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200 members of Line app under investigation for procuring U18 boys for sex

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More details have emerged about the identities and activities of members of a Line App group who have been allegedly preying on underage boys for sex. The commander of the anti human trafficking police says the tourist police are also involved in the investigations.

Daily News is reporting that on Wednesday a Thai university lecturer and “hi-so man” were among several arrests of users of the Line group that numbers more than 200. It was stated that it was run by a convenience store employee as a sideline to his retail work.

Boys involved in selling sex are under 18 and might be under 15, according to the Daily News report.

Pol Maj Gen Kornchai Khlaikhleung says that more details WILL be revealed at a media conference next Tuesday.

Maj Gen Kornchai claims that early media reports, stating that the people involved were “hi-so” weren’t true but that they were people with plenty of money. He mentioned that customers in the group were watching live videos on the App before making their ‘choices’ of which young boy to have sex with.

The Major General warned people not to join such groups as it could lead to jail. He added that the operation, including the tourist police, has yet to result in the arrest of all suspects.

SOURCE: Daily News

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Bangkok Covid clusters prompt inoculation goal of 5 million by end of July

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As 28 new Covid-19 clusters hit Thailand’s capital of Bangkok, The Public Health Ministry says it is planning to vaccinate 5 million people by the end of July. The capital yesterday saw the highest number of daily new infections at 1,843 out of the nationwide high of 9,635. The unusually high amount of infections comes after 12 prisons in Thailand were found to be infected with Covid, accounting for 6,853 of the daily new infections.

Taweesilp Visanuyothin, the spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, says the CCSA is monitoring the clusters in Bangkok, which are spread out over 19 districts. The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has separated the clusters into 4 categories which are comprised of local transmission rates and daily new infections.

The district level clusters include:

Din Daeng

Watthana

Klong Toey

Laksi

Lat Phrao

Ratchathewi

Phra Nakhon

Pomprap Sattruphai

Suan Luang

Pathumwan

Sathon

Samphanthawong

Chatuchak

Bang Rak

Prawet

Wang Thonglang

Ramkhamhaeng

Bangkok Noi

Huai Khwang

Laksi, Din Daeng, and Pomprap Sattruphai districts saw the most amount of clusters as a construction worker camp saw 885 infections. Authorities say there were 11 subcontractors working at the site, with workers being spread out across 8 camps nearby. 6 camps featuring 6,000 residents were told to take Covid precautions, as the entire construction site has been sealed off.

Opas Karnkawinpong, the director-general of the Department of Disease Control, says the DDC will set aside enough vaccines for the BMA to make sure that 70% of the capital’s residents were vaccinated by the end of July. Opas says as soon as AstraZeneca vaccines arrive next month, the mass vaccination drive will start. He says the blueprint for the drive has already been approved by Bangkok’s Covid-19 coordination committee that was set in place by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha.

Today, Thailand is reporting 2,473 new infections and 35 Covid-related deaths. The number of active cases continues to rise. Yesterday the state recorded 35,055 people still under care in hospitals or field hospitals. Most of these people remain asymptomatic.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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UPDATE: 2 Americans and a Thai arrested over Bangkok kidnap attempt, Thai policeman involved | VIDEO

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Screenshot: THAICRIME

UPDATE:

Following up from the earlier story involving 2 Americans, a Thai, a Taiwanese businessman, and an Israeli security goon, we have the following update (original story below)…

Police have examined CCTV from the restaurant in Thong Lor where the Taiwanese businessman was kidnapped. It’s also been revealed that a “senior Thai policeman” was involved in the alleged abduction case. The abduction took place on March 28.

The meeting had been called to “resolve” some disagreements over a large purchase of rubber gloves that had gone wrong.

After arriving at a meeting at the L’Oliva restaurant in Sukhumvit Soi 26, Mr. Wen Yu Chung was manhandled, put in a headlock and dragged out of the premises. Daily News reports that a “lieutenant colonel” ranked Thai policeman was also captured on the CCTV supervising the events as they happened inside the restaurant. He is reported as being a former traffic policeman.

Mr. Chung was then held to ransom at the condo NT Court. Attempts were made to contact Mr Chung’s family and business associates to extract a ransom – allegedly 1 and 2 million baht – but they refused to pay.

The 3 men have been identified as 41 year old Jeremy Hughes Manchester, 52 year old Louis William Ziskin, both Americans, and Ekbodin Prasitnarit, Thai.

Mr Louis Ziskin has a somewhat chequered history with his story catalogued on Wikipedia. Summarised…

Ziskin was taken into custody in December 7, 2000 and charged over transactions from November 1999 to December 22, 1999. Ziskin was convicted of smuggling 700 pounds of ecstasy into Southern California via FedEx and other various shipping companies, the largest-ever US government seizure of the drug. There was another indictment a year later.

