however, it was realized that a lot more people needed
support, and the fund is now into its fourth year. The amount paid is 500
baht per month for every disabled person and HIV patient, and 300 baht per
month for elderly destitute people. Payments are for the duration of the
Arunrasamee said that the intention is to raise the level of the payments to
500 baht for the elderly and between 700 and 800 baht for the disabled and
HIV sufferers. The Social Welfare Department will submit all details to
Pattaya City Council for further consideration.
Each case is considered individually, Arunrasamee pointed out. An inspection
of the proposed beneficiary’s residence is undertaken, and the decision is
based on a number of factors.
A meeting to discuss progress of the fund was held at Pattaya City Hall on
February 27, with deputy mayors Wutisak Rermkitkarn and Wattana
Chantanawaranon, and councilor Sanit Boonmachai amongst those attending.
Krungthai Bank South Pattaya branch also sent an officer to arrange banking
facilities for the recipients.
City hall begins 20M baht project to unblock drains
City hall has embarked upon a program to unblock and clean out Pattaya’s
drains, employing two specialist contractors and spending a budget of more
than 20 million baht.
has begun to clean out drainage systems in Pattaya in an attempt to avoid
flooding during the rainy season this year.
NAS Material Handling Products Co Ltd has been employed under a contract of
12,390,000 baht, and NYT Fareast Co Ltd under a 9,975,000 baht contract to
suck out, spray and clean the water drainages on roads throughout Pattaya
Work has already been carried out on the Pattaya-Naklua road from the
beginning of Naklua Soi 12 to Sapan Yao, Sawangfa Road, Soi Naklua 11, Soi
Bangalow 99, Soi Drug Treatment Center to Sawangfa Road, and the soi beside
New Naklua Market.
The project will continue this year along Sukhumvit Road, Central Pattaya,
Walking Street and Jomtien.
City hall says the project would help prevent flooding in Pattaya. Buntawee
Singkhon-Art of the Pattaya Sanitary Works Department said that many drains
have been found to be in a state of corrosion, which prevents them clearing
themselves properly. On Walking Street there are three locations where
corrosion has occurred.
Other problems include obstructions, such as the power poles that are
blocking waterways on the sidewalk near the telecommunications building in
Central Pattaya. Plans are being drawn up to move the drainage pipes at this
Car burns out on Sukhumvit Road
Firefighters were eventually
able to extinguish the blaze, but the car was a write-off.
Sattahip police and the Sattahip Fire Brigade were called out on the morning
of February 17 when a car caught fire on Sukhumvit Road.
The Rochanathammasathan Foundation in Sattahip notified police and
firefighters that a bronze Fiat was on fire at kilometer marker 173
Sukhumvit Road, opposite 700 Rai Market. Rescue workers had tried to douse
the flames with Co2, but were unsuccessful because of heavy winds and they
requested support from Sattahip Fire Brigade.
Officers arriving at the scene spoke to the car owner, 30-year-old Vasin
Makmee, of Sattahip, who told them the car was fuelled by benzene and not
gasoline. He said he had left home and on arrival at Tao Than Market he felt
that his seat was heating up, but ignored it. On arrival at 700 Rai Market
flames shot out from underneath the car and spread into the console.
Investigators discovered the fire was caused by an electric fault.
Swedish man arrested on tranquilizer dealing charges
Pattaya police and Immigration officials working in cooperation with the
Swedish police have arrested a Swedish man on charges of dealing in
tranquilizers allegedly ordered over the internet and sent from Thailand to
his home country.
(right) is questioned by police for his alleged connection with an internet
Superintendent of Pattaya Immigration Pol Col Ittipol Ittisarnronnachai led
a team of officers to an address in Narnplabwarn Village in the early
evening of February 27, where under a warrant issued by Pattaya Provincial
Court they arrested 38-year-old Claes Magnus Ensio Salkojarvi.
Police said the house was used as a distribution base for sending
tranquillizers to foreign customers. Inside the bedroom they found 150
milligrams of a psychotropic substance named Dormicum, 250 milligrams of
Zithromax, and a total of nine large and small syringes, of which four had
been used. They also confiscated two notebook computers, five mobile phones,
and four bankbooks.
Pol Col Ittipol said the arrest had been arranged in cooperation with the
Swedish police, who had made a number of arrests in their own country and
had established that tranquilizers ordered over the internet had been sent
by mail to customers in Sweden from Thailand.
Salkojarvi’s Thai wife has also been implicated in the dealings, which
police say have been operating for at least a year.
Salkojarvi has declined to make a statement and is being questioned by
Swedish police and officials from the Swedish Embassy to try and discover
the source of the drugs.
Twice-unlucky Russian’s pipe dream goes up in smoke
Police turned out on Walking Street just after midnight on February 19 after
receiving a report that a tourist was having an argument with a transvestite
in Soi BJ.
