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Prasitthichai speaks to the Thai media, “killings were unintentional”

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Prasitthichai speaks to the Thai media, “killings were unintentional” | The Thaiger
PHOTO: The media directly question the suspect at a media conference this morning - Thai PBS World
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In a bizarre sequence of events, Thai media were able to directly question the suspect, who has allegedly confessed, of the cold-blooded murders of three, whilst injuring four others, on January 9 at a Lop Buri gold shop.

School principal Prasitthichai “Golf” Khaokaew is reported to have told police that he robbed the gold shop because he had financial problems and that the shooting of a female employee and a two year old were unintentional. They both died as a result of their wounds, along with a shopping centre security guard who was shot when the gunman was fleeing the scene of the crime.

Prasitthichai spoke to the media via telephone, at a media presser this morning at the Royal Thai Police headquarters in Bangkok. The media event was hosted by the national police chief, Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda. The assembled police chiefs were flanked by members of the special forces Hanuman assault team who arrested the suspect yesterday.

Prasitthichai told the assembled media that had to open fire because he “wanted to cause panic and clear the way as he approached the shop”. He says he’d planned the robbery only 3 days earlier.

• He claimed that the shooting of the female employee was accidental claiming his glove got stuck in the pistol trigger when he tried to remove it, and his pistol accidentally discharged two shots.

• He claimed that he didn’t see the 2 year old boy when he tried to shoot at a security guard. The wounded guard staggered out of the building and subsequently died on the road.

• He claimed he bought the gun’s silencer from a friend on the Internet.

• Prasitthichai offered an apology, especially to the family of the 2 year old boy, “Title”.

He told the assembled media that he was going to surrender to police tomorrow (January 24) but ended up being arrested by the Special Forces Hanuman Division whilst driving his car yesterday. Meanwhile police recovered stolen gold ornaments from the man’s parents’ house last night with the gold stuffed into steel tube rafter inside the roof. Police are also still searching for the silencer.

Thai PBS World have published some excerpts from the bizarre exchange between the reporters and the suspect on speaker-phone.

Q: Why did you have to shoot to kill the victims?

Prasitthichai: I only meant to shoot to frighten people.

Q: Did you plan the robbery in advance?

Prasitthichai: I thought about it for a few days.

Q: Why did you shoot at the gold–shop attendant again?

Prasitthichai: When I was on top of the counter and had my gun trained at the woman by hand-glove got tangled with the trigger. I tried to pull it off and caused the gun to fire twice.

Q: Why did you shoot 2 year old Titan?

Prasitthichai: I did not see him. I shot at the security guard to frighten him. The child could have been hit by the ricochet. I didn’t mean to shoot at the child.

Q: Don’t you have any sense of remorse? You still lived your normal life after what you had done.

Prasitthichai: I do regret. I saw news about what happened to the child and regret what I have done.

Q: How could you return to your normal life after what happened?

Prasitthichai: I tried to live a normal life and did not think about escaping. But deep down I regret what I did.

Q: If you wanted to frighten people, why didn’t you just fire warning shots?

Prasitthichai: I did fire two shots at the gold show-case and didn’t expect the bullets to hit the attendant. And then when I saw two customers (who were also shot) I just lost my mind. I want to say I am sorry and ask for pardon.

Q: What do you want to say to the families of the victims?

Prasitthichai: I want to say I am sorry, especially to the family of Titan and those of other victims. I am sorry and I want to ask for their mercy.

Q: Why did you use silencer and where did you get it from?

Prasitthichai: I bought it from someone my junior I know on the internet. I used it because I didn’t want to frighten people with loud noises.

Q: Did you think of giving yourself up?

Prasitthichai: I did think about surrendering but didn’t consult with anyone. I did everything by myself. My intention was to give myself up after January 24.

Q: Why January 24?

Prasitthichai: I had an assignment with students at my school that I needed to finish first.

Q: Was your first shot intentional or accidental?

Prasitthichai: It was intentional. I wanted to frighten people, to prevent people from getting near. But it ended up hitting Titan

Q: There was rumour that you committed the crime because you wanted to die, a daredevil act.

Prasitthichai: No. I did it because of my personal problems. I have to excuse myself now.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Environment

Thailand on fire – NASA satellite website tracks the country’s farm fires

The Thaiger

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Thailand on fire – NASA satellite website tracks the country’s farm fires | The Thaiger

Thailand is burning. The burning off of harvested crop plantations is lighting up the agricultural areas. The truth is starkly revealed in the live NASA satellite feeds which track the fires around the world.

