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Chiang Rai: A long and winding rescue ahead

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Chiang Rai: A long and winding rescue ahead | The Thaiger
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“…experts are saying it could take weeks or even months.”

Rescuers are bracing for a long and difficult evacuation for the 13 Thai kids found alive in the Tham Luang cave after they went missing on June 23. All this chatter outside the cave whilst food and medicine was being shuttled to the young football players through muddy waters today.

The 12 young boys and their football coach were discovered thin and hungry, but with good spirits, on a mound of mud surrounded by water last night around 10pm. The discovery ended an agonising search that captivated the nation and was making headlines around the world.

But the focus quickly shifted from find the team to the tricky task of how to evacuate them safely from the still-flooded caverns. Much-needed food and medical supplies – including high-calorie gels and paracetamol – reached them early today as rescuers prepared for a prolonged extraction operation.

The Thai military says it is providing months’ worth of food and providing diving lessons to the boys as part of the process to help them out of the waterlogged Tham Luang network in the country’s monsoon-drenched north.

“We are preparing to send additional food that can sustain the team for at least four months and train all 13 to dive while continuing to drain the water,” Navy Captain Anand Surawan said.

He refused to say how long they might be trapped, but experts are saying it could take weeks or even months.

Chiang Rai: A long and winding rescue ahead | News by The Thaiger

The astonishing rescue sparked jubilation across the country after officials, local rescue personnel and international experts mounted a massive and gruelling operation, beset by heavy downpours and fast-moving floodwaters.

“We called this ‘mission impossible’ because it rained every day… but with our determination and equipment we fought nature,” Chiang Rai governor Narongsak Osottanakorn said this morning.

The boys were discovered at about 10:00 pm Monday by British divers some 400 metres (1,300 feet) from where they were believed to be stranded, sseveral kilometres inside the cave.

In the video, posted on the Thai Navy SEAL Facebook page, one of the boys asks the rescuers to “go outside”. In response the British diver says: “No, no not today… many, many people are coming… we are the first,” in reference to the vast and complex rescue operation that has taken over the mountainside.

The harrowing task of getting the boys out is complicated by the fact that they are in a weak state and are not experienced divers. In fact none of them have any diving experience at all.

The rugged and wet kilometres-long course toward the entrance take a healthy SEAL diver six hours. If diving proves impossible, there is an outside chance they could be drilled out or wait for waters to recede and walk out on foot. But the clock is ticking with heavy rains forecast to return this week as the monsoon season bites deeper.

The priority is to get the team’s strength up before they start the tricky journey out, officials said, reluctant to offer a concrete timeline.

“I’m so relieved, though I still don’t have the chance to see him… I want to tell him I’m still here waiting,” Kieng Khamleu, said of her son Pornchai Khamleung inside the cave. Another parent said he could hardly believe the good news.

“It’s unimaginable. I’ve been waiting for 10 days, I never imagined this day would come,” the father of one of the boys said.

Diving teams have been laying telephone lines in the cave today to set up phone calls to the boys, the governor said.

Chiang Rai: A long and winding rescue ahead | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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Chiang Rai

2 Burmese nationals arrested while crossing river into Thailand

Maya Taylor

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2 Burmese nationals arrested while crossing river into Thailand | The Thaiger
PHOTO: www.orientalescape.com

Border forces have arrested 2 Burmese nationals as they were crossing a river in the northern province of Chiang Rai in an attempt to enter Thailand. There has been an increase in security patrols along the border with Myanmar in recent weeks, as the country experiences a spike in Covid-19 cases. There have been reports of Burmese nationals attempting to enter Thailand without submitting to any of the Covid-19 measures currently in place, including testing and mandatory quarantine.

The latest arrests are of a 20 year old man named only as Saiunkaew, and 30 year old Sailu. Both men were detained while crossing the Mae Sai river, in the Koh Chang sub-district of Chiang Rai.

