Runaway truck bursts into flames
The driver of a six-wheel truck along with his passenger had a lucky escape
on July 2 when his vehicle burst into flames on Sukhumvit Highway.
The incident happened opposite Huay Kapi School, in Huay Kapi District, when
the truck belonging to PL Construction Company was on its way to pick up
sand to deliver to a client.
Samuan Dangsi, the 59-year-old driver who is from Saraburi Province told
traffic police that the truck had simply stopped without warning. He knew
that this particular vehicle was plagued by electrical problems, so he
stepped out of the cab and opened the hood to try to fix it.
All of a sudden he was stunned by an electrical blitz, which caused the
engine to start.
As soon as the engine was running and as if it had a mind of its own, the
truck decided it would take off on a joy ride without its master. So it
slowly sneaked away from Samuan who stood dumbfounded for a few seconds.
He suddenly realised that he had not shifted into neutral gear when he got
out, so when the engine kicked in, the vehicle drove away without anyone in
the driver’s seat. As the truck moved away, he saw smoke billowing from the
engine. The two truckers frantically waved their arms to warn on-coming
traffic to stop and give way to the smoking runaway truck while chasing it
and trying to put out the small fire at the same time. But the six-wheeler
kept on trucking, as the flames grew bigger. About 50 meters down the
highway, the truck hit concrete barriers where it came to a sudden stop and
burst into a ball of fire engulfing the engine and cab.
Highway fire fighters extinguished the flames within a few minutes, but
traffic was brought to a standstill for almost 20 minutes and backed up for
3 kilometres. Samuan and his passenger were unscarred but the truck was
completely burnt out.
Unhurt, except for maybe a little of his poise, Samuan said that it was
really bad luck that this unfortunate incident happened, but his main worry
now was how he was going to explain the destruction of the truck to his
French murder suspect caught
A Frenchman suspected of murdering a German former police officer in Pattaya
has been arrested at a house in Sukhothai.
Jean-Marc Andre Thivind, also known as Mark and aged 54, has denied any
involvement in the killing of Heinrich Hermann Friedrich, 63, who was shot
as he was walking home along Soi Suksomboon on June 24.
Jean-Marc Andre Thivind, suspected of murdering a German former police
officer in Pattaya, has been arrested.
Police had arrested Friedrich’s former wife Rungnapha Sideja, 32, and
Fernando Nardini, 53, from Italy. Nardini was also once married to
Rungnapha was suing Friedrich for land and property worth five million baht.
Police charged the pair with conspiracy to murder, but the alleged gunman,
Thivind, had managed to escape.
At 10.30 p.m. on June 30, deputy police commander Pairat Suphasawad and a
police team traveled to Sukhothai with an arrest warrant after receiving a
report that Thivind was hiding out there. As officers surrounded the house,
Thivind ran out from the back door. Officers searched for him and after five
hours he was finally arrested.
He was taken initially to Sawankhalok Police Station, then brought to
Banglamung Police Station for questioning.
Pol Gen Sarayuth Sa-nguangpokhai, Pol Lt General Som-chai Yodsombat, Pol Gen
Tanongsak Khemachit, and Pol Lt Gen Suchad Pranee led the high-profile
investigation team on a case that has made national and international
Thivind was interrogated for four hours, but he has denied all the
accusations. Pol Lt Gen Asawin said the police do not have any incriminating
evidence so far, but statements from the two other suspects have allowed
them to charge Thivind.
Background checks have revealed Thivind committed murder in France 11 years
ago and fled to Thailand to escape the charges.
Rungnapa has said that her Italian former husband, Nardini, came up with a
plan to murder Friedrich. Nardini was subsequently arrested at his apartment
in the View Talay Jomtien Condo. He assaulted waiting reporters as police
led him out of the apartment.
1,000 mayors gather in Jomtien
More than 1,000 mayors from municipalities throughout the country met in
Pattaya for a conference headed by the Minister of the Interior.
Held over the period June 20 to 22, and organized by the National League of
Thailand, this gathering of administrative heads nationwide was held at
Ambassador City in Jomtien, with Minister of Interior Aree Wongaraya
The main subject of the meeting was the decentralization of financial
matters. Aree said that he had personally visited several local communities,
and had found that each municipality paid good attention to solving
administrative problems. More funds have now been promised for local
Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn said that the meeting held by the National
League of Thailand had been a productive one, and apart from resolving
technical matters the event had probably generated 2 billion baht in tourism
revenue for the city.
