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HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Suspected armed robber surrenders

Rescuers unable to save baby dolphin

Police stage gold shop robbery as training

No more water shortages in the future

Drive well and win a fridge

Malaysian naval chief visits Eastern Seaboard

Welfare caravan sets out to help Sattahip residents

Ko Chan sub-district to receive new hospital

Mother, Frenchman held over child prostitution

French men held in drug party bust

Italian caught in compromising position with 12-year-old boy - in the bushes

Police charged after traffic shooting


Suspected armed robber surrenders

Bancha “Nung” Kosee, an alleged accomplice in the December 28 armed robbery of an armored van, has turned himself in to police.

Boonlua Chatree
The fourth suspect in the armed robbery of five million baht from the Samco Company’s money transport vehicle last December has surrendered to police, fearing that he would be murdered by two other accomplices still at large with most of the money.
Bancha “Nung” Kosee, 36, was brought in by police to Pol Col Somnuk Changate, superintendent at the Banglamung Police Station, on January 20 and charged with armed robbery.
Police said Bancha gave himself up and allegedly pleaded guilty to all charges due to being afraid that he would be killed by the remaining members of the robbery gang, Piak and Chai, to silence him.
Three other suspected robbers, Peerapong “Tom” Jiaranai, Somyot “Yot” Thongpliew and Charin Pan-Ngern were caught soon after the six robbers held up an armored security van from the Siam Administrative Management Company at the PTT Gasoline Station opposite a Tesco Lotus Department store in Nongprue on December 28.
The six suspected robbers were all current or former employees of the security transport company.
Police later found an abandoned getaway 4-wheel-drive pickup in Soi Chonlathan in the direction of Chaknok Reservoir in Huay Yai.
Bancha said that he only received 200,000 baht when the robbery money was divided and had escaped to hide in Bangkok.
He said it was not true that the gang had stolen more than 10 million baht as first stated, but he didn’t want to divulge further details about that.
Bancha said he planned the heist with Piak and Chai, originally from the South, at the Kroa Kaohom Restaurant located opposite the Lotus Department store where the robbery took place, but he did not know their full names.
He said Piak and Chai took the rest of the money and left him with only the smaller share.
Pol Col Somnuk said the suspect contacted the Metropolitan Police to surrender himself and officers didn’t force or threaten him to confess.
“We must wait until we are able to arrest the remaining two accomplices and then we will know exactly what happened in the robbery,” he said.


Rescuers unable to save baby dolphin

Theerarak Suthatiwong
Staff and guests of a hotel in Naklua tried in vain to save a baby dolphin that had beached itself. Unfortunately it died from exhaustion.

Rescuers try to save a baby dolphin.

At the back of the five-star hotel, many tourists and hotel staff were gathered on the beach for a party on January 16 when they saw the baby dolphin, aged no more than a year, a meter long and weighing 10-15 kilograms, floundering in shallow water.
A rescue team tried to push it back to deep water but the baby dolphin was too exhausted to swim back out to sea and died, presenting a tragic scene to those who were there.
Pradit Kwamman, a worker at the hotel, was the first to notice the dolphin as he was setting up the tables for the party. He and some guests tried their best to push it out to sea but had to call Sea Rescue Radio for help.
Somkid Tonsaipetch, hotel manager, said that the back of the hotel is restricted to hotel guests only. In the mornings there is usually a large amount of garbage on the beach brought in by the wind and tide. He said dolphins have been found dead there before.
In this case of the baby dolphin had probably been separated from its parents by strong wind and currents, he said.


Police stage gold shop robbery as training

Startled pedestrians look on as police stage
a gold robbery and police response exercise.