Following his incarceration, Ziskin lost a double jeopardy appeal for the second indictment. The US government settled all claims against Ziskin for a 188 month sentence and a US$9 million fine.

Daily News also reported a man ‘Mike’ who allegedly invited the policeman to be involved in the incident. Earlier this man was described as “Mr. Michael Greenberg, an Israeli operating a detective company”.

Here’s video showing the arrest of Mr. Ziskin…

EARLIER STORY:

Thai police have arrested 2 American citizens and a Thai for the alleged kidnap of a Taiwanese businessman for ransom. 5 other arrest warrants are also waiting to be executed over the incident. Police allege a “business conflict” over the purchase of plastic ‘nitrile’ gloves as the motive.

The 3 men have been identified as 41 year old Jeremy Hughes Manchester, 52 year old Louis William Ziskin, both Americans, and Ekbodin Prasitnarit, Thai. All 3 have denied the charges including illegal assembly, attempted murder, abduction for ransom and extortion. They were formally charged at the Thong Lor police.

According to Bangkok Post, in late 2020 Mr Ziskin appointed the Collection Company to negotiate the purchase of a large quantity of plastic gloves with the Paddy The Room Trading Company.

Police allege that there was an ongoing conflict between the two sides which was responsible for Mr Ziskin accumulating 93 million baht in damages.. So, according to police, Mr Ziskin hired Mr. Michael Greenberg, an Israeli operating a detective company in Thailand to negotiate and retrieve the losses.

Police allege that Mr Greenberg hired Thai and foreign collaborators to plan an abduction as leverage in the retrieval of their losses. They contacted a 60 year old Taiwanese man from the Collection Company in Thailand to procure a supply of rubber gloves from Paddy The Room Trading Company.

They made an appointment to meet Wen Yu Chung at a restaurant in Bangkok’s in Bangkok’s Tong Lor are off Sukhumvit Road on March 28. Police allege that Mr Greenberg and hired associates arrived, handcuffed the Taiwanese businessman and then took him to the NT Place, 200 metres further south down the same Soi, Sukhumvit 36.

They then called Mr Chung’s boss demanding US$2 million, and then called the man’s family demanding another US$1 million. Both contacted police and did nothing to accede to the demands for ransom..

The abductors then headed to a restaurant in Soi 24, with Mr. Chung, eventually letting him go. The Taiwanese man went, first to hospital, then to Thong Lor police station to relate his story. Eventually 8 arrest warrants were issued over the alleged abduction. Soon after police arrested Mr Manchester, Mr Ziskin and Mr Ekbodin.

We’ll continue to follow this story.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid-19 spreads to 12 Thailand prisons infecting 9,789 people

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Chiang Mai prison / Photo via Department of Corrections ประชาสัมพันธ์ กรมราชทัณฑ์

Over the past week, 12 prisons in Thailand have reported Covid-19 infections infecting thousands of inmates. Out of the 9,789 Covid-19 infections reported by the Department of Corrections, nearly 4,000 cases were reported at the Chiang Mai Central Prison.

Outbreaks at the Bangkok Remand Prison and Central Women’s Correctional Institution were first reported last week after a pro-democracy protest leader announced that she tested positive for Covid-19 a week after she was released from the women’s prison. She had been held in detention for 8 weeks awaiting trial for lese majeste charges which carry an up to 15 year prison sentence for insulting or defaming the Thai Monarchy.

At the Central Women’s Correctional Institution, where 1,039 people are infected, the outbreak started from a new inmate who was infected with the coronavirus, the department’s director general said in an earlier statement. At the Bangkok Remand Prison, where 1,960 people are infected, a department official who was infected with Covid-19 apparently caused the outbreak infecting more than half the prison population.

Following the news of the Covid-19 outbreaks at 2 Bangkok prisons, human rights activists have called on Thai authorities to reduce overcrowding in the prisons, a longstanding problem in Thailand, by releasing inmates who are incarcerated on minor charges or who are being held in court detention for non-violent offences.

In an earlier statement, the Human Rights Watch said that Thai authorities need to act immediately to make sure inmates who are infected with Covid-19 get equal and adequate health care, which is required under international law.

Most of the infected inmates are being treated at field hospitals set up outside the prison, or at the Department of Corrections hospital, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Natapanu Nopakun said during today’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration meeting. Those in serious condition have been admitted to hospitals, he said.

Natapanu added that the Thai government is providing adequate health care for the infected inmates in line with legal standards.

Prison Covid-19 cases
Chiang Mai Central Prison 3,929
Bangkok Remand Prison 1,960
Central Women’s Correctional Institution 1,039
Khlong Prem Central Prison 1,016
Thon Buri Remand Prison 1,725
Nonthaburi Central Prison 59
Chachoengsao Central Prison 43
Central Special Treatment Centre 12
Min Buri Prison 2
Narathawit Prison 2
Mae Sot Prison 1
Samut Prakan Central Prison 1

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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