Arriving at the scene with a foreign volunteer, the officers found a
frustrated looking Vyacheslav Obolonin, 34, arguing with a woman of the
second category. The officers instructed the volunteer police officer to ask
what was wrong, and they were told that the Russian tourist had just found
out that the transvestite he was taking back to his room wasn’t a girl.
unlucky - first he thought that he was a she, then he was caught with
During the questioning, the officers noticed that Obolonin stuck his hand
into his pocket in a suspicious manner. They asked to search him. In his
black belt-bag the officers found 10 plastic bags of marijuana and a pipe.
Obolonin was arrested on charges of possessing and selling Class 5 drugs.
Taken to Pattaya Police Station, Obolonin told officers that he had arrived
in Pattaya a week ago and was returning home in two more days. He said that
he was out to enjoy himself for the last time and went to Walking Street to
look for a girl. He had bought the marijuana for 1,000 baht from a Thai man
in the street, and was going to use it for his own consumption.
Obolonin said he was taking a girl back with him when he found that she was
a he and an argument broke out, whereupon police arrived and searched him
then arrested him. Unlucky twice.
American arrested on ice dealing charges
A police sting operation has netted an American who has been charged with
dealing in the narcotic ice and whose passport had expired more than a year
Police arrested Brian Scott Meisenberg, 47, at 12:20 a.m. on February 18 in
a raid on the Swan House Dormitory in Soi Jomtien Beach 6, led by Pol Col
Sutin Suppuang, superintendent of Pattaya Police Station. Officers found
five transparent plastic bags of methamphetamine each containing 0.8 grams
and totaling 4 grams, along with two sets of equipment for consuming the
Upon checking Meisenberg’s passport, police discovered that it had expired
on January 8, 2006. He was charged with possession of an illegal Class 1
narcotic intended for distribution, and illegally staying in Thailand.
Pol Col Sutin said that the arrest of a user of the drug had led them back
to the supplier, identified as Meisenberg, an American tourist residing at
the Swan House Dormitory in the Jomtien Beach area. Police officers went
undercover to set up a sting operation. They called Meisenberg and arranged
to buy one bag of ice for 6,000 baht. Meisenberg arranged an appointment at
his room on the second floor of the dormitory.
Police made a copy of the 6,000 baht of bank notes to use later as evidence.
Then at the appointed time of 12:15 a.m. the undercover officers arrived at
the room with the money and knocked on the door. Meisenberg opened the door,
holding the bag of ice. The officers identified themselves, and there was a
brief struggle before Meisenberg was arrested.
During questioning Meisenberg confessed that he had purchased ice from a
foreign friend named Alex, of unknown nationality, at an entertainment
establishment in Pattaya. He had used it for himself. He admitted that his
passport had expired, but denied the ice charges.
Governor encourages entertainment sector to contribute to fund for crime victims
Only 10% have donated says Pracha
The governor of Chonburi has asked Pattaya’s entertainment outlet operators
to donate more to the fund for compensating tourist victims of crime, saying
that to date only 10 percent of them had donated any money.
Governor Pracha Taerat (left) presents 100,000 baht from the tourist
assistance fund to the family of Liubov Svirkova, which was received for
them by Vladimir V. Pronin, consul of the Russian Embassy.
Governor Pracha Taerat held a meeting of entertainment sector owners and
operators at the Alcazar Theater on March 1.
A payment was made during the meeting to assist the families of the two
Russian women murdered on Jomtien Beach on February 24, the money being
handed to the Russian consul, Vladimir Pronin.
Pracha reminded the entertainment outlet operators that, according to
legislation passed in 2003, modifying the original 1966 legislation, they
now have to renew their license every year. Previously, a license was issued
on a one-time permanent basis.
Governor Pracha Taerat (left) presents 100,000 baht from the tourist
assistance fund to the family of Tatiana Tsimfer, which was received for
them by Vladimir V. Pronin, consul of the Russian Embassy.
Komsan Ekachai, deputy governor of Chonburi, added that operators need to be
more diligent on a number of points. They have a responsibility in law to
see that staff or customers do not use narcotics. The age of employees and
customers must not be under 18 years, and if anyone under the age of 18 is
discovered on the premises, the governor has the power to order the
establishment closed for 60 days.
For the hours of operation in the Pattaya City limits, outlets are allowed
to provide service until 2 a.m. because Pattaya is a tourist destination.
However, establishments outside the city limits must close on time at 1 a.m.
An establishment not following the rules can be ordered to close its
Governor Pracha presented money from the fund to the families of the two
murdered Russian tourists, each family receiving 100,000 baht.
The governor said that the fund was designed to help those tourists who are
the victims of crime in Pattaya. He said, however, that only 10 percent of
the entertainment entrepreneurs had so far donated to the fund.
Hydrographic Commission meets and signs Thai-UK agreement
Participants at the 7th
conference of the North Indian Ocean Hydrographic Commission (NIOHC)
February 27 saw Rear Admiral Ian Moncrieff, representative of the
Hydrographic Department of the UK, and Vice Admiral Saneh Soontonmongkol,
director general of the Hydrographic Department of the Royal Thai Navy,
co-sign an agreement between the two Hydrographic Departments at the 7th
conference of the North Indian Ocean Hydrographic Commission (NIOHC)
meeting, which was hosted by the Royal Thai Navy and staged at the A-One
Royal Cruise Pattaya Hotel.