Boonlua Chatree
Passers-by were jolted from their sleepy afternoon when Pattaya police conducted a training exercise on how to deal with an armed robbery of a gold shop.
At 3 p.m. on January 22, Pol. Col. Sarayut Sanguanpokai, superintendent at the Pattaya Police Station, and Uthai Sappakraisri, owner of the Uthai gold shop next to the Little Duck Hotel on Central Pattaya Road, arranged the fake robbery.
The exercise: Two armed robbers screeched up on a black motorcycle without number plates. The motorbike rider, wearing a helmet hiding his face and dressed in black T-shirt, blue jeans and sandals, pulled up sharply in front of the shop. The passenger, in military-style T-shirt, blue jeans, black cap and white canvas shoes, was armed with a 9mm handgun.
He asked to see a five-baht weight gold necklace before taking out the gun to rob the shop, like a gangster in a Thai B-rate movie. He snatched the gold chain, ran out to the waiting motorbike and sped off.
The shop owner then pressed the alarm and it took approximately five minutes for police to arrive on the scene. The officers then radioed others to block the criminals’ escape route.
It took approximately 15 minutes after the robbery for an investigator to get to the scene.
It took police only 20 minutes to pursue the armed robbers and arrested them with the gold necklace as evidence.
Police said this exercise shows clearly police officers’ readiness to protect civilians’ property and lives, responding promptly after being notified.
Pol Maj-Gen Bandit Khunachak, commander in chief of Chonburi Provincial Police, said all gold shops in Pattaya have CCTV installed for security.
Col. Sarayut said he was satisfied with police efficiency and said further police training exercises will be held for the benefit of police and the public.


No more water shortages in the future

Ariyawat Nuamsawat
Pattaya Water System officials announced that water shortages in Pattaya should soon be a thing of the past, now that 900 million baht is being invested to develop supply that would be adequate for another 10 years.

Thani Tongprachum, manager of Water Systems of Pattaya, has no concern about water shortage.

On January 14 at the Water Office 4, Thani Tongprachum, manager of Pattaya Water Systems Center, told the Pattaya Business and Tourism Association (PBTA) meeting on water management that there will be no more problems with this year’s water supply.
“The new projects will include improving the water filtering system at Banglamung at 32 million baht, which is expected to be completed next month,” he said.
This improved system will produce water 50% more efficiently than previously.
Twenty million baht was also invested to improve Namnongklangdong water filtering system which is half finished now and expected to be completed in February, Thani said.
He added that 50 million baht will be used on laying down 39 pipelines as the old ones are ruined, expected to be completed by June.
The last project to be undertaken is the expansion of Pattaya Water Systems with a budget of 803 million baht. This will take 720 construction days and is expected to be completed by December 2010.
Ed’s note: Apologies to the gentleman that writes in whenever we publish promises from Pattaya officials proclaiming “no more water shortages” who always seems to run out of water soon after. We hope this doesn’t happen again.


Drive well and win a fridge

Sawittree Namwiwatsuk
Drive well and you could take home a refrigerator, fan or rice cooker from Sriracha Police.

For her good driving habits, Nattadanuch Kantarak, a teacher at Sattahip Technology School, earns a refrigerator from Pol Col Worapol Inthasae, chief of Sriracha Police.

On January 16 at Sriracha police station, Pol Col Worapol Inthasae, chief of Sriracha Police launched what looks like a winning campaign of rewarding prizes to motorists in the province who drive well.
“New Chonburi citizens are excellent drivers,” says the slogan. Motorists who strictly follow traffic regulations will be rewarded, according an inventive new policy from Chonburi Governor Surapon Pongtadsirikun.
The prizes include refrigerators, fans, rice cookers, irons, instant noodles, drinking water as well as safe driving manuals to brush up for next time.
Col Worapol said this new campaign was created to prevent injury, death and property destruction from road accidents.
It is based on the logical principle that those who break traffic regulations will be fined and those who follow regulations well will earn a chance to be rewarded.
Prizes are rewarded at least once a month and for this round the winner was Nattadanuch Kantarak, 52, a teacher at Sattahip Technology School who took home a refrigerator, also coincidentally as a gift for Teacher’s Day.