2 Burmese nationals arrested while crossing river into Thailand | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Nation Thailand

Saiunkaew says he travelled from Myanmar’s Shan state and claims he was on his way to study at Chiang Mai’s Mahachulalongkorn Rajavidyalaya University. He says he paid 4,000 baht to an agency in his home country to facilitate his border crossing. Sailu says he was hoping to find work in Thailand, adding that he paid 17,400 baht to Burmese border officials in order to allow him cross. Both men are now being processed by Chiang Rai Immigration, after which they will be deported to Myanmar.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Crime

Immigration announce the arrest of 18 Chinese illegal migrants in Chiang Rai

Jack Burton

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Immigration announce the arrest of 18 Chinese illegal migrants in Chiang Rai | The Thaiger
PHOTOS: 77kaoded

Immigration officers yesterday announced the arrest of 18 undocumented Chinese immigrants Chiang Rai on August 2, who reportedly attempted to cross the Mekong River from Laos to enter the kingdom illegally. A team of investigating officers from the Chiang Saen Immigration Checkpoint was patrolled the Mekong River area after receiving a tip that a group of unlawful migrants would be smuggled from Ton Pheung District in northwestern Laos via boat.

The 18 were caught as they reached a riverbank behind a restaurant in the Chiang Saen district around 5:50pm August 2. They were brought to Chiang Saen Police Station for an initial interrogation and to arrange a translator, since none of the group any travel documents.

They were initially charged with entering the Kingdom of Thailand without permission and failing to comply with the Disease Control Act, according to an announcement. That order requires that all potential immigrants go through proper channels to enter the country and enter a mandatory 14 day quarantine, amoong other rules and regulations. The commissioner of the Immigration Bureau, told the Thai Associated Press:

“The public health officers did an initial temperature test on all the immigrants and none of them showed a sign of Covid-19 coronavirus infection. The group did not have exposure to the general public as they were caught swiftly.”

“They were detained at the Chiang Saen police station for legal proceedings. Meanwhile, investigators were checking their mobile data and usage of their mobile phones as they might contain useful information regarding people who may have contributed to this trafficking or lead to further investigation.”

Thailand has been cracking down on illegal border crossings and encouraging residents of border towns to report any strangers. Thailand has officially gone 86 days with no confirmed locally transmitted cases of Covid-19, but has identified the danger of illegal immigrants importing the virus from elsewhere as the biggest potential roadblock to staying free of the disease. International borders remain closed for general tourists and only small, select groups of foreigners are currently allowed to enter the country.

It’s unclear why the group were trying to enter Thailand or where they were originally from in China.

Immigration announce the arrest of 18 Chinese illegal migrants in Chiang Rai | News by The Thaiger

SOURCES: The Pattaya News | 77kaoded

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Crime

Police: No foul play in Vorayuth witness’s death

Jack Burton

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Police: No foul play in Vorayuth witness’s death | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO

Police today ruled out the possibility of murder in the death of a key witness in Red Bull drinks heir Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya’s hit-and-run case. The regional police commander in Chiang Mai, where the witness died in a motorcycle incident last month, said new autopsy results found no trace of any suspicious substance apart from alcohol in Jaruchart Mardthong’s body. Investigators ruled his death a drunk driving incident. A high concentration (218 milligrams) of alcohol was found in his bloodstream.

“All the evidence suggested that it was an accident. We also found no evidence which suggests the driver of the other motorcycle knew Jaruchart before they met.”

The other motorcyclist was identified as Somchai Tawino, but no charges have yet been filed for his involvement in the incident, according to police.

Jaruchart was one of 2 witnesses who told investigators that Vorayuth was driving under 80 kmph when his Ferrari crashed into a patrol motorcycle, killing senior police officer Wichian Klanprasert in Bangkok in 2012. Their testimonies are believed to have contributed to prosecutors’ decision to drop the charges against Vorayuth.

His abrupt death during renewed scrutiny over the case prompted many to believe a conspiracy was involved. PM Prayut Chan-o-cha himself instructed authorities to secure Jaruchart’s body for further examination earlier this month, just hours before it was due to be cremated.

Investigators will also question Pasin Akaradejthanachot, an aide to the former Chiang Mai Senator Chuchai Lertpongadisorn, who stole and destroyed Jaruchart’s phone from the hospital.

Pasin had said to police that he was concerned about the photos of him taken with Jaruchart, which could have affected his campaign for a local election.

SOURCE: Khaosod English

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