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Former deputy commerce minister and 4 others plead not guilty to murder of judge’s brother

Jack Burton

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Former deputy commerce minister and 4 others plead not guilty to murder of judge’s brother | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand
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In a case which has shocked the nation, former deputy commerce minister, MP and police lieutenant Banyin Tangpakorn and 4 co-defendants have pleaded not guilty to the abduction and murder of the brother of the senior Bangkok judge who was handling his multimillion baht stock theft case. They entered their pleas via video conference from prison yesterday.

The accused, including 56 year old Banyin, face charges related to the death of 67 year old Weerachai Sakuntaprasoet earlier this year. Prosecutors charged each of them in February with premeditated murder, fatal detention, coercing others, illegal assembly and concealing a body.

The other defendants are 67 year old Manat Thaptim, 48 year old Narongsak Pomchan, Chatchai Menkun, aged 31, 33 year old Prachawit Sithongsuk, and 63 year old Thongchai Wachisatcha, a police sergeant-major. All are natives of the lower northern Nakhon Sawan province.

Five of the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges, while Narongsak pleaded guilty. The court adjourned the hearing until next month, when evidence and witness lists will be considered.

It’s alleged that Banyin and his five co-defendants kidnapped the elder brother of Bangkok South Criminal Court judge Phanida Sakuntaprasoet, to pressure her to drop charges in a 300 million baht stock fraud case against Banyin.

Weerachai was kidnapped right outside the court on February 4 and bundled into a van in broad daylight. It’s believed he was killed on or about February 5. His body was burned and the remains tossed into the Chao Phraya River in Nakhon Sawan. Banyin is also charged with impersonating a policee officer and illegally wearing a police uniform during the abduction.

Banyin was earlier found guilty of forging documents to set up the transfer of 300 million baht worth of shares owned by his 50 year old new​ friend, construction tycoon Chuwong sae Tang, to himself and two accomplices.

Banyin is also charged with Chuwong’s 2015 murder.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post | Thai Examiner

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Jack Burton is a writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. He attended the Henry Grady School of Journalism and 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.

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Transport

Thousands of people have been travelling between provinces

Anukul

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Thousands of people have been travelling between provinces | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: corporate-office.business

… but not quite as many as before, so far. The Director General of the Department of Land Transport says that more people have been using the inter-provincial buses services after the government recently easing Thailands’ lock down situation.

He says…

“Although some long distance services are still not in operation to comply with the night time curfew, many inter-provincial routes of around 300 kilometres are open and have seen many commuters.”

“The department will gradually add buses to facilitate increased use and maintain social distancing.”

The department has announced that there were just under a million passengers per day using public buses running between Bangkok and nearby provinces from March 1-25, (the period before the State of Emergency).

  • 141,240 passengers per day taking buses between the capital and other provinces,
  • 9,128 using buses between provinces,
  • 2,379 using buses within a province.

Reports have revealed that after the emergency was effective across the nation from March 26 to May 1, there was a decrease in the number of passengers with 472,210 passengers per day travelling from Bangkok to surrounding provinces, 4,090 from the capital to other provinces, 5,612 on inter-provincial routes and 2,156 passengers between provinces.

After the lockdown was eased on May 2 up to today, the number of passengers has increased to 508,490 per day travelling from Bangkok to surrounding provinces, 6,000 from Bangkok to other provinces, 9,020 on inter-provincial routes and 4,020 passengers between provinces.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

2 new cases of Covid-19 reported in Thailand with one additional death (May 25)

Anukul

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2 new cases of Covid-19 reported in Thailand with one additional death (May 25) | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Bangkok.com

Today the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration announced 2 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Thailand with 1 additional death. The 2 new cases consist of 1 imported case, a Thai woman repatriated from Russia last Wednesday who is currently under state quarantine in Chon Buri province.

The other is a 49 year old Chinese citizen, the wife of an Italian who has been confirmed infected. She travelled from China to Phuket on March 9 and remained on the island due to the lockdown. She lives in Cherngtalay with her husband and 3 children aged 15, 10 and 7. She shows no symptoms at this stage. Cherngtalay is the tambon bordering Bang Tao, a hotzone for new cases during April and early May.

Thailand’s total number of confirmed cases is now 3,042 with 57 deaths since the outbreak began in January. 2,928 of those have fully recovered and been released from hospital, with an additional 7 new discharges overnight.

Only 57 people remain under medical care for the disease nationwide, and the recovery rate is 96%.

The additional death was a 68 year old Thai woman in Chumphon, southern Thailand. She was reported to have “many personal health issues and the cause of death was due to failure in her lungs and an infection in her bloodstream.”

“She had been in the hospital fighting Covid-19 for about a month and she finally passed away yesterday, minutes after midnight.”

Chon Buri province has had no new confirmed cases in 31 days, with Pattaya 10 days further ahead with no new confirmed cases for 41 days.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post | The Pattaya News

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Bangkok

Gas explosion in Pathum Thani destroys garage, 10 cars

Jack Burton

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Gas explosion in Pathum Thani destroys garage, 10 cars | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai Rath

Fire ravaged a garage in Pathum Thani, just north of Bangkok, last night, causing a massive explosion of gas cylinders stored inside. Damage was extensive but, fortunately, no injuries were reported. Police at Khu Khot police station were notified at about 8pm, and say the bush fire broke out in tambon Lat Sawai of Lam Luk Ka district.

More than 10 fire trucks, firemen and rescue workers rushed to the scene. They saw grass burning on a vacant land plot and an adjacent automotive parts shop in flames. There were 10 cars and various auto parts, as well as gas cylinders, in the garage, and as the fire tore through it, the cylinders exploded.

Firemen took almost 1 hour to bring the fire under control. The garage, all the cars and other contents were destroyed. Pieces of the gas cylinders also damaged several roofs in the area. 53 year old Khwanmuang Bamrungkit, whose roof was damaged, says he was having a meal when the flaming debris fell on his roof.

56 year old Bunthan Seelabut says he and his family were also eating when the fire broke out. He immediately sprayed water on the walls of his house while his wife called for firemen.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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