World’s largest fireworks fizzle over Pattaya bay
The two ten-year-old Japanese
twins Momoko and Hinako received certificates for witnessing the launch of
the “World’s Largest Firework”.
Disappointment reigned, and dangerous fiery material rained, when
the much touted world’s largest fireworks display crashed and burned into
Pattaya bay last Sunday.
After a successful preliminary round of fireworks, the record breaking 130
cm giant firework shot up only 130 meters into the air instead of 800 meters
as planned. It then crashed into Pattaya Bay before exploding with a
tremendous boom and spewing fire in all directions, damaging Pattaya’s
rescue boat and the Pattaya Sea Rescue Unit building. No injuries were
is the canister that contained the world’s largest fireworks.
The event came about as a cooperation between Pattaya City and the Japanese
ITTE-Q! at NTV television station. It was held in part to celebrate His
Majesty the King’s 80th birthday and in part to grant a wish to Japanese
twins Momoko and Hinako.
The event was also held to celebrate 120 years of Thai-Japanese friendship.
The young Japanese twins had made a wish to the television station, asking
that they could be present when the world record was broken. The previous
record was a 120 cm firework set off in Japan. The television station
organizing team cooperated with the Thailand Fireworks Club and Ripley’s
Believe it or Not in Pattaya, to fulfill the 2 girls’ dream.
The 130cm giant firework contained 120 smaller colored fireworks, and
another 6 rare fireworks. The activity was to have been presented with a
“world’s extreme certificate” from Ripley’s Believe it or Not in Pattaya.
Chikashi Tanakajima, managing director of Thai Mikasa Co., Ltd.,
co-producers of the display, admitted the show didn’t go as planned and
accepted that his company’s insurance would bear the cost for all damage
sustained by the Sea Rescue Unit. “Luckily it didn’t cause serious damage,”
Somporn Naksuetrong, manager of Ripley’s Believe it or Not in Pattaya, said
that it was a pity things didn’t go as planned. However, he said that it
still qualified as a world record, as it was the world’s largest firework,
and it actually did perform, even if not quite as well as planned.
Motorway connection moved to
Purchase of land on original Third Road route too expensive says government
The Department of Highways has made changes to the Pattaya Motorway
project so that the new highway will end at Sukhumvit Road instead of
Pattaya Third Road, in view of the extremely high cost of surrendering land
to the government.
Boonyanipat, project engineer responsible for the construction of Sections 3
and 4, points out the new route.
Chonburi-Pattaya Highway No 7, or Pattaya Motorway as it is also known, is
an urgently needed project intended to support the increasing volume of
traffic entering Pattaya City, and for speedy travel to and from
Suvarnabhumi International Airport.
An accelerated project that was approved under the 2006 budget year with a
price tag for construction of more than 2 billion baht, the road is expected
to be ready by the end of next year.
The construction budget has been divided into four parts. Sections 1 and 2
start from the 4km + 100 mark and finish at the 42km + 400 mark, running for
a total of 38.3 km. This section uses the route of the previous Special
Highway No 7, connecting Chonburi with Pattaya.
As a standard motorway construction it requires an additional four traffic
lanes with 3.5 meters for each lane. There is a central concrete barrier
with new lighting installed and eight U-turn flyovers.
It is Sections 3 and 4 that are being modified to finish at Sukhumvit Road,
rather than at Pattaya Third Road. Landowners have in recent years
constructed a large number of residential and commercial buildings in the
Third Road vicinity, which would cost too much under compulsory purchase
orders. The Department of Lands is now overseeing adjustment of the plan so
that the motorway would end at Sukhumvit in North Pattaya, near the Jet gas
Ruangrug Boonyanipat, project engineer responsible for the construction of
Sections 3 and 4 said that when the original route was being surveyed four
or five years ago, the land around the proposed Third Road connection was
not heavily developed. The Department of Highways had therefore decided to
use this route but after the plan was announced land prices in the immediate
area had soared.
Consequently, it has been decided to change the route and the connection
will now be at Sukhumvit Road.