Budget for disabled facilities will be 80M baht
A meeting was held at Pattaya City Hall on June 27 to progress the plans for
installing more facilities for the disabled, the intention being to make
Pattaya an internationally renowned destination for disabled visitors.
Niran Watthanasartsathorn presides over a meeting at city hall to progress
the plans for installing more facilities for the disabled.
Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn said the meeting, which included
representatives of the Redemptorist Foundation for Development of the
Disabled and the King Mongkut Institute of Technology in Ladkrabang, was to
decide on the immediate priorities in public areas and tourism locations.
Ramps are to be built for wheelchair access to the beach all the way along
Pattaya Beach Road, along Second Road from North to South Pattaya, at Bali
Hai Pier, and at other selected locations such as the public park at Kao
The King Mongkut Institute of Technology is providing a technical design
service, while the Redemptorist Foundation is providing advice from the
point of view of the disabled. Pattaya City’s budget for the initial study
is 1 million baht.
Niran said the budget for building the facilities in 2009 would be 80
million baht. He added that there is a plan to build a center for the
disabled on a 3-rai plot of land next to the Pattaya Youth Sports Center.
300,000 baht provided to fight community drug problem
Anti-drug training for Pattaya’s 27 communities
Representatives from 27
Pattaya communities attended the course.
Each of Pattaya’s 27 communities was represented at a training session on
June 25 at Pattaya City Hall, held to explore ways in which the narcotics
problem could be fought at community level.
Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn opened the session, which had as its guest
speaker Pol Capt Wuttiphong Thapsaeng, deputy inspector at Pattaya Municipal
Niran said the program was organized to encourage communities to play a role
in monitoring the behavior of their youngsters and others that might be at
The training program was supported by a budget of 300,000 baht provided by
Region 2. The 95 attendees from 27 communities were also taken on a field
trip June 28 and 29 to the Dhanyarak Institute in Pathum Thani and Bang
Khwang Prison in Nonthaburi, and they additionally visited Amphawa floating
market in Samutprakan where they spoke to the community about economic
self-sufficiency. At the end of the training, 1,500 baht was given to each
community for drug monitoring equipment.
Pol Capt Wuttiphong said that statistics show Chonburi has the biggest drug
problem in the Eastern region. Drug suppression is the duty of the police,
he said, but participation is required from the public to assist police in
carrying out observation.
Another 120 join Tourist Police volunteers
One hundred and twenty volunteers including 10 foreigners have undergone
training to become civilian assistants to Pattaya Tourist Police, the
fifteenth group to do so since the volunteer project began in 1994.
Lt. Col. Saim Bunsom
The session started on June 28 at the New Sea View Resort in Pattaya, with
Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh and Pol Lt Col Saim Bunsom, deputy
superintendent at the Tourist Police Headquarters presiding.
Pol Lt Col Saim said that a directive had come from Pol Maj Gen Choochat
Suwannakom, commander of the Tourist Police Headquarters to provide extra
services and security for Pattaya, and that this included extra volunteer
police to help regular officers with their duties.
“A community relations officer selected 170 people who had applied to become
volunteers, but because of a limited budget only 120 from this group were
able to be trained, of which 10 were foreigners,” said Pol Lt Col Saim.
There are currently more than 2,000 registered volunteers in the area, with
personnel trained in support activities including first aid, fire
extinguishing, sea rescue, and vehicle identification.
City Scope: Three-year plan will create new parks for city
City hall is planning to buy areas of land that will be used in the future
as new public parks, one of the projects that comes under the new three-year
Pattaya City plan, which will cover the period 2008 to 2010.
fathers plan to buy up land to expand the public park system in town.
A meeting was held on June 27 at Pattaya City Hall for councilors and
department heads to draft the plan, which covers areas such as the local
economy, quality of life, further use of technology, and tourism-related
Plans are being drawn up for expanding the scope of the 1337 Call Center and
the Pattaya City Central Control Room, making additions to the public park
at Kao Prayai, and creating a higher profile for events such as the Music
Festival, the Women’s Tennis Open, and the Jet Ski King’s Cup. The
development plans will be submitted to Chonburi Province for further
Deputy Mayor Verawat Khakhay said a budget would be needed to buy public
land for constructing several public parks, areas that would ensure fresh
air for the city and leisure space for residents and visitors.