Admiral Ian Moncrieff, representative of the Hydrographic Department of the
UK, and Vice Admiral Saneh Soontonmongkol, director general of the
Hydrographic Department of the Royal Thai Navy, co-sign an agreement between
the two Hydrographic Departments at the 7th conference of the North Indian
Ocean Hydrographic Commission (NIOHC) meeting.
Vice Admiral Saneh said that this cooperative agreement between the two
countries was to exchange data and navigational maps. The intention is for
all members of the International Hydrographic Organization, the countries of
which have borders on territorial waters, to create a navigational map that
is satisfactory to all and which will act as an international standard.
The production of a standard electronic navigational chart (ENC) would fix
the main navigation lines in each of the territorial waters, and create a
tsunami-warning grid, added Vice Admiral Saneh.
The official opening ceremony for the conference took place on February 28,
presided over by Admiral Suchart Yanothai, assistant commander-in-chief of
the Royal Thai Navy. The conference took place over the period February 27
to March 2.
Apart from the country members (Bangladesh, Egypt, India, the Union of
Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and the United Kingdom) and joining country
members (France, Pakistan, the Seychelles, and the United States of
America), a number of other countries, namely Malaysia, Oman, Saudi Arabia,
Sudan, Yemen and Germany, were invited to observe this meeting.
The North Indian Ocean Hydrographic Commission is a regional hydrographic
commission under the International Hydrographic Organization, established in
the year 2000. The NIOHC conference is held every year, with member
countries alternating as the host in alphabetical order.
English training for Pattaya police
The American Embassy has been giving Pattaya Police English lessons to help
them with their work.
On February 23, at Pattaya Police Station, the US Force Protection
Detachment in Thailand, led by Scott M. Bernat and policeman James Madigan
held a law enforcement scenario-based English training course for more than
Officer James Madigan (left) and Scott M. Bernat (right), head of the Naval
Security Force Protection Detachment of the United States Embassy.
Bernat said the course was to help officers perform their duties more
efficiently and help them deal with foreigners. The training course focused
on learning basic words to deal with traffic laws and the arrest of
criminals. Re-enactments were used as a training aid.
The police officers who attended were keen to learn and all of them believe
they can use their new knowledge in their daily duties. Police in Pattaya
sometimes experience difficulties when talking to foreign suspects or
criminals, so it is hoped the new training will help them communicate more
Officer James Madigan (right)
uses re-enactments during training.
Pupils take to the streets
in eggs-for-garbage project
The second stage of the YWCA Bangkok-Pattaya Center’s environmental project
in which recyclable garbage is exchanged for eggs, took place on February 24
with pupils of Pattaya School No 7 drumming up garbage supplies along Soi
YWCA Bangkok-Pattaya chairwoman Nittaya Patimasongkroh and schoolteacher
Malee Paeseng joined the 50 children from class 1 who walked the length of
the soi, requesting the inhabitants to bring out their recyclable garbage in
exchange for fresh eggs.
from Pattaya School #7 are exchanging eggs for recyclable garbage. The money
they make from recycling will go towards scholarships.
They collected unused items, boxes, clothing, and glass and plastic bottles.
In return they had a supply of 10 packs of eggs, each pack containing 30
Volunteer tourist police officers took care of the traffic as the youngsters
made their way through the soi and into the Jomtien Beach area.
There was also a presentation of four bicycles to students at Pattaya School
No 7 who had raised the most income during January and February through
bringing garbage to exchange for money at the recycle bank. The winners were
at the kindergarten level with a total of 564 baht; primary school class 1
with 650 baht; primary school class 4 with 1,200 baht; and primary school
class 5 with 982 baht.
Teacher Malee said that the recycling project teaches the children that
everything has a value, even garbage, in addition to helping keep Pattaya
clean and tidy. The garbage is bought by dealers and the intention is to use
the funds raised for scholarships in the future.
The YWCA Bangkok-Pattaya
Center members, students and Pattaya City volunteer tourist police officers
who participated in the event.
Baywatch: An elephant never forgets but sometimes the city authorities do
It was only last year that elephants were banned from Pattaya’s streets,
again, but already it seems as if the city authorities have forgotten about
the new regulations because once more the pachyderms are back, with their
mahouts, begging for money from the tourists.
Loveable although they are, and undoubted crowd-pleasers, it is not in the
elephants’ interest to be walking on hot and hard pavements and roadways
that are not always in a decent state of repair. Nor is it wise to subject
them to Pattaya’s traffic, which is dangerous enough to the human species,
or to place them in the way of drivers whose condition is frequently such
that they could not spot, well, an elephant.
The city regulations banning the entry of elephants were supposed to be
strictly monitored, and so they were, briefly. But this picture taken in the
Pratamnak Soi 5 beach area shows us that, undeniably, the jumbos are back in
town. Or at least one is, and if that is the case, you can be sure that
others will follow.
It is time for another crackdown, before the situation gets out of hand.
There is a place for elephants, and plenty of opportunities in and around
Pattaya for them to be seen in their natural habitat, which is grassland and
jungle, not hot, crowded, traffic-congested streets and beaches.