Thailand on fire - NASA satellite website tracks the country's farm fires | News by The Thaiger

CHART: Fires in the past 10 days around parts of Thailand – Firms.Modaps

Concentrations of the current fires can be seen in Central Thailand, north of Bangkok, parts of Isaan, north east of Bangkok, and around Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand. Notably the concentration of fires in northern Cambodia and across the north-western border in Myanmar, is also causing plenty of problems as the foreign smoke drifts across the borders. No matter what Thai officials do to enforce the rice, sugar and corn plantation burn-offs, there is little they can do about the haze drifting across the borders.

Bangkok, so close to clusters of fires, is in for a bad air pollution day anytime the light winds of the start of the year blow from the north or the east. The lack of rain adds to the problem, the annual problem, that engulfs Thailand’s capital during days between December and April, with the worst month, statistically, being March.

The alternative method of preparing for the next harvest, mechanical removal of the refuse and waste after harvesting, is both unpopular in Thailand and economically unviable for the small farmers whose margins remain thin with the multi-national buyers of their produce pushing for lower and lower prices every year.

In Chiang Mai, from January to the end of March, the locals even call it the ‘burning season’. Coupled with the hot season, the farmers in northern Thailand burn their fields to prepare land for the next harvest and also to get rid of biowastes like corn that can’t be sold in the market. It’s officially illegal to do the burn offs but the lack of enforcement leaves the problem unresolved and the smog and haze remain as predictable as the annual wet season.

Chiang Mai also has a local geographic problem which exacerbates the bad smoke pollution. The city is in a valley, surrounded by hills, trapping in the smoke and helping block any breezes that could otherwise blow it away.

For today, Bangkok’s air pollution is better than the past two days but still registering as ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups’ with city readings mostly between 140 – 170. Parts of the city, mostly south-east and south west, were registering readings above 300 in the past few days.

Thailand on fire - NASA satellite website tracks the country's farm fires | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: IQair.com

Watch this video for some more information about Bangkok’s smog…

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Crime

Nonthaburi gamblers given jail sentences

Maya Taylor

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Nonthaburi gamblers given jail sentences | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Khaosod

Following a raid on an illegal gambling den in the central province of Nonthaburi, 41 people have been handed jail sentences at Nonthaburi Provincial Court. Somjit Hinkerd and Sorasak Janthamanee were convicted of running a gambling den in the Bang Bua Thong district and sentenced to 3 months and 15 days’ imprisonment. The other gamblers were sentenced to 15 days’ imprisonment, suspended for 1 year, and a 10,000 baht fine each.

The gamblers were all arrested during a raid on Thursday night, which caught them playing a card game known as Dragon-Tiger. Nation Thailand reports that the property is owned by Sorasak and it’s understood the gambling was organised by Somjit. The operation took the form of a “moving casino”, in that it would regularly change location to avoid being caught.

Illegal gambling dens are thought to have played a significant role in the resurgence of Covid-19 in Thailand. PM Prayut Chan-o-cha has appealed for the public’s help in identifying such operations, saying the government needs citizens’ cooperation to shut them down.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Protests

Student arrested in dormitory at night, charged with lèse majesté offences

Maya Taylor

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Student arrested in dormitory at night, charged with lèse majesté offences | The Thaiger
PHOTO: TLHR Twitter / Lawyer Center for Human Rights

A student at Thammasat University’s Rangsit Campus has been arrested and charged with violating Thailand’s strict lèse majesté law. Ironically, it was his calls for the law to be abolished that led to Sirichai Natueng, aka, “New”, being charged. The group, Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, has confirmed the student’s arrest on its Twitter page.

After being taken into custody, the pro-democracy activist was driven to Khlong Luang police station, in the central province of Pathum Thani, just outside Bangkok. Other anti-government activists, including Parit Chiwarak, aka, “Penguin”, and Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul (“Rung”) followed, accompanied by representatives from TLHR.

Since the arrest, the hashtags #saveนิวมธ (Save New) and #ยกเลิกม112 (Cancel Section 112) have been trending on Twitter. Section 112 of Thailand’s Criminal Code is the law governing lèse majesté, which carries a penalty of up to 15 years’ imprisonment.

Sirichai, a member of the pro-democracy group United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration, has been charged with 2 lèse majesté offences. He is accused of defacing an image of the Monarchy, as well as the Rangsit campus sign, with graffiti calling for the abolition of the lèse majesté law.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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