Five leading police officers at the Muang Chiang Mai Police Station have been immediately side-lined to inactive posts. The transfers are pending a fact-finding probe of whether they had been negligent in their duties by allowing a gambling den to operate within the precinct.
The police were transferred today and the probe result is expected within two weeks.
Transferred are precinct superintendent Pol Colonel Theerasak Sriprasert, his two deputies Pol Lt-Colonel Puwanart Doungdee and Pol Lt-Colonel Narich Sorndit, and two inspectors Pol Lt-Colonel Anon Cherdchutrakulthong and Pol Lt-Colonel Khathawuth Hongneung.
The move follows the raid on a gambling den in Kad Kom area in Tambon Hai Ya of Muang district yesterday that rounded up 79 punters (35 men and 44 women) along with several hundred packs of cards, 575,967.50 baht in cash, four baccarat tables, three bill counters and some computers.
The transfer order was signed by Provincial Police Region 5 chief Pol Maj-General Montri Sambunyanont.
SOURCE: The Nation
Hostage drama in Chiang Mai – Man holds seven 7-Eleven employees hostage.
PHOTO: Chiang Mai City Life
A former Thai soldier has killed himself following a stand-off with police in Chiang Mai where he had taken seven 7-Eleven employees hostage. Eyewitnesses told Chiang Mai Citylife that a man with a gun arrived at the 7-Eleven in Mae Rim district on Chotana Road at around 5am yesterday and took one of the employees hostage.
The sergeant, who is described in reports as being “frantic and depressed”, demanded that staff in the 7-Eleven live-stream the event on LINE, which they did.
Local police were called and were attempting to negotiate with the man when he shot himself in the head. Sergeant Punghong was rushed to Nakhon Ping Hospital where he later died from his injuries three hours later.
The dead man has been named as Sgt. Phongphan Kunhong, a 37 year old former soldier from Pha Mueang Force in the Chiang Rai district.
The soldier’s superior confirmed to police that the man had been suffering from a depressive disorder. He died after several attempts to save him.
SOURCE: Chiang Mai City Life
Less monitoring, more enforcement – Prawit warns northern officials
PHOTO: The Thaiger
Thai Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan and Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa were in Chiang Mai yesterday to give provincial governors and state agency officials a ‘heads up’ in preparation for another looming season of forest fires and haze.
The North suffers perennial choking smog from approximately February to April, and Prawit passed on a message from PM Prayut Chan-o-cha who, he said, was fretting over the impact on people’s health.
He said the Environment Ministry would take the lead in coordinating with neighbouring countries and related local authorities to monitor the fire problem both in and outside Thailand.
The fires are lit in northern Thailand, and over the border in Myanmar, as burn-offs to prepare for the next year’s crops. Last year’s choking smoke haze was headline news for months.
SOURCE: The Nation
Chiang Mai hotels face a quiet end to 2019
PHOTO: Spice Roads
Chiang Mai hotels are bracing for a quiet end to 2019, along with other Thai tourist hotspots, due to the strength of the baht, an over-supply of rooms and the growing popularity of home-sharing accommodations like Airbnb.
Hoteliers in the northern city are also suffering the fall-out from the smoke haze crisis earlier in the year which put off a lot of forward tourist bookings.
Occupancy rates have fallen in Q3 20%, compared to an 80% rate at the same time last year. Hoteliers say that, usually, this is a relatively busy time for the northern city with school holidays in Europe and China. This year’s Chinese ‘Golden Week’ (October 1-7) was also very quiet compared to previous years.
They predict the average occupancy rate of less than 60% may be the ‘norm’ for the rest of the year. At the same time the number of rooms in Chiang Mai has risen an additional 10,000 rooms to 60,000 rooms in just two years, so there is a glut of rooms competing for dwindling business.
The rise of home-sharing accommodation in northern Thailand is further exacerbating the problem for the traditional hotel market. Hoteliers are also blaming this year’s negative publicity about the smoke and haze during March and April.
According to the Bangkok Post, in the first eight months of this year Chiang Mai welcomed 6.38 million tourists, down 2.2% compared to the same period last year.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
The Thaiger Newsletter
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