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Surat Thani “cockle wars” are over, says navy chief

Jack Burton

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Surat Thani “cockle wars” are over, says navy chief | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Samui Times
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The chief of the Royal Thai Navy says local figures wielding influence are being “neutralised” and the disruptive, sometimes violent dispute between cockle farmers and local small-boat fishermen is drawing to an end. Admiral Ruechai Ruddit says the conflict off the coast of Bandon Bay in the southern province of Surat Thani has eased, after cockle farmers began dismantling the roofed platforms they built to protect their illegal shellfish breeding grounds against raids by local fishermen. He says the various agencies involved are combining their efforts and enforcing relevant laws to tackle the problem.

“Progress is being made and the situation is improving. There will be no further disputes in the future.”

The navy chief says officials are to blame for allowing local big shots to “wield influence” over the sea, but this influence is now fading. The intervention of agencies which have teamed up as the “Sornchon task force” is creating a balance of power, and this will “naturally neutralise the influential figures.”

The admiral was commenting after inspecting the operations of the task force tackling the encroachment in Bandon Bay, in Surat Thani’s Mueang district.

Cockle farmers have been illegally occupying large areas of the sea, which is in the public domain.

The so-called “influential figures” reportedly laid claim to areas of the sea, then leased or “sold” them to people eager to invest in the profitable shellfish trade.

Investors occupied areas off Phunphin, Muang, Kanchanadit, Don Sak, Chaiya and Thachang districts, developing them as private farms breeding the profitable bivalve known as the blood clam. Coastal fishermen argue that the areas are public, and that they have the right to harvest the shellfish.

This has led to sometimes violent clashes.

Cockle farmers occupied an estimated 300,000 rai off the coast of the 6 districts, building roofed platforms in the sea, where they stood guard over their farms. There were a total of 1,010 platforms reported in the area.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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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.

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    Toby Andrews

    June 25, 2020 at 6:01 pm

    They have a right to harvest shellfish but not claim public areas of sea for themselves.
    It is like farmers fencing off government land to farm.

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Pattaya

Russian woman denies murdering daughter, claims husband made her do it

Maya Taylor

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Russian woman denies murdering daughter, claims husband made her do it | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai Examiner

A Russian woman who allegedly murdered her one year old daughter and then tried to kill herself by jumping from a third-floor balcony, is denying all charges against her. 33 year old Anna Efimova appeared at Pattaya Provincial Court to answer the charges when she claimed her husband forced her to kill the child.

However, police say there is nothing to suggest that a husband was present, with the woman’s landlord saying she checked in just 3 days prior with only her baby daughter. Police claim nobody else visited or stayed at the apartment. Police reviewed CCTV footage from the complex to verify the comings and goings to the apartment and complex, adding that they found nobody else at the scene of the crime.

Efimova initially told police her husband had killed the child, later changing her story. The findings of forensic investigators indicate the child died as a result of blunt force trauma, apparently from being swung repeatedly against the bathroom toilet. Police found the child’s body in the bathroom, covered with towels and pieces of the broken toilet.

The child’s mother had jumped from the third floor in an apparent suicide attempt but sustained only minor injuries. Police confiscated marijuana found in the apartment, along with two bags of white powder )being tested for the presence of illegal narcotics). The woman has been discharged from the hospital and is now in police custody facing multiple charges, while officials attempt to contact her family.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Thailand teams with Laos to stop drug trafficking

The Thaiger

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Thailand teams with Laos to stop drug trafficking | The Thaiger

Thailand is reportedly teaming up with Laos to stop drug trafficking after drug syndicates have changed their routes from Myanmar to Laos.

Thailand Narcotics Control Board secretary-general Niyom Termsrisuk, says the direction change was due to heavy policing at the Myanmar-Thai border; causing traffickers to switch routes. The Royal Thai Armed Forces have formed a division to combat drug trafficking in the Thai provinces that border Laos, with 12 teams of officers being deployed.

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Methamphetamine, crystal meth, or “ice,” and marijuana were the main drugs being smuggled with 22 million meth pills, 638 kilograms of ice, and 6,240 kilograms of marijuana being seized by Thai authorities over the past year.

Despite the Thai government’s efforts to try and stem smuggled drugs into the country, plenty of them find their way into the inner parts of the country. At the end of May this year, 1 million methamphetamine pills were confiscated in the capital, just one of many drug busts of multiple millions of pills and other illicit drugs.

According to the UNODC Representative for Southeast Asia and the Pacific…

“It is hard to imagine that organised crime have again managed to expand the drug market, but they have. While the world has shifted its attention to the Covid-19 pandemic, all indications are that production and trafficking of synthetic drugs and chemicals continue at record levels in the region.”

Read more about that report HERE.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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Young Thai photographer admits to attempted sexual assault of model

The Thaiger

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Young Thai photographer admits to attempted sexual assault of model | The Thaiger

An 18 year old Thai photographer has admitted trying to sexually assault a swimsuit model during a photoshoot after the victim posted the account on Facebook. The young man turned himself in at a Chonburi Police Station and confessed to the accusations leading to police charging him with attempted rape.

The model posted that she escaped the sexual assault attempt on her Facebook account after the photographer showed up while she was changing her clothes in the bathroom. She says he attempted to rape her but left when someone walked by as she was screaming for help.

The alleged perpetrator said he was turned on while taking photographs of the model but didn’t intend to hurt her. However, he later sent her a text saying he could not control himself.

Photographer, Swimsuit Model, Police

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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