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“Comply or I’ll tear it down myself” Pattaya mayor tells encroaching resort

Jack Burton

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“Comply or I’ll tear it down myself” Pattaya mayor tells encroaching resort | The Thaiger
PHOTO: The Daily News
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Pattaya’s mayor Sontaya Khunpluem yesterday ordered his staff to post notices at Ban Sukhawadee, or “Sukhawadee House” as it’s known in English, a luxury beachfront property and tourist attraction on a total of 80 rai in the Bang Lamung district, that encompasses Pattaya.

The company that runs the resort, HealthFood International, has two weeks to comply with a judgment relating to encroachment on 11 rai of public land. If the company doesn’t comply within 15 days, the authorities will tear down the property themselves.

“Comply or I’ll tear it down myself” says the Pattaya mayor.

The order relates to Building A on 11 rai of reclaimed land. Buildings B and C are also under dispute, but the current order relates only to Building A, after an appeal to a provincial committee was rejected.

The legal wrangling over the site has been going on for years.

Pattaya’s ‘strongman’ mayor is part of an infamous political family whose late patriarch Somchai Khunpluem, better known as “Kamnan Poh,” has been described as “one of the most politically, economically and criminally influential men in Thailand’s east.” (“Kanman” means village headman in Thai)

Kamnan Poh rose from humble origins to become an entrepreneurial and political force in Chon Buri province. He supported businesses that enabled the area to flourish, and vocally endorsed politicians vying for seats in the region. He even once took up the post of mayor of Saen Suk district.

He was also known as an organised crime boss. In 2003 he was sentenced to 25 years in prison for hiring a gunman to murder a neighbouring village headman.
image

PHOTO: Kamnan Poh arrives at the Ratchadapisek Criminal Court on January 30, 2013, after his capture by police on the same day – Khaosod English

He was also sentenced to five years and four months in prison for corruption over the purchase in 1992 of a protected 22.4 hectare area in Khao Mai Kaeo tambon with intentions to convert it into landfill.

The local “godfather” evaded capture for some time after an appeals court upheld the murder verdict in 2006, until he was caught by police in Bangkok on January 30, 2013 at a motorway toll gate. He began to serve his combined sentence of 28 years and four months, which was later reduced to 11 years and six months.

He died of cancer in June of last year.

SOURCES: thaivisa |Daily News | Khaosod English

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Thailand

Woman sentenced to 43 years in prison for violating lèse majesté law

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Woman sentenced to 43 years in prison for violating lèse majesté law | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Siamrath

The Bangkok Criminal Court sentenced a former public official to more than 4 decades in prison for violating the country’s strict lèse majesté law on insulting or defaming the Thai Monarchy.

The woman, a former Revenue Department official known as Anchan, was found guilty on 29 counts of violating Section 112 of the Criminal Code, known as the lèse majesté law, as well as the Computer Crime Act. She was sentenced to 43 years and 6 months in prison.

Anchan had posted audio clips on Facebook and YouTube of a man making comments considered critical of the Thai Monarchy. The man has been arrested, but officials haven’t released any other details.

The ruling comes during an ongoing pro-democracy movement raising subjects that are considered taboo in Thai society. In recent months, dozens of protesters have been charged with violating the lèse majesté law. A senior researcher from the Human Rights Watch as the recent sentence sends a “spine-chilling” message.

“Today’s court verdict is shocking and sends a spine-chilling signal that not only criticisms of the monarchy won’t be tolerated, but they will also be severely punished.”

Section 112 of the Criminal Code:

Those who defame, insult or threaten the King, the Queen, the Heir-apparent or the Regent shall be punished by a jail term of between three to 15 years.

SOURCES: Thai Enquirer | Bangkok Biz News| Independent

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Thailand

Man arrested for allegedly overstaying 60 day tourist visa by 7 years

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Man arrested for allegedly overstaying 60 day tourist visa by 7 years | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai Crime Thailand

Immigration police arrested a 40 year old Nigerian man for allegedly overstaying his visa by 2,683 days. The man entered Thailand in April 2014 on a 60 day tourist visa. He was arrested in in Ratchathewi district of Bangkok.

Illegal immigration is considered as a major factor of the second wave of Covid-19 after the outbreak Samut Sakhon seafood market affecting a large migrant population.

Thai Visa says immigration officers were “targeting Africans to check on their visa status as part of measures associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The penalties for overstaying in Thailand are as follows…

When surrendering at airport immigration when leaving Thailand…

  • Overstay less than 90 Days = 500 Thai baht/day overstay fine (maximum 20,000 Thai baht)
  • Overstay more than 90 Days = 1 year ban from Thailand and 20,000 Thai baht overstay fine
  • Overstay more than 1 Year = 3 years ban from Thailand and 20,000 Thai baht overstay fine
  • Overstay more than 3 Years = 5 years ban from Thailand and 20,000 baht overstay fine
  • Overstay more than 5 Years = 10 years ban from Thailand and 20,000 baht overstay fine

When caught while overstaying…

  • Overstay of 1 day to 1 Year = 5 years ban from Thailand and 500 to 20,000 Thai baht overstay fine.
  • Overstay more than 1 Year = 10 years ban from Thailand and 20,000 Thai baht overstay fine.

SOURCES: True Crime Thailand | Thai Embassy| Thai Visa

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Thailand

Police raid Isaan farm, arrest 2 people allegedly involved in illegal horse meat trade

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Police raid Isaan farm, arrest 2 people allegedly involved in illegal horse meat trade | The Thaiger
PHOTO: INN News

A 44 year old Thai woman was arrested for allegedly trafficking and selling horse meat illegally after police in the Isaan province Khon Kaen raided a farm and found 44 horses that – they say – were about to be slaughtered. Reports say the farm owner was also arrested, but did not give any additional information.

The horse meat was planned to be sold for 100 baht per kilogram and then smuggled across the natural borders to markets in Vietnam and China, according to Thai media.

Thai media says the woman and the farm owner face charges for possessing animals without registration, moving animals from to the epidemic control area without permission and illegal animal trade.

SOURCE: Thai Visa | INN News

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