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Police tracking down suspects after BKK city centre shootout

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Police tracking down suspects after BKK city centre shootout | The Thaiger

by Kornkamol Aksorndej

Police are seeking arrest warrants for several men following a shootout that killed one tourist and injured four people in central Bangkok today (Sunday).

The shooting, involving the use of military weapons, has shocked the nation and harmed the image of the country and its tourism industry.

“The foreigners killed and injured in the shooting are innocent victims,” according to the Immigration Bureau acting chief Pol Maj-General Surachate Hakparn.

Police say the shooting happened on Sunday evening at a snooker parlour in the car park of the Centara Watergate Pavilion Hotel in Bangkok’s Ratchathewi district. It’s believed to be over a dispute between local snooker players and another group of players.

Several tourists were at the scene and tour coaches were parked nearby.

42 year old Gakhrejr Dheeraj, an Indian tourist, was shot and later died in hospital. Those who survived the incident have been named as 45 year old Dharmendra Sharma, 28 year old Keovongsa Thonekeo and two Thai men, 22 year old Thaksin Suk-iad and 23 year old Pornthep Pumpuang.

The tour guide Juli Sawang-aroon said the injured Indians were in a group of Indian tourists taken by coach to dine at the India Gate restaurant on the ground floor of the shopping mall by the hotel.

When dinner was over, the tour party were given some time to go shopping before the coach would take them back to their hotel. Those who had finished shopping returned to the car park to wait for their coach when the shooting erupted.

Metropolitan Police acting chief Pol Lt-General Suttipong Wongpin says that spent 7.62mm and 9mm cartridges were found at the scene and a source at police forensic science unit said at least three types of guns had been used.

Pol Maj-General Senit Samrarnsamruajkit, commander of Metropolitan Police Division 1, quoted witnesses as saying that they had seen about 20 young men armed with pistols, knives and sticks running from the snooker parlour into the soi where three young men carrying rifles opened fire.

“We will determine if the injured Thais were involved in the dispute,” Suttipong said.

Wanchai Techachongchintana, a food vendor, said tour guides who were dining at his place told him that they had noticed a group of men with guns.

“We felt it was a bad sign. So, we ran into an adjacent shopping building to take cover. Then we heard several gunshots,” he said.

“When we returned to the shop, someone had died.”

Surachate says police had already identified some suspects but none were at home when police attempted to speak with them.

“We have already gathered evidence to seek arrest warrants,” he said.

Deputy National Police Commissioner Pol General Srivara Ransibrahmanakul, who oversees security and special affairs, is also looking into the case because the shooting had claimed a foreigner’s life and involved the use of military weapons.

Police tracking down suspects after BKK city centre shootout | News by The Thaiger Police tracking down suspects after BKK city centre shootout | News by The Thaiger Police tracking down suspects after BKK city centre shootout | News by The Thaiger

STORY: The Nation

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ASEAN

Bangkok and Nonthaburi to get 2 extra holidays during ASEAN summit

May Taylor

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Bangkok and Nonthaburi to get 2 extra holidays during ASEAN summit | The Thaiger

November 4 and 5 have been approved as official holidays for Bangkok and Nonthaburi as a result of the 35th Asean Summit and Related Summits being held at Impact Arena Muang Thong Thani in Bangkok.

Deputy government spokeswoman Traisulee Traisoranakul confirmed yesterday that the measure was being taken in an effort to alleviate traffic problems in both areas during the summit, adding that other state enterprises and the Bank of Thailand could implement the holidays for their subsidiaries at their own discretion and on a case-by-case basis.

“Government agencies in Bangkok and Nonthaburi will stop working on these dates. Meanwhile, state enterprises and the Bank of Thailand will consider announcing November 4 and 5 as holidays for their subsidiaries on case-by-case basis.”

“However, government agencies which have a necessity to provide urgent or previously scheduled services to their clients that cannot be postponed may stay open on November 4 and 5, depending on the decision by the heads of these departments.”

Some other public or regional holidays coming up…

Bangkok and Nonthaburi to get 2 extra holidays during ASEAN summit | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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Bangkok

Colourful European ecstasy tablets targeting Thai youth

The Thaiger

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Colourful European ecstasy tablets targeting Thai youth | The Thaiger
PHOTO:

The Narcotics Control Board are warning about cartoon-character labelled ecstasy pills that are being smuggled from Europe and heading for Thailand and a growing market of younger users. Some of the colourful pills had been cast as characters from Minions movies and The Simpsons.

The Office of the Narcotics Control Board deputy secretary-general Niyom Termsrisook told reporters about the ecstasy pills following the arrest of a woman in Pathum Thani, just north of Bangkok, last week. The woman was arrested with about 28,000 cartoon-character ecstasy pills on October 8. Niyom said they had been tracked back to a European supplier.

“The pills were produced in France and the Netherlands. Drug dealers have also been expanding their markets to south east Asia. The drugs are smuggled through airports in Cambodia and Vietnam.”

“The pills are stored in Cambodia before being smuggled through natural border passages to Thailand.

Niyom alleged the smugglers were victims of human traffickers hired by African traffickers.

He said that local sellers of the ecstasy pills are targeting young pub goers as the drugs have a sex-stimulant property.

A source at the ONCB said a quantity of cartoon-character ecstasy pills was earlier seized at Suvarnabhumi airport in the capital. The pills were smuggled from the Netherlands where they were priced at 60 baht per pill.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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Bangkok

Thai High Speed Railway linking airports now to be signed off on October 25

The Thaiger

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Thai High Speed Railway linking airports now to be signed off on October 25 | The Thaiger

The State Railway of Thailand and the Charoen Pokphand Group-led consortium are putting pen to paper and signing the contract for the high-speed train project on October 25.

The much-discussed high speed railway will link Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang and U-Tapao international airports. The new SRT board was approved by the Thai cabinet today.

Deputy PM Anutin Charnvirakul says he is confident the contract will now be signed, adding that he has already met with Supachai Chearavanont, CEO of the CP group, and assured him of the government’s full cooperation and support.

The Charoen Pokphand-led consortium won the bid to develop the 224-billion baht high-speed train infrastructure as a signature project for the government’s flagship Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) high-tech investment hub. The train service is scheduled to be operational in 2024 (The Thaiger is taking bets now).

Recently, however, the CP-led consortium raised concerns over land expropriation and eviction problems and asked for the government to share the risk on this issue. The Transport Ministry has already rejected the request putting the onus on CP as part of the proposal.

Mr. Anutin explained that, in any large infrastructure project involving expropriation of land, it is usual for the government or state agency not to be able to hand over the land to the contractor all at once. In such cases, the contracted completion date can be moved back.

He said the CP-led consortium should proceed with the high-speed train project without further delay because 70% of the land is ready to be handed over.

Meanwhile, the deputy PM admits that he didn’t know why the entire SRT board resigned en masse, delaying the signing of the contract, and denied that he had put pressure on the board to quit. He also denied that Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob, also of the Bhumjaithai party, objected to the SRT board’s mass resignation because the latter wanted the contract to be signed quickly.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

Thai High Speed Railway linking airports now to be signed off on October 25 | News by The Thaiger

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