SATUN, 19 June 2014,  - Satun Province has stepped up its inspection on fishing trawlers operating in the Andaman Sea.

As part of the province's efforts to ensure the welfare of local and migrant fishermen as well as to prevent human tracking activity in the area, Satun Deputy Governor Prayoon Ratanaseni has led a team of inspectors to conduct a random inspection on fishing trawlers in the Andaman Sea

Most of the migrant workers in the province’s fishing industry are Burmese, said Mr. Prayun, who is also the head of the committee inspecting fishermen in terms of employment, working condition, human trafficking, and fishing vessels with dual nationality.

According to him, the province has imposed strict measures on inspecting the livelihood of fishermen, while urging the sector’s business operators to register their illegal migrant workers in order to avoid legal complication, in compliance with the policy of the National Council of Peace and Order.

The National Council for Peace and Order has urged the Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO) and all banks to increase scrutiny of bank accounts suspected of being involved in money laundering, after finding that this method of money laundering has become more popular.

General Phaibhun Khumchaya, head of judicial and legal affairs at the NCPO, met with representatives from the AMLO and banks on Wednesday to discuss the issue of money laundering. He explained that money from drug trafficking and gambling was being deposited into banks, while call-center gangs that utilize bank accounts have become increasingly numerous; there are as many as 324 bank accounts being investigated for connection with call- center gangs.

The NCPO asked that banks increase scrutiny of each account owner's first transaction. Should the cash value exceed 2 million baht or should the transaction involve assets worth more than 5 million baht, the AMLO should be asked to step in and probe the account. Gen. Phaibun said that if the money laundering issue can be solved, Thailand's international standing will improve and foreigners will have more confidence investing in Thailand.

SURAT THANI, 18 June 2014 – The southern province of Surat Thani has stepped up its crime monitoring and law enforcement operations in a bid to establish peace and order after the nationwide curfew has been lifted.

A team of more than 30 local police, military, and internal security officers were sent out on patrol on six night entertainment spots in the city on late Tuesday night that were prone to violent attacks.

Surat Thani Deputy Governor Prasert Chitmung, the leader of the operations, said that nothing has been amiss during the search. Nonetheless, authorities would continue to monitor security around the area.

The new crime suppression policy has just been implemented after the curfew has been lifted. Mr Prasert said the next step is to set up check points on key roads in a bid to reduce crimes, illegal drugs, and any other violations of the law.

BANGKOK, 18 June 2014  - The Department of Religious Affairs is set to implement a three-stage plan to bring out harmony in the country.

The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has recently set up the Reconciliation and Reform Committee and a preparation committee for reform that is tasked with bringing national reform to return happiness to the Thai people. All ministries and agencies have been urged to cooperate in resolving past conflicts among Thai people.

The department is coordinating with local units in each province to apply the teachings of Lord Buddha to their operations and to urge residents to follow Lord Buddha’s philosophy in their daily lives.

The three-stage plan includes promoting the increasing role of all five religious organizations, developing a social mechanism that highlights traditional values, and developing a system that would follow-up on the progress of the reconciliation program.

The Sheikhul Islam Office will also ask Muslim religious leaders to focus on national unity when they deliver their sermon on Fridays while Christian organizations will host prayer sessions with an emphasis on love, compassion, and harmony.

BANGKOK, 18 June 2014 – The Foreign Affairs Ministry confirmed that no Thai nationals have been injured or killed in heavy clashes between Sunni insurgents and security forces in Iraq.

Ministry Spokesman Sek Wannamethee said the ministry had been in touch with the Thai embassy based in Baghdad regarding the developing crisis in the Middle Eastern country. Recently, jihadist militants, spearheaded by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), took control of Iraq's second largest city, Mosul, prompting around 500,000 people to flee their homes.

The embassy said that the initial survey has found that all Thai citizens in the country remain safe and no one was living in war-torn areas. A total of 40 Thai nationals currently reside in the Gulf state.

The embassy added that if the fighting between both sides intensifies, Thai citizens will be given assistance and are urged to evacuate.

