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Thai court upholds life sentence for Lao drug kingpin

Jack Burton

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Thai court upholds life sentence for Lao drug kingpin | The Thaiger
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PHOTO: SCMP

A Thai court has upheld a life sentence for Lao drug kingpin Xaysana Keopimpha, who’s charged with smuggling a huge number of methamphetamine pills, known as yaba in Thailand, into the kingdom in 2016. The Thai Court of Appeals found that Xaysana arranged for the drugs to be smuggled from Laos in a vehicle with a false roof compartment.

The court ruled Xaysana must serve his prison time in Thailand since the smuggling attempt was aimed at harming Thai citizens, even though the drugs never made it into the country. The court also dismissed Xaysana’s appeal that Thai authorities had misunderstood him, due to mistranslation and “communication difficulties.”

The 44 year old Xaysana was arrested at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport in January this year and in April pleaded not guilty to all charges. Xaysana has often been linked to Thailand’s wealthy elite, but has always denied being a major player in the regional drug trade.

According to the indictment, which was filed in April, Xaysana and six alleged accomplices conspired in 2016 to smuggle 1.2 million methamphetamine pills into Thailand through the Nong Khai Laotian border checkpoint. At the time, it was thought that the drugs were ultimately bound for Malaysia.

Police arrested several members of the network for possession of the drugs in October 2016.

SOURCE: Loatian Times

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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.

Crime

Bangkok police raid house where model died after playing hostess

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Bangkok police raid house where model died after playing hostess | The Thaiger

Bangkok police are investigating a model’s death after raiding a Chatuchak district house where the model died after being hired as a hostess. The model, Whitchayaporn ‘Wa’ Visessombut, was hired along with other women to serve drinks and entertain guests at a private residence last Monday. Then, the next day, she died of respiratory failure after being brought unconscious to Paolo Hospital Kaset.

Investigators say they obtained a text chat history between the 33 year old model and her agent the day she was hired for the job. The chats revealed a receipt for a 30,000 baht money transfer to 4 hostesses, including Whitchayaporn, for their work. 6 other hostesses from a different agency were also hired to work the party.

Police say between 5 and 7 men were at the party along with 10 women with the use of drugs allegedly being involved.

Upon raiding the 4 storey‐high home, investigators say it featured an “unusually high wall” which stood about 2.5 metres tall. The house had security cameras but no one was home at the time of the raid. Officers say a luxury car was parked at the residence along with a BMW motorcycle.

Police say they are still are waiting for the autopsy results of the dead woman. Her relatives have already begun seeking assistance as they are afraid her case could turn out to be as complicated as that of model Thitima ‘Lunlabelle’ Noraphanpiphat, who was found dead in a similar situation back in 2019.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Thai man accidentally kills himself with homemade bomb

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Thai man accidentally kills himself with homemade bomb | The Thaiger

A young Thai man has accidentally killed himself with a homemade bomb in the Muang district of Kanchanaburi province this morning. 22 year old Amornthep Thongchomphu was found dead with his arm blown off after the bomb exploded in a field near his home.

Local police went to the scene at about 11am, outside the man’s house in Ban Nong Kung village of tambon Ban Thum. Police found the man’s dead body along with a scorched, ruptured PVC pipe. Village headman Boonruam Somwongsa says Amornthap stayed alone in the house as his mother worked abroad, sending home money. He was apparently jobless and was not known to socialise.

Boonruam says the man allegedly had a dispute with a neighbour previously and on 2 occasions had thrown a small bomb at his neighbour’s house, leading him to file a complaint. Boonruam says it was likely that Amornthep was making another bomb to throw at his neighbour when it accidentally detonated.

The Ban Ped police chief says another small homemade bomb was found at Amornthep’s house, with its components being possibly bought from online.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Motorbike taxi attacked tourist in Pattaya because he was annoyed

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Motorbike taxi attacked tourist in Pattaya because he was annoyed | The Thaiger

A Pattaya motorbike taxi driver is saying he was annoyed when he attacked a Chilean man out of nowhereearly yesterday morning. Amorn “Jeab” Boonmee was arrested after confessing to allegedly slapping and kicking 24 year old Salvatore Andres Castromedina, breaking his nose. According Khaosod English, Amorn says he acted in a “blind moment of fury” because he was annoyed by the man.

“I apologize. I was annoyed at the tourist who came up to speak to me and I didn’t understand what he was saying. He wouldn’t go when I told him to. I’m someone who gets annoyed easily, especially at people who talk a lot.”

Amorn allegedly attacked the man on Pattaya’s famous Walking Street at about 2am on Thursday with CCTV capturing the alleged incident.

Police say the incident has damaged Pattaya and Thailand’s overall image as well as its tourism. Investigators say they are waiting for a full medical report of Castromedina’s injuries before deciding what charges to bring upon Amorn.

According to Khaosod English, Castromedina said via an interpreter that this was his first time in Thailand. He went on to explain that he was asking the taxi driver for a ride to Soi Buakhao before being attacked.

According to Khaosod English, another motorbike taxi driver was seen in the CCTV footage. 45 year old Rittisak Kulsumaso says he tried to stop Amorn from attacking Castromedina.

“I really didn’t want this to happen. It’s already hard to make money. [Castromedina] had also been drinking alcohol.”

Rittisak says he is the one who took Castromedina to the police station to file a report. He also says he turned himself in after the incident took place. Castromedina was sent to the hospital after the attack for medical treatment. According to Khaosod English, a picture shows police officers giving Castromedina a basket of chicken essence soup, wishing him a speedy recovery.

SOURCE: Khaosod English

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