Ruangrug said that Sections 1 and 2 are 60 percent completed and will be
finished in May next year. However, the revised route for Sections 3 and 4
involves the purchase of 19 separate plots of land at the 2km+150 and the
3km+600 markers, and adjustments to the bridge over the railway at the 1km +
744.875 marker. Consequently, Section 3 is only 25 percent complete while
Section 4 is 8 percent complete.
Despite this, says Ruangrug, the motorway is still expected to be finished
and open for service at the end of 2008.
Community congratulates local police chief promoted
to Metropolitan commander
Atsawin rose to fame in solving Russian murder case
The Pattaya Business and Tourism Association held a farewell party on
September 20 for Pol Lt Gen Atsawin Kwanmuang, commander of the Provincial
Police Region 2, who is being transferred to the Metropolitan area as
commander of the Metropolitan Police.
The venue for the party was Bangkok Hospital Pattaya, with a large number of
leading figures from the worlds of business and politics turning up to offer
their good wishes and congratulations to the respected police chief.
Lt. Gen. Atsawin Kwanmuang and his wife Mrs. Wasana Kwanmuang say farewell
to their friends in Pattaya.
Pol Lt Gen Atsawin was a Royal Police Cadet in Class No 30 at the Police
Academy, and graduated in Class 16 from the High Level Police Administration
Course, and in Class 45 from the National Defense College in Thailand. He
became a police officer in 1977. In 2002 he was appointed deputy commander
of the crime suppression division of the Central Investigation Bureau before
becoming commander of Provincial Police Region 2.
Pol Lt Gen Atsawin is married to Wasana, and the couple have three children.
Regarded as a highly effective crime suppression officer, one of the most
high profile cases in which Pol Lt Gen Atsawin has been involved in recent
years was the investigation of the car-bomb plot to kill former Prime
Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. As commander of the Provincial Police in Region
2, he came to national and international prominence in bringing to justice
the killer of the two Russian women who were shot on Jomtien Beach early
Vagrants removed after local protests
Twenty-one vagrants who had been pestering residents and visitors in South
Pattaya were rounded up in a joint operation between the Pattaya Social
Welfare Department and Pattaya Police Station on September 25.
and welfare officers rounded up and evicted homeless people from their
makeshift homes in South Pattaya.
The vagrants had been congregating around Khao Prayai Park at the South
Pattaya flyover and on the open land at the junction with Pattaya Third
Some had been soliciting sex, while others had been committing petty crimes
such as snatching property. Males, females and transvestites, totaling 21
people and aged between 16 and 28 years, were taken into custody. Of these,
14 were sent to the Social Welfare Center for the Homeless in Pakkred,
Nonthaburi, and the remaining seven had their names recorded before they
were released with a warning.
Pol Lt Col Sirichai Khruprasertwattana, deputy superintendent at Pattaya
Police Station said that the vagrants were removed because of complaints
received by members of the public and by tourists, and that if the situation
had continued into the high season it would have worsened.
Business sector raises 300,000 baht for SOS Rice
Business people in Pattaya have raised more than 300,000 baht for the SOS
Rice campaign that supplies food to orphaned and impoverished children.
President of SOS Rice Pattaya Mrs Premruedee Jittiwuttikarn headed a
fund-raising dinner held around the swimming pool area of the Blue Elephant
restaurant on Soi Greenway on September 21.
The event was well attended, with guests including high-profile names such
as former Chonburi Senator Santsak Ngampiches, former Chonburi Member of
Parliament Chanyuth Hengtrakul, Banglamung District Chief Pratheep
Jongsuebtham, mayoral advisor Itthipol Khunplome, and president of the Union
of Pattaya Entrepreneurs Sanga Kijsamret.
SOS Rice Pattaya campaigns for the donation of food and money that is used
to help vagrant, poor and handicapped children, including children in the
drug eradication projects in the Chonburi area. Within the scope of the
campaign are at least 2,000 children who together need 600 kg of rice to eat
every day, which adds up to more than 210,000 kg of rice a year.
During the campaign, donation boxes are set up at most large supermarkets
around the city to collect bags of rice and money.
The fund-raiser dinner resulted in donations of more than 300,000 baht.
