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Crime

‘Blind’ beggar found driving SUV, fined

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‘Blind’ beggar found driving SUV, fined | The Thaiger
PHOTO: A screenshot from Tuesday's viral YouTube video -
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Further to a story already reported by The Thaiger, a gambler, pretending to be a blind beggar to pay his debts, is blaming his daughter’s refusal to send him money.

Somporn Kueyen’s ruse was exposed after a video on social media went viral, showing him parking a Toyota Fortuner outside a temple in Nonthaburi, near Bangkok. He was wearing ragged clothes and was seen later posing as a blind beggar, complete with dark glasses, in a nearby market.

The clip was posted by Facebook user Chutala Joy on Tuesday, and drew strong criticism of the “beggar.” Some people speculated he might be an undercover policeman masquerading as a beggar to gather information. It also came to light that the man was busking, playing music, to attract voluntary donations. It also came to the attention of local police.

Somporn told the police yesterday that he is a gambling addict and was rebelling against his daughter’s refusal to send him money.

The 65 year old told police he used to have a shrimp farm and sell pork, but fell into debt and shut the business down. He then returned to his home province of Nakhon Pathom to raise chickens, but that business failed as well.

He asked his daughter, who works in the US for 15,000 baht, but she refused. He decided to “get even” by busking, masquerading as a blind man to get sympathy.

Somporn admitted to begging “two or three times.” He liked to sing and earned 100-200 baht a day, police say. Police fined him the maximum 1,000 baht for violation of the Beggar Control Act. He has promised not to do it again.

SOURCE: The Bangkok Post

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Crime

Bangkok cops bust online gun dealers

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Bangkok cops bust online gun dealers | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Bangkok Police pose with seven firearms, 221 rounds of ammunition and 38 gun parts confiscated in raids this week - Chiang Rai Times

The chief of the Bangkok Metropolitan Police Bureau told a media briefing yesterday that officers have arrested six men and two women for selling firearms on Thai social media. They seized seven guns, ammunition and gun components. Police initially arrested Pairoh Chanchom for selling firearms without a licence. A subsequent, lengthy investigation led to raids on several premises and the arrest of seven accomplices.

Also arrested were 34 year old Thaweephan Jit-aree; 28 year old Saksid Kerdmanee; Suriyan Yodsaen, aged 38; 24 year old Kamphon Wongsriphuek; 28 year old Raen Senaphan, and two women; Intheera Thananwarawong, age 43 and 57 year old Uraiwan Krodsui. Officers seized seven firearms, 221 rounds of ammunition and also 38 gun parts. The suspects are charged with colluding in the illegal possession and sale of firearms and ammunition.

Police Major General Samran Nuanma, chief of Patrol and Special Operations Division 191, urges the public to call the 191 hotline if they have any information about unlawful activities on social media.

According to Gunpolicy.org of the University of Sydney’s School of Public Health, Thailand has about 10 million privately owned firearms or one for about every seven citizens. Of those, they estimate about 4 million are illegal.

“I can’t say whether Thailand has a gun problem, but it certainly has a gun culture,” says Michael Picard, GunPolicy.org’s research director.

“Guns are idolized as symbols of power and privilege, as they are expensive and not easy to legally obtain.”

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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Politics

PM “concerned” about campus rallies

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PM “concerned” about campus rallies | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Student demonstrators in Bangkok - AFP

Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha has expressed “concern” over growing support for student rallies at universities and now high schools, throughout Bangkok and elsewhere, to protest the recent dissolution of the popular Future Forward party, and the possibility of confrontation and unrest.

The proliferation of political rallies and demonstrations comes in the aftermath of the Future Forward party’s dissolution by the Constitutional Court, starting at universities and now spreading to some Bangkok high schools. It led to the PM telling reporters today that he “understands the good intent of the students,” but that he is “concerned that they might be misled by one-sided information and might be used as a tool as part of political agenda.”

Prayut pleaded with protesting students to keep an open mind to information from the government as well, saying that he didn’t want a repeat of the “coloured political divide and eventual political unrest,” an apparent reference to the violent, sometimes fatal street protests between rival “red-shirt” and “yellow-shirt” factions; violence which shook the years 2008-2010.

He said, perhaps ominously, that core leaders of several rival political groups, whatever their political colours, are now serving prison time or facing trial. The PM said that he holds no grudge against protesting students, but warned that the “instigators” of student protests might face legal action.

This morning, a police team was dispatched to Triam Udomsueksa (University Preparatory) school beside Chulalongkorn University, where about 100 students held a flash mob to protest military dictatorship. Similar events were reported at Satri Wittaya, Suan Kularb and Bodindecha schools.

Triam Udomsueksa school director Sophon Kamol sent a letter to the district educational office explaining that the school had nothing to do with the mob, and did not support the event. He explained that about 4,000 students in Mathayom 4, 5 and 6 were gathered at the school for their traditional union and they had nothing to do with any flash mob.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Thai Life

Legendary Thai singer Suthep Wongkamhaeng has died

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Legendary Thai singer Suthep Wongkamhaeng has died | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Beloved “Look Krung” singer Suthep Wongkamhaeng died today at his Bangkok home, aged 86 - The Nation

A Thai icon is dead. Legendary “luk krung” singer Suthep Wongkamhaeng died today at his Bangkok residence, aged 86. A team of police and a doctor from Chulalongkorn Hospital were dispatched to Suthep’s house to examine the body and attempt to determine the cause of the death.

Luk krung (Thai: ลูกกรุง, literally “child of the city”), also called phleng luk krung (เพลงลูกกรุง), is a genre of Thai popular music. It’s a more polished, urban style compared to its folk music counterpart, luk thung. Luk krung songs commonly feature themes about the feelings of society, people in the Thai capital and occurrences of the day.

A beloved national treaure, Suthep was adored by the older generation for his soft, sweet easy-listening songs. Among his best loved songs are “Rak Khun Khao Laew” (I Have Already Loved You), “Look Kamphra” (Orphan), “Jai Pi” (My Heart), “Pid Tang Rak” (Wrong Way to Love), “Ter Yu Nai” (Where Are You?) and, “Botrian Korn Wiwa” (Lesson Before the Wedding) among others.

Suthep performed in several movies and sang the themes to many classic Thai films.

Legendary Thai singer Suthep Wongkamhaeng has died | News by The Thaiger

Suthep was admitted to Siriraj Hospital last year for treatment of a blood infection. He suffered from diabetes and other ailments associated with old age.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

 

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