Fake police volunteer attacked by the real McCoy
The situation remained tense
even after the entourage entered the police station with the alleged fake
volunteer Charoon (seated, shirtless, right).
A bit of false bravado ended when a man claiming to be a police volunteer
was beaten by real police volunteers after the former had challenged the
latter to a gun duel.
Charoon Chairod was assaulted after going to see his brother, who was
arrested on June 26 at around 10.30am.
Charoon, 26, said he received a phone call from his brother, Sa-yun Chairod,
21, saying he had been arrested in Soi Chaiyaprauk. When Charoon turned up,
he condemned the officers and volunteers and claimed he was also a police
volunteer from Nakhon Ratchasima. He then challenged the police to a gun
fight, which angered the ten real police volunteers, two of whom then
Charoon was left with several bruises on his body, and several marks made
Volunteers Chokchai Wongthai, 37, and Wandee Sichuay, 40, are both suspected
of the attack and were taken to Banglamung Station. They said Charoon was
very drunk and had sworn at and disrespected the volunteers. Both men
noticed Charoon had a bag with him and feared it may contain a weapon, so
they asked to search it. Charoon didn’t cooperate and punched one helper in
the face. Chokchai and Wandee confessed they injured Charoon as they were
furious with him.
After negotiations, the two attackers agreed to pay Charoon’s 2,000 baht
hospital bill and Charoon agreed to drop any charges.
Foreigner dies after mysterious plunge
Mystery surrounds the death of a foreign man who fell to his death from a
Police have not yet identified the man, whom officers think may have been
murdered. The tragedy happened at around 10 p.m. on June 25 at the Rim Had
Police went to the 15-storey building and found a body on the floor near a
stairwell. There was no form of identity on the body.
The dead person was a white male, aged 65-70 years old. He was wearing a
black baseball cap, white T-shirt, grey trousers and white trainers. The
police also found a black shoulder bag containing talcum powder, a comb, wet
swimming shorts and a three-metre electric wire.
Security guard Buncha Sinsikaew told police he was walking around the
building when he heard the sound of something falling and then found the
body on the ground. He added that normally the fire exit doors on each floor
were locked except on the 9th floor, which has swimming pool. The police
checked this floor and saw this fire exit door had been opened. They found
marks at the edge of the balcony and a light bulb on the wall was pulled
Police questioned people who lived in the condominium but nobody knew the
Laotian robs gold shop
to pay his way home
Police brought Sad back to the
scene of the crime to pose for the cameras.
A Laotian man who snatched a necklace from a gold shop told police that he
needed the money to pay his way home.
The robbery took place at 4 p.m. on June 25 at the Mankorn Gold Shop on Soi
Buakhao. Police arriving at the premises were met by the shop owner,
42-year-old Mrs Chalida Saparam. She said that a young man with long hair
and wearing a military camouflage shirt drove up on a Yamaha Fresh
motorcycle. He walked into the shop and asked to see a 1-baht necklace,
which she handed to him. The man then ran out of the shop with the necklace
and drove off at high speed. Two motorcycle taxi drivers opposite the shop
Shortly afterwards, the police received a report that the thief had been
apprehended at the Eurostar Hotel in Soi Bonkot. He was identified as Sad
Khongton, 25, a native of Laos, and was still in possession of the evidence.
The two motorcycle taxi drivers, Virapong Chaemake, 30, and Samati
Champhapan, 33, had caught up with the thief at the Eurostar and had rammed
his motorcycle, knocking him down.
Sad told officers that he had entered the country illegally at Chong Mek,
Ubolrachathani and worked as a construction laborer in Pattaya. Then he had
suffered an injury to his foot and was unable to work anymore. He had no
money, and as he wanted to return to Laos to visit his mother he decided to
rob the gold shop to pay his way home. He borrowed the motorcycle from his
Officers had the robber reenact his crime in front of the press and Thai and
foreign tourists, and a disturbance was caused when a man walked up and
punched the robber in the face. Sad was remanded in custody.
150M baht budget to create new park at Sattahip
Chonburi Provincial Administration Organization has assigned the task of
creating the new Krom Luang Chomphorn Park to the Royal Thai Navy Base at
Sattahip, under a budget supplied by the department.
Admiral Chanchai Charoensuwan (right) and chairman of Chonburi Provincial
Administration Pinyo Tanwisaet (left) cut the ribbon at the Krom Luang
Chomphorn Park Project phase one handover ceremony.