Ocean 1 Tower gets
preliminary green light
Passes localized referendum
Local citizenry voiced their
worries about public utilities in the community after the Ocean 1 Tower is
Despite concerns over utilities, safety and traffic, the 91-storey
Ocean 1 Tower passed a localized referendum in Jomtien on October 1.
People living or working within a 1 kilometer radius of the project were
invited to vote after voicing their concerns and listening to answers from
project managers and local government officials. Approximately 400 people
turned up for the hearing and subsequent referendum.
The hearing was also attended by representatives from the Office of Natural
Resources, Environmental Policy and Planning, city councilors,
representatives from 27 communities, and tourism entrepreneurs.
One of the main concerns raised at the meeting was about water, or lack
thereof. Environmental researcher Sitthichai Tantanasarit responded that the
city’s water resources would be enough to handle the 700-800 m3 of water the
Ocean 1 Tower would use per day, as only half of this amount, 400 m3 of
water, would need to come from the city supply. The other 400 m3 of Ocean 1
Tower’s daily water needs would come from recycled sources.
Sitthichai went on to say that project is being planned to stay within the
law regarding it being the correct distance from the sea, and providing
management against disasters. Also, because of the proposed building’s
height, the project will require a wind tunnel test.
Chonburi Province officials have voiced concern about public utility
problems, but Weera Sinto, GM of N.S. Consultant Co., Ltd., the advisor and
designer of the environmental system for the construction project, said he
will keep a close eye on progress to make sure all concerns are addressed
properly, such as protection against fire, traffic, eradicating wastewater,
public utilities, and scenery.
A committee also will be set up with Pattaya City to check the project and
control construction. Ocean 1 Tower officials have agreed to support a
budget of 7 million baht for Pattaya City to develop and solve problems in
the community around the project area, and they will set aside a free
commerce area of 50 m2 for the community.
Tawich Chaisawangwong, Pattaya City Council chairman, said that the Ocean 1
Tower project had been submitted to the Pattaya Council for discussion and
approval. There had been some doubts about the effect on the environment and
public utilities, but in his opinion, he believes this project will be good
for the city’s tourism image, and would create jobs and tax revenue for the
After all the talk was over, most of the local villagers agreed to proceed,
as they hope to receive benefits and increase their daily income after the
For the next step, project plans will be submitted to the Office of Natural
Resources, Environmental Policy and Planning for consideration this October,
and is expected that plans will be approved soon.
Ocean 1 Tower will have 91 floors and be more than 305 meters high, with 611
rooms and a 2 story plaza. The project will take 4-5 years to complete.
Guatemalan man arrested after
schoolteacher robbed of 1/2M baht
Pattaya police working in conjunction with Metropolitan police have arrested
a Guatemalan man in Bangkok’s MBK Center in connection with the robbery of
500,000 baht from a schoolteacher in Pattaya.
Srongporn Buab-Em (left), the victim of the robbery, provides a positive
identification of Jose Luis Perez Mendoza.
Police had tracked three men after viewing images from a CCTV recording, and
are now in search of his two accomplices.
The robbery had taken place during the early afternoon of September 26, when
three men described as being of Middle Eastern appearance had approached the
teacher as she was parking her car outside Arunothai School in Central
Pattaya. They had punctured a rear tire on her car, and when she got out of
the vehicle to check, they had taken the 500,000 baht that she had just
withdrawn from the bank, and which was in a brown bag on the front seat, and
fled in a Toyota Yaris.
Pattaya police had checked the CCTV camera at the Bank of Ayudhaya Pattaya
Klang Branch from which the money had been withdraw and discovered that the
three men had followed their victim from the bank.
A liaison team was formed between the Pattaya and the Metropolitan police.
Pol Col Sombat Milintajinda, superintendent investigator at General
Headquarters Metropolitan 6 led the Bangkok team, assisted by Pol Lt Col
Chootrakul Youmadee and a number of other Metropolitan 6 officers. They
worked in direct cooperation with Pol Col Sutin Suppuang, superintendent at
Pattaya Police Station, and with Pattaya police investigator Pol Maj
The thieves were quickly traced, and the day after the robbery, on September
27, Pattaya police obtained an arrest warrant from Pattaya Provincial Court.