Malaysian naval chief visits Eastern Seaboard

Patcharapol Panrak
The commander-in-chief of the Malaysian Navy, Admiral Dato Sri Abdul Aziz Bin Haji Jaafar, visited the Sattahip naval base and commander-in-chief of the Royal Thai Marine Corps, Vice-Admiral Suwit Tharathoop.

Admiral Dato Sri Abdul Aziz Bin Haji Jaafar signs his name in the visitors’ book as Vice-Admiral Suwit Tharathoop looks on.

On January 22 the Malaysian Commander and his high-ranking officers were on an official visit to Thailand as the Royal Thai Navy’s guests.
The group went to Sattahip where the visitors laid a wreath at the Royal Thai Navy’s Marine Corps Monument at Prince Chumporn Camp.
Rear-Admiral Narongrat Phodaeng, chief of staff for the Royal Thai Marine Corps, and Vice-Admiral Suwit welcomed the guests.
The Malaysian naval visit aimed to ensure good military relations as long-time good neighbors. This included exchanging opinions and experiences regarding military affairs in the three southern border provinces.
The Malaysian Admiral signed his name in the visitors’ book and exchanged souvenirs with Thai officers.


Welfare caravan sets out to help Sattahip residents

Patcharapol Panrak
A Red Cross welfare service caravan to help the poor visited Wat Nong Jub Tao in Sattahip as part of the continuing monthly community social service visits being planned.

Governor Surapon Pongtadsirikun presents a scholarship to one of the deserving students in Sattahip.

On January 22 Chonburi Governor Surapon Pongtadsirikun gave authority to the president of Red Cross Chonburi Prissana Pongtadsirikun to bring her team to provide a variety of services to residents there.
Sattahip Sheriff Chaicharn Iamjaroen along with chairman of the Najomtien Sub-District Administrative Organization Sorachai Tongyungyuen, and Najomtien village chief, Somsak Tubklad, plus members of the public and students also attended.
Prissana said support from state agencies and private organizations will help provide services to those needing help. The community will also have a say on matters that would help improve their living conditions.
The service is a monthly event where different communities will benefit from donations of bags, clothes and blankets to the elderly, and scholarships and sports equipment for schools.
Health check-ups and medication, issuing ID cards, marriage registration, military registration, hair cutting and dressing are among the services offered by the caravan visits.
The Technology Institute of Chonburi also offers inspection of electrical appliances and motorcycles. Sterilization of pets and job placements and advice are also offered. The Publicity Office of Chonburi also helps residents to write messages to pay respect to His Majesty the King.
Governor Surapon said, “Our nation has become greatly influenced by technological developments but the social problems such as drug addiction, AIDS and crimes continue. These problems cannot be ignored by the authorities who must do all they can to ensure happiness for the public they serve.”


Ko Chan sub-district to receive new hospital

(L to R) Minister of Public Health Wittaya Kaewparadai, Chonburi Governor Surapon Pongtadsirikun, and Wittaya Khunplome, head of the Chonburi Provincial Administrative Organization, sign an agreement to begin construction on Ko Chan Hospital.

Staff reporters
Chonburi will spend 100 million baht to build a 30-bed hospital on in Ko Chan sub-district, expected to be completed by 2010.
On January 17 at the Ko Chan town hall, Wittaya Kaewparadai, minister of public health, presided over a meeting on construction of the new Ko Chan Hospital.
Dignitaries on hand to approve the construction project included Dr Prart Boonyawongviroj, head of the Public Health Ministry, Chonburi Governor Surapon Pongtadsirikun, Wittaya Khunplome, head of the Chonburi Provincial Administrative Organization, and municipal heads of Ko Chan and Thaboonmee.
Wittaya Kaewparadai said that there will be 30 beds in the hospital. Construction will begin this year. The budget has already been approved.
Chonburi will pay the bulk of the construction costs, with more coming from Ko Chan and Thaboonmee government organizations.
The Ministry of Public Health will deal with human resources and a budget for certified doctors.
The minister went on to say that this hospital is for the convenience of local residents who previously had to travel to at Panasnikom Hospital and hospitals in Chachoengsao, far from their homes.