Rear Admiral Chanchai Charoensuwan, commander of Sattahip Navy Headquarters
presided over a handover ceremony of phase one of the Krom Luang Chomphorn
Park Project on June 22, with chairman of Chonburi Provincial Administration
Pinyo Tanwisaet also present.
The ceremony was held at the clock tower at Krom Luang Chomphorn Park, with
Prakit Rochandilok, deputy district chief of Sattahip, Narong
Bunbanchertsri, mayor of Sattahip, and Phairoj Malakul na Ayuthaya, chairman
of Sattahip District Administration also present.
The landscaping project is being undertaken to a 150 million baht budget.
Nong Nuch Landscaping Co Ltd led by Kamphol Tansacha is directing the work
to the park, which will be a recreation and sports area. Once the project is
completed Krom Luang Chomphorn Park will be able to host a range of
activities. There will be a multi-purpose zone where people can exercise, a
small football field, a petong court, footpaths, and shopping facilities.
The park will also have an electric lighting system.
Rear Admiral Chanchai said that Sattahip Navy Headquarters does not have
such a budget for creating the park, but through the vision of Chonburi
Provincial Administration led by Pinyo the 150 million baht budget has been
provided. Once the park is completed it will be something of which the
people of Sattahip and Chonburi will be proud.
Ways sought to make water transportation more competitive
The Water Transport Department has entered into a partnership with 23
private companies to invest 900 million baht to build an ocean-going tanker,
part of a project to stimulate the water transportation sector.
Tanmaneewattana, director general of the Marine Department.
The vessel, which will have a capacity of 7,000 tons of cargo, is expected
to be in service by October of next year.
A seminar was held by the Marine Department and headed by its director
general Prasong Tanmaneewattana on June 27 to 28 in Jomtien. More than 100
people attended the sessions, designed to find ways of making the water
transportation sector more efficient and more cooperative.
Promotion for the development of maritime transportation is the main
objective of the Marine Department, and it also supports the inland
transportation of goods.
An earlier seminar, held in March, suggested various ways of improving water
transportation, such as adjusting fleet taxes to be equal to competing
countries such as Singapore, and developing both the infrastructure and the
skills of personnel.
All the suggestions arising out of the second seminar will be forwarded to
the Marine Trade Committee, of which the prime minister is chairman.
Prasong said the Marine Department has also cooperated with Thammasart
University to come up with new concepts.
The new ship being built is for Thai Maritime Navigation Co Ltd and will be
shared with another 23 private transport companies. A Chinese shipbuilding
company is constructing the tanker, which is valued at more than 900 million
baht. It will be used to transport chemical substances and petroleum.
Prasong said the reason for mobilizing capital in this way is because the
government doesn’t have a budget to build a vessel of this kind.
as public health volunteers
Youngsters are being recruited for a public health volunteer network to
cover Pattaya’s schools, under a program being organized by the Health
Promotion Bureau of the Pattaya Public Health and Environment Department.
Mayor Verawat Khakhay (right) presents an award for the Best First Aid Room
of 2006 to a representative from Pattaya School #5.
Students from primary schools and secondary schools will be taking part,
with the intention being to instill in children the importance of good
health and healthy practices, and to teach them how to spread their
knowledge amongst their classmates and their families.
Deputy Mayor Verawat Khakhay officially opened the project on June 22, with
160 secondary school Class 1 students from the 10 Pattaya City schools
attending this initial training session, and Queen Sirikit Hospital
supplying a specialist instructor.
Before starting the training there was an announcement for the Best First
Aid Room of 2006, the winner being Pattaya School No 5. The award for Best
Public Health Volunteers in a School went to Pattaya School No 7.
Students from Pattaya City
schools listen intently to the presentation about good public health in
Locals have a ghost of a chance with lucky lottery numbers
Two spirits who appeared at night in front of an abbot’s house didn’t scare
local residents, who kept the lottery ticket sellers busy as they bought
lucky numbers they thought had been revealed to them.
residents cover the haunted tree with powder, hoping it will reveal to them
numbers that will win them the lottery.
The spirits, who appeared in traditional Thai dress, are believed to be
sisters who live in two ancient trees at Chong Samaesarn Temple in
After the manifestation, residents placed powder on the trees and claimed
that the numbers 28 and 522 had become clearly visible. Many people claim to
have received lucky numbers from the trees before.