The Metropolitan police team followed the three men to the fourth floor of
the MBK Center in Bangkok’s Pratunam district, where they had gone shopping,
and moved in to arrest them.
Two of the thieves fled, but police were able to detain Jose Luis Perez
Mendoza, a 41-year-old Guatemalan national. Searching him, they found 53,400
baht, and evidence of a transfer in the amount of 62,200 baht from the Siam
Commercial Bank Maboonkrong 2 Sub-branch to his wife in Bogota, Columbia.
Mendoza was transferred to Pattaya Police Station for questioning.
Mrs Srongporn Buab-Em, the 45-year-old victim of the robbery, was able to
identify Mendoza. Police are confident of finding the other two men very
Uzbekistani prostitutes and their Thai pimps arrested in police sting
Three Uzbekistani women and
two Thai pimps were arrested for prostitution.
Pattaya police and Immigration officials have arrested three
Uzbekistani women and two Thai pimps on prostitution charges following an
Investigations having targeted the women and their minders, undercover
officers posing as potential clients arranged a price of 1,500 baht per
woman for a liaison during the afternoon of September 21.
The investigating team led by Pol Col Watchara Sangworayothin, deputy
commander of the Immigration Police, Pol Col Ittipol Ittisarnronnachai,
superintendent at Pattaya Immigration, and Pol Lt Col Prasart Khemaprasit,
inspector at the crime suppression division, then made copies of the bank
notes before the police officers left for their appointment at the Gulf Siam
Hotel and Resort in North Pattaya.
The pimps brought the three foreign females to room numbers 203, 205 and 206
of the hotel, which had been arranged and paid for. At the same time the
police who were lying in wait presented themselves and arrested the women in
the rooms, along with the pimps, and escorted all five to the Pattaya
Sathaporn Jaiyod, 39, from Utaradit and Amornsit Chaiyanam, 33, from Ubon
Ratchatani, were charged with managing women for sex or obscene acts. Both
men admitted the charges.
The three women were all Uzbekistani nationals, identified as Miss Sattorova
Nargiza, 24, Miss Shoyimova Nilufar, 27, and Miss Dilnoza Aliyeva, 27. They
were charged with soliciting sex, and using printed documents to promote
themselves for sexual purposes.
In a separate incident, an Uzbekistani women identified as Miss Naraniava
Tatiyana, 22, was arrested for soliciting sex to foreign tourists in front
of the VC Hotel in South Pattaya. Officers also charged her with illegally
staying in the kingdom.
Dolphin Roundabout collides with reporters’ truck
Awed tourists photograph scene for souvenir
Two sports reporters somehow managed to drive their pickup truck
halfway up the steps of the fountain at the Dolphin Roundabout after a night
out celebrating the end of the petanque finals.
The reporters, from the Siam Keela Rai Wan sports newspaper, said they were
unfamiliar with the road. The truck, which attracted crowds of awed
passers-by, had to be lifted off the roundabout with a crane.
Both men were only slightly injured, but the company-owned truck suffered
Pattaya Police Station received a report of the accident at 4 a.m. on
September 24, and officers and Sawang Boriboon Foundation rescue workers
rushed to the scene.
The vehicle was a red four-door Nissan Frontier pickup with a Siam Keela Rai
Wan sticker boldly displayed on the windshield and on the side of the truck.
It was mounted on the second step of the Dolphin Roundabout fountain, about
2.5 meters above the level of the road.
Driver Juthawut Thiwarat, 28, a resident of Pakkred in Nonthaburi Province,
was wedged behind the wheel and had minor injuries to his forehead.
Phichitchai Bho-ar-lai, 32, of Roi-et Province was unconscious in the back
behind the driver’s seat. Officers extricated the men from the pickup and
rushed Phichitchai to Pattaya Memorial Hospital. Fortunately, neither had
sustained serious injuries.
Police questioned both of the reporters in detail. They also examined the
scene and found there was significant damage done to city property,
including the decorative plants and the tiles around the fountain, three
spotlights, and five sprinklers. Pattaya City will come up with an estimate
for the damage.