Mother, Frenchman held over child prostitution

Boonlua Chatree
Police arrested a woman for allegedly supplying foreign pedophiles with underage boys and girls, including her own daughter.

Somjai “Mam” Prombut is served an arrest warrant for allegedly supplying minors to pedophiles.

Somjai “Mam” Prombut, 29, of Huay Yai, is being held by police from the Suppression of Crimes Against Children and Women Division in Region 2 and charged with prostituting her daughter to foreigners for seven years, along with other minors aged from 8 to 15.
The accused woman denied all charges against her.
In connection with the case, Thai police are also seeking the extradition from France of pedophile suspect Jean Claude Chamoux, 56, to face charges of underage sex in Thailand.
The Frenchman had previously been in police custody in 2005 but had skipped bailed and escaped to France.
On January 14, Pol. Lt-Col. Preecha Somsatan and Supakorn Noja from the Children and Female Protection Squad served Somjai with an arrest warrant issued by the Pattaya Court for providing minors for sex. She was arrested in the slum area on Pattnakarn-Mabto in Nongprue.
Supakorn alleged that Somjai had acted as a dealer to procure boys and girls for foreigners, including her own daughter who had been prostituted since she was eight years old.
The girl is now in a psychiatric ward at Srithanya Hospital in Nonthaburi.
Police alleged that the mother received orders for her daughter and other minors on the phone from foreign customers who paid between 500-1000 baht from which she kept 300-400 baht for herself.
Police said that this activity was discovered after the French pedophile suspect was arrested on August 25, 2005, and charged with abducting minors under the age of 15.
While being investigated at the Pattaya Police Station (Dongtan Sub-branch), Chamoux bailed himself out and fled back to France.
Officers from the division investigated 10 children who allegedly had been abused by Chamoux and their investigation led to Somjai as the alleged dealer.
French police have Chamoux in custody, arrested at his home in France allegedly with many photos of Thai children.
They are waiting for paperwork from Thai police so that he can be sent back to Thailand for trial where he could face life in prison if convicted.


French men held in drug party bust

Boonlua Chatree
Transnational Crime Police arrested three men from France, a Thai woman and a transvestite at a party at a hotel in South Pattaya and charged them with using narcotics.

Police arrest the 3 Frenchman, a Thai girl and a transvestite for possession of marijuana.

At 1.10 a.m. on January 20, Pol. Col. Bunyasit Wongwai, chief of the Center for the Cooperative Prevention of Transnational Crime, led a police team armed with a search warrant to bust up an alleged drug party in a room at the a resort in Nongprue.
Police said they found the room noisy and smelling of marijuana and when officers burst in the three foreign men and two Thais panicked and tried to run away, but were arrested.
Fabrica Enriquez, 29, Guillaume Sanz-Fernandez, 39, and Zaidi Yann-Frank Martial, 36, all French tourists, and Nut (alias name), 17, and Jittipol Wongbaikaew, 19, were held.
Police alleged that on the sofa in the room were two large packs of marihuana, rolling paper and a set of narcotics paraphernalia for consuming ya ice drug.
Officers tested everyone’s urine and said that the tests turned violet, indicating positive for narcotics. The accused denied taking drugs.
Police said the three French tourists hadn’t been in Pattaya for long. They had lodged at the hotel then made the acquaintance of Nut and transvestite Jittipol on Walking Street when they went out at night.
Police alleged the foreigners asked Nut to supply them with marijuana and ya ice for consumption at the resort.


Italian caught in compromising position with 12-year-old boy - in the bushes

Theerarak Suthatiwong
An Italian with an alleged long history of sexually-abusing Thai boys was arrested having sex with a 12-year-old boy in the bushes near Charknok Reservoir in Huay Yai.
Massimo Mannari, 51, an Italian national living in Nongprue, was charged with pedophilia.