Wallop Prasart, 39, a resident of Saensuk Sub-district came to the trees
with his family in search of lucky numbers. He said he has won money on the
lottery three times before. Sadly, however, although Wallop saw the spirit
numbers on the trees, the local lottery vendors had already sold out of 28
and 522 tickets.
Navy helps community school
(Above) From left: Captain
Alfred Collins, a war ship commander from the US Navy, Vice Admiral Sombut
Aksornsri and Komsan Ekachai, Chonburi vice governor, at Huay Yai School.
A joint Thai-US naval project took time out from its operations to help a
local school. Naval chiefs went to Huay Yai School to present a 5,000-litre
water tank as part of a community project.
joint Thai-US naval project took time out from its operations to present a
5,000-litre water tank to Huay Yai School as part of a community project.
On June 26, Vice Admiral Sombut Aksornsri from The Royal Thai Navy and
Captain Alfred Collins of the US Navy went to the school to present the
tank, a new toilet and fence.
The 13th ‘Carat’ project took place from June 18-29 at Sattahip and the
northern part of the Thai Gulf. It was divided into three training
exercises: port and field practice, sea practice and practice summary.
They also helped the local community by sending 100 sailors to build new
toilets, a fence and the water tank. The Thai Navy also sent doctors and
nurses from Apakorn Kiattiwong Hospital to give free health checks to
civilians in Chonburi and Rayong.
The joint help from the Thai and US marines was hailed a success.
Training project started to help poor
Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn
(center) cuts the ribbon to officially launch the SML project for the Nong
Pang Khae community.
A new training scheme for a community was launched when Mayor Niran
Wattanasartsathorn opened the Job Training Centre at Nong Pang Khae Slum on
June 14. Many guests were there, including deputy mayors Wattana
Chantanawaranon and Verawat Khakhay, and mayoral advisor Ittipol Khunplome.
Training will be provided to give residents in the Nong Pang Khae slum extra
skills and, it is hoped, improve their quality of life.
The Nong Pang Khae community is one of the poorer areas in Pattaya. They
received a budget in 2005 worth 200,000 baht from SML to run a Small
Business Training project. The informal education programme now has 30
people studying at middle school level and 38 students at high school level.
They support vocational training for people, including Thai massage, a
hairdressing course, nail painting, face massage, sewing and a tailoring
course. A free library service is also provided to residents.
SML is one of the projects that aim to develop the quality of life for
people and prepare them for work.
Cheers! Bacardi gig helps teachers
Uathawikul, second from left, presents 100,000 baht to the Deputy Mayor
Big-hearted Bacardi Thailand has donated 100,000 baht to help teachers in
The cash was raised thanks to a Bacardi B-Live concert at Bali Hai Pier on
May 12. On June 18 at Pattaya City Hall, Sithiporn Uathawikul, Brand
Executive of Bacardi Thailand, presented the proceeds from Bacardi B-Live to
Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh. Ronakit said it would be used for educational
purposes in Pattaya.
He added that he was pleased the private sector was helping to support
Pattaya Tourism and local people. The 100,000 baht donation will be put into
an educational fund for teachers who need loans.
Marines become sharpshooters as precaution against unrest
Royal Thai Navy recruits are undergoing intensive training as sharpshooters
due to the unrest in parts of the country, and to the escalation of drug use
are using live ammo whilst being taught to handle guns and to shoot
accurately as part of a policy to protect the nation’s sovereignty.
All recruits passing through the Navy Recruit Training Center are now being
taught to be familiar with the firing of weapons, although with this
increased usage of firearms each recruit has to account for every bullet he
Captain Wirat Somjit, deputy commander of the Recruit Training Center, which
comes under the Naval Education Department at Bang Sarae Sub-district, on
June 28 paid an official visit to the M16 rifle training course, where real
bullets are used on the shooting range. The current intake of 3,600 recruits
is undergoing training here.
Captain Wichon Thupa-Ang, the recruits’ unit commander and Commander Rangsan
Wiratchati, of Battalion Command 3, were leading the training session where
recruits were being trained in marksmanship on the 200-yard range.
Commander of the Recruit Training Center Captain Thee Upanisakorn said the
trainee Marines are being taught to handle guns and to shoot accurately as
part of a policy to protect the nation’s sovereignty at this time of unrest.