With the cooperation of the electrical authority, the electric current was
turned off before a crane lifted the vehicle out of the fountain. A crowd of
passers-by, Thais and foreigners, were amazed that the truck had made it so
far up the fountain steps. Many took photos with their mobile phone cameras
as a souvenir of the occasion.
There were many witnesses and they all told the police the same story. The
truck had been coming at a very high speed along North Pattaya Road towards
the Dolphin Roundabout. Speculation was that the driver was intoxicated or
unfamiliar with the road, because he crashed straight into the Dolphin
Roundabout and ended up completely stuck on the second step of the fountain.
A woman riding a motorbike around the roundabout had a lucky escape when the
truck narrowly missed her.
Juthawut said that the Siam Keela Rai Wan news team had been in Pattaya to
cover the 43rd Petanque World Championship. Participants from 60 countries
had attended the event at the indoor stadium of the Eastern Sports Center on
Soi Chaiyapuek 2 over the period September 19 to 23. On the last night of
the event, the news team celebrated the end of the championships and
Phichitchai suggested to Juthawut a further celebration at a nightclub
before going back.
Juthawut was driving the company car. He said he was drunk, and that
Phichitchai, who was quite drunk, had fallen asleep in the rear seat.
Juthawut said that he was driving in the direction of North Pattaya to their
hotel at a high rate of speed, but that he was unfamiliar with the local
roads. He did not see the Dolphin Roundabout. He was not able to stop in
Police say that the truck has been impounded as evidence, and that both of
the reporters will be questioned in more detail. Pattaya City will estimate
the damages done to city property, and will charge their company
Promotions and transfer to Loey Province for three
Tourist Police officers
Pattaya Tourist Police held a
farewell party for three officers who have been promoted and transferred to
Pattaya Tourist Police held a farewell party on September 25 for
three officers who have been promoted and transferred to Loey Province.
Hosted by Pol Lt Col Suwan Un-Anan, inspector of Tourist Police 4 in
Pattaya, the gathering took place at the parking lot in front of Pattaya
Tourist Police Station.
Pol Capt Yotsawat Suwannoi has been promoted to Police Major and becomes
inspector of the Tourist Police in Loey Province. Pol Capt Wattana
Tassaneeyanon and Pol Capt Pallop Khamnualthong are both also promoted to
Police Major and will take up posts at Phukradung Police Station in Loey
The party also celebrated Pol Sub Lt Suttipong Kongsombat’s promotion to
Police Senior Sergeant Major.
Officers of the Volunteer Tourist Police joined the regular officers for the
celebration, along with a large number of well-wishers from Pattaya’s
Chaowarith becomes head of new Koh Chan District
Deputy chief clerk of Banglamung District Chaowarith Saeng-uthai has
been promoted to the position of chief district officer of Koh Chan District
in Chonburi Province, taking up his new role on September 28.
Jongsuebtham (left), chief clerk at Banglamung District, congratulates
Chaowarith Saeng-uthai (right) on his promotion to the position of chief
district officer of Koh Chan District in Chonburi Province.
Chaowarith, who is 46, had been deputy chief clerk at Banglamung District
for slightly less than six years, and had earned the respect of colleagues
and the public alike for his administration skills, particularly in the
areas of businesses and entertainment venues, and his vigilance in helping
to control the local drugs problem.
Pratheep Jongsuebtham, chief clerk at Banglamung District, congratulated
Chaowarith on his move, saying that with his skills he has the potential to
reach the position of governor within a short period of time.
Located next to Panus Nikhom District in Chonburi Province, Koh Chan was
previously a minor district with a land area of 145,751 rai (233.20 square
km). Most of the residents are farmers and factory workers. There are only
three entertainment venues.
On September 8, 2007, the Interior Ministry announced that in celebration of
HM the King’s 80th birthday on December 5 this year, 81 minor districts in
Thailand, including Koh Chan, were upgraded to full-fledged amphurs
Chaowarith, who has become a champion of the Sufficient Economy Theory, says
he is keen to put the theory’s principles into practice at Koh Chan.