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Chiang Mai: New Zealander accused of masterminding murder of his Korean mother Chiang Mai

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Chiang Mai: New Zealander accused of masterminding murder of his Korean mother Chiang Mai | The Thaiger

Chiang Mai police have arrested a New Zealander for allegedly masterminding the murder of his Korean mother by setting it up as quarrel between his wife and his elderly mother.

50 year old Brian Lee was arrested and charged with masterminding the murder of 76 year old An Jung Ja at a house in the Mountain View village in Tambon San Phisua in Chiang Mai’s Muang district on Thursday. He was being detained at the Mae Ping police station.

Earlier, Lee claimed his mother had a quarrel with her daughter-in-law, Park Songhee, who then stabbed her to death out of anger. Lee said his mother became angry at the speed of Park’s response to being called, and so grabbed her daughter-in-law and slammed her head against the wall and injuring her, before Park then stabbed her.

But after checking forensic evidence and security-camera footage, police concluded that Lee had lied about the quarrel and took part in the killing of his mother. His wife was under police watch at Chiang Mai Hospital.

Police said Lee’s mother had several apartments and businesses in South Korea, and Lee had brought her to live with the couple in Chiang Mai six months ago.

STORY: The Nation



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Chiang Mai

Golden Triangle drug labs increase shipments 1000% – Speed and Ice pouring over the border

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Golden Triangle drug labs increase shipments 1000% – Speed and Ice pouring over the border | The Thaiger

The number of seizures of high-purity crystal methamphetamine are surging into northern Thailand. The demand rises and the methods of detection and enforcement also improve. It’s a vicious circle.

Authorities say the number of drug seizures have risen 1000% in just the past 2 years, a stark indication of the growth in industrial-scale production in neighboring Myanmar.

Some 18.4 tonnes of crystal methamphetamine or ‘ice’, was seized in Thailand last year, according to preliminary statistics from the Thai Office of the Narcotics Control Board. They know it’s a tiny proportion of the amounts produced and shipped out undetected.

That figure is up from 5.2 tonnes in 2017 and 1.6 tonnes in 2016. It’s more than three times the amount captured across all of Southeast Asia five years ago – a staggering rise in production and distribution.

Thailand remains a major trafficking route for the artificial drug manufactured in Myanmar’s Shan and Kachin states – the north-eastern states of Myanmar that border China, Laos and Thailand.

Police say organised crime groups work with local pro-government militias and armed rebels to set-up “super labs” and allow transport through the regions to borders beyond.

The same mega-labs are also pumping out ‘cocktail’ tablets of methamphetamine, mixed with caffeine and other ‘fillers’. The drug is nicknamed ‘yaba’ in Thailand. Specialist chemists and ‘cooks’ are brought in from Taiwan and China to run the meth labs in Myanmar, while the ingredients and lab equipment mostly come from China.

The methamphetamine tablets are a low-grade recreational drug, inexpensive and popular with blue-collar workers and low-end recreational drug users across South East Asia. The price for a ‘yaba’ pill has plummeted from around 200 baht to 80 baht in the past five years.

Golden Triangle drug labs increase shipments 1000% - Speed and Ice pouring over the border | News by The Thaiger

But the Golden Triangle, bordering north-eastern Myanmar, Laos and Thailand, has a long history of illicit drug trafficking.

It came to the West’s notice as a cultivation hub for opium and heroin refining but those, now, easily detected crops are being replaced with methamphetamine production. The factories are easily hidden underneath the jungle canopy, and with the assistance of ‘co-operative’ local authorities, armed gangs and state-sponsored militias, the precursor drugs and final product move in and out with little trouble.

Once the drugs have made their way through Thailand the drug syndicates use “motherships” that intercept the drugs off the Andaman coast and distribute them to other parts of South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

Whilst the growth in production and purity of the drugs is alarming authorities, they are also intercepting and detecting a lot more of the road shipments making their way across the Thai borders. But they readily admit they are only netting a tiny part of the larger iceberg.

Despite the frequent showcasing of large drug hauls by Thai police, the vast majority of the drugs coming out of the back-doors of Myanmar’s meth labs are getting through undetected.

Golden Triangle drug labs increase shipments 1000% - Speed and Ice pouring over the border | News by The Thaiger

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Chiang Mai

American backpacker refuses to pay for girl he brought back to hostel, punches staff

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American backpacker refuses to pay for girl he brought back to hostel, punches staff | The Thaiger

An American backpacker tourist, visiting Chiang Mai, had to be restrained after getting into a squabble with hostel staff after being asked to leave the premises.

The video of the altercation was shared on Reddit by ‘EatPrayFart’.

Following a night out, the backpacker brought a girl back to the mixed dorm room that he shared with nine other people. The report alleges the two had sex and were making a lot of noise.

The following morning the man was asked to leave the premises for breaking hostel rules. The staff also demanded he pay 200 baht for allowing the girl to stay in the dorm with him.

The man refused to pay and a fight followed, caught on camera, in the reception of the hostel.

In the footage the American man can be seen punching a member of the hostel staff before being restrained by another man. Some comments in the original post say that the man was also asked to leave by some of the other people staying in the dorm.

The report suggests the man was later taken into custody by Chiang Mai police.

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Air Pollution

Poor air quality and smoke continue to dog Chiang Mai

The Thaiger

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Poor air quality and smoke continue to dog Chiang Mai | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Sanook

Chiang Mai continue to suffer from a smog and haze crisis. Residents are suffering the affects of the poor air quality for the second week in a row in the northern Thai city.

A high reading of 176 has been recorded just north of the city centre but the areas all around Chiang Mai are registering high readings recorded as ‘Unhealthy’ today (midday). The readings are on the cusp of starting to cause health problems for people with long-term exposure to the polluted air.

Poor air quality and smoke continue to dog Chiang Mai | News by The ThaigerThere are controlled plantation fires as well as some local scrub fires which are contributing to the city’s woes today. Helicopters are being used to stop the burning and bring the fires under control.

Random water spraying is also being conducted in the city area to limit the effect of PM 2.5 particles in the immediate air.

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