All dominant TV stations are cooperating to provide full coverage of 36 sports at the 17th Incheon Asian Games 2014 from 19th September to 4th October.This will allow Thai people to view television stations on the 8VSB standard, as the games can be watched in both standard and HD resolution. Channel 5 will broadcast the opening ceremony which will be seen on 19th September from 5 pm to 7 pm, while the closing ceremony will be aired on the NBT channel on the 4th July from 5pm to 7pm. During the period from 20th September to 3rd October, the games will be broadcast live on NBT from 8am to12 midday while the other four channels which are 3, 5,7 and modern nine TV, will rotate showing competitive events in the afternoon. The results of each day's games will be broadcast on the NBT channel from 11pm to midnight. Thai athletes expect to gain more medals this year. Thailand hopes to rank 7th or higher on the medal table. While Sepak Takraw, Tae Kwondo, Badminton, Weightlifting and Sailing are Thai competitors' best prospects for gold medals.

BANGKOK, 18 June 2014  – The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has invited foreign defense attaches to a meeting to elucidate the Thai military’s stance in administering the country following the coup.

A total of 22 defense attaches from 18 countries today convened with the NCPO spokespersons’ team to be briefed on the administrative policy of the NCPO. Col Weerachon Sukondhapatipak said the meeting was mainly targeted to establish an understanding of the NCPO’s operation after the military takeover in May and to display the council’s sincerity and commitment to its duty to move the country forward.

Col Weerachon also assured the attendants that Thailand’s relations with foreign partners would remain its top priority. He expressed high hopes that following the clarifications, the diplomats would relay the information to their respective governments which would, in turn, help paint a clear picture of the Thai political situation.

In regard to the attempt to seek the extradition of Ms Chatwadee Rose Amornpat, a lese majeste suspect residing in England, Col Weerachon affirmed that the matter was a responsibility of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was not discussed in the meeting.

CHIANG RAI, 18 June 2014  – The Department of Skill Development is conducting an onsite home repair workshop in quake-hit areas of Chiang Rai province, resulting in 15 homes having been fully renovated so far.

Director of the Office of Instructor and Training Technology Development Charoen Yinglum chaired the ceremony of returning 15 residences in Chiang Rai to their owners after the repair of earthquake damages had been completed. Mr Charoen stated that the home renovation program was organized in the form of a workshop in cooperation with the provincial office of skill development and related institutes in the northern region.

About 60 people from Mae Lao district of Chiang Rai are participating in the workshop and are being given both technical and practical knowledge in home construction and renovation. Besides skill improvement, each participant also receives an allowance of 120 baht per day.

The workshop began on June 3 and is set to continue until the end of this month while the repair of another 26 homes is underway. The quake-damaged structures selected for renovation under the program mostly belong to low-income residents.

As for the compensation of quake victims, Chiang Rai province has reportedly paid out more than 170 million baht to date, with each household receiving 33,000 baht at maximum.

BANGKOK, 18 June 2014 - Public Health offices all over the country have been alerted to the spread of hand, foot and mouth disease during the rainy season especially in nursery centers and kindergartens.

The warning was issued after reports revealing a total of more than 11,000 people were infected across the country in just five months.

The Permanent Secretary of the Public Health Ministry Dr Narong Sahametapat said that the rainy season brings conditions conducive to the spread of germs, accounting for the rising number of HFMD patients.

According to the Bureau of Epidemiology, from the beginning of the year until now, 15,311 patients were reported infected with the disease.

Therefore, warnings were sent out to all nurseries and day care centers in all areas, advising them that if cold sores are found on the body of a child, he/she needs to be taken out of the center and away from other children until a diagnosis is made, as it is likely that the child has contracted the HFMD, he added. For more information, please contact 02-590-3159 or Hotline 1422.

AYUTTHAYA, 18 June 2014 - Ayutthaya Provincial Police along with Army officers have found an M-79 grenade launcher, 75 rounds of ammunition, and a sack filled with road spikes during their raid on a luxury mansion in Wang Noi District of the province.

The weapons were hidden inside a storage room underneath a staircase. Police speculated that the weapons might be linked to the Lat Bua Luang case, where a large number of war weapons have been discarded in an irrigation canal.

Police found out that 40 year-old Jirawat Ornchunka was the last person whose name was listed on the leasing contract. However, Mr. Jirawat said that another 50 year-old man had been renting the mansion for two months after him and that he was no longer the tenant of the house.

Nonetheless, soldiers and police have conducted a thorough search on Mr. Jirawat’s white Mazda-2 sport car. So far, they have only detected a notebook computer and a number of documents stored inside his car but haven’t found anything suspicious yet.

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