Massimo Mannari is caught with his pants down in the bushes with and underage boy.

At 6 p.m. on January 20 Supakorn Noja, director of the Child Welfare Protection and Development Center, was notified of suspicious activity between a foreign man and a boy and rushed to the scene to investigate with police, led by Pol. Lt-Col Omsin Sukkarnkha from Children and Women’s Protection Center.
In a secluded cassava field near the reservoir, police said they found a motorbike with no license plate. Following a short trail, they came across a foreigner and a boy, both naked.
At the scene police found used condoms, tissues and in the foreigner’s bag, a video and digital cameras. According to police, Mannari had been arrested many times before and charged with similar offenses.
According to the boy, Mannari had taken him into these bushes three times.
The first time, the man approached him in front of his school on a motorbike and asked him if he wanted to go for a ride to a shopping mall but he ended up being brought into the bushes.
The boy said he was given 200 baht each time and he could not refuse because he threatened to kill him if he told anyone.
Mannari videotaped each occasion.
Supakorn said that Mannari was previously arrested on December 23 when police caught him having sex with a 13-year-old boy. His record of sexually abusing boys adds up to more than 40-50 cases in previous years, he alleged.
He normally approached boys at Wat Suthawat School and Sunee Plaza taking them to hotel rooms sometime instead of using the bushes.


Police charged after traffic shooting

Boonlua Chatree
A police officer has been arrested for shooting and seriously wounding a motorist after an altercation when he stopped a car to check its missing license plate.

Sgt.-Maj Jeerapong from the Crime Suppression Division at the Huay Yai police station doesn’t seem to be too upset about being charged with attempted murder.
Pol. Sgt. Maj. Jeerapong Yootim, head of the Crime Suppression Division at the Huay Yai police station, gave himself up after the incident at 4.50 a.m. on January 17.
Well-known Pattaya golf course manager, Songchai Chansen, 35, was shot once in the back and was in a coma in a critical condition in hospital.
Wipanan Kwangmaha, 31, a food and beverage worker at Phoenix Golf Course, told Pol. Lt-Col Ekadit Srimoon of the Pattaya police station’s Dongtan sub-branch that her friend Songchai was shot in front of Pattaya School #7.
Wipanan told police that she had driven a friend to a bus station and was returning home with Songchai seated on the front passenger seat.
When she arrived in front of Pattaya School #7 a police pickup truck with a siren on the roof and displaying a white sticker from the Huay Yai police station, flashed its lights for her to pull over.
A man half-dressed in a police uniform came to her car with a gun and “it seemed that he was drunk.”
She said the officer asked impolitely why the car didn’t have a rear license plate and demanded the vehicle’s documentation. She told him that her car had earlier collided with a dog and that she had lost the front license plate so she moved the rear plate to the front.
She said the officer was unsatisfied and suspected that that the car carried narcotics. They argued and her friend stepped out of the car to ask the officer to speak calmly and begged him to put away his gun.
But she said Pol. Sgt-Maj Jeerapong tried to strike her friend with his pistol and they both wrestled. Songchai pushed the policeman away before getting back into the car and told her to drive away.
Wipanan alleged that the officer then fired a shot at them, the bullet passed through the rear window and struck Songchai. She alleged the officer chased them and shot at them six more times.
She brought her injured friend to Banglamung Hospital before he was transferred to Chonburi Hospital for an immediate operation.
At 6.30 p.m. on January 17, Sgt.-Maj Jeerapong surrendered to Pol. Lt-Col Ekadit Srimoon, investigator in charge of the case.
Jeerapong said that he was on his way back from a reception traveling along Sukhumvit Road when he noticed the vehicle without a license plate.
He said Songchai exited the vehicle, argued with him and challenged him to fight then ran back to the car and sped away.
He said he called them to stop and fired one shot to disable the vehicle but “the bullet missed its intended target” and went through the rear window striking the man.
Officer Jeerapong was charged with attempted murder before being freed on bail.



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