Connect with us

Thailand

General blasts banks over drug money accounts

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

on

General blasts banks over drug money accounts | The Thaiger

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– Thailand news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

General blasts banks over drugs
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Assistant Army chief General Paibul Khumchaya is up in arms over what he considers to be a lack of scruples in the banking sector, after discovering that commercial banks are accepting deposits from imprisoned drug traffickers.

“How is it possible that jailed prisoners have been able to open bank accounts with your banks?”

“Are you happy that you are able to attract deposits from the drug trade?”

These are the sorts of questions Paibul says he asked officials from more than 60 banks suspected of having accounts belonging to drug traffickers.

To reach their deposit targets banks are turning a blind eye to dodgy customers, he said.

The junta has asked the Anti-Money Laundering Commission to monitor bank-account transactions for drug money. Banks that do not allow the commission access to accounts will face fines of Bt5,000 per account.

Police will monitor banks along the border.

“If drug traders do not receive money from selling drugs, it will deter them,’ Paibul said.

The general, who also heads the National Council for Peace and Order’s legal affairs panel, has declared war on drugs.

He said the scourge had penetrated so deeply into Thai society that a single state agency was unable to combat the problem alone.

He said it might be the right time for the NCPO to exercise its “absolute power” by implementing an integrated and comprehensive approach that brought all state agencies together to tackle this massive problem.

Even though it might not be able eradicate drug trafficking, the NCPO might be able to at least make traffickers fear the long arm of the law, the general added.

Ministries that will work closely with the Office of the Narcotics Control Board and the police’s Narcotics Suppression Bureau to fight the drug problem are the Interior, Public Health, Education, Labour and Justice ministries.

“Apart from the three battles – arrests, monitoring and blocking the drug trade – I will stress building preventive and immune systems as well as drug rehabilitation, because this part of the solution has been missing,’ Paibul said. He said drug monitoring and rehabilitation had failed because there is no database on drug addicts.

“After drug addicts are rehabilitated and released to live a normal life, we do not know where they are or whether they return to abusing drugs.

“The number of drug addicts who return to drugs is an indicator of the rehabilitation’s success. We cannot evaluate the work without this indicator or information.’

He said he had assigned the Interior Ministry to handle the database because it works at the grassroots.

“No one knows people in the village more than village heads,’ he added.

The Corrections Department and drug rehabilitation agencies will provide information on addicts who undergo rehabilitation to the Interior Ministry, he said, adding that the ministry had to know where addicts were after rehabilitation.

Paibul said he felt it was unnecessary for schools to receive extra funding for educating students on drug-preventive measure, as the issue was part of the curriculum and teachers had a responsibility to cover the topic.

The Tambon Administrative Organisation also should not incur extra expenses in handling anti-drug work because it was part of its responsibilities.

Provincial governors will be held accountable for any failure to solve drug problems, Paibul added.

Since taking power over a month ago, the NCPO has conducted a number of prison raids nationwide as part of its crackdown on drugs in prison. Top officials at the Corrections Department have been warned they will be punished for failing to stop drug trafficking in prisons. Drugs are often smuggled in via food.

“You send these bad people into jail, but you allow them of operate a drug trade in their jail room. People who do this are worse than drug traders,’ he said.

Paibul said he was making a comprehensive list of drug networks, which included politicians and state officials.

“I called them in for questioning and asked them if they were happy to see newspaper headlines about children killing parents for not giving them money to buy drugs,’ he said.

The government will also buy x-ray machines to prevent drug smuggling, he said. This will allow it to spot drugs hidden in trucks that transported agriculture goods.

— Phuket Gazette Editors



Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Thailand. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Thailand

77 year old Swede dies from heart attack on beach in Trat

The Thaiger

Published

on

77 year old Swede dies from heart attack on beach in Trat | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Khaosod

A Swedish man has died after an apparent heart attack whilst swimming at Koh Chang in Trat, in Thailand’s eastern-most province.

Khaosod reports that officers from the Royal Thai Navy at Koh Chang were notified of an unconscious foreigner near Saikhao Beach last night.

The man was later identified as 77 years old Walter Eugen Schaefle, a Swedish national. He was rushed to a clinic where he was later pronounced dead.

Mr Schaefle’s relatives say he loved to go swimming everyday. Police are continuing their investigation.

77 year old Swede dies from heart attack on beach in Trat | News by The Thaiger 77 year old Swede dies from heart attack on beach in Trat | News by The Thaiger 77 year old Swede dies from heart attack on beach in Trat | News by The Thaiger 77 year old Swede dies from heart attack on beach in Trat | News by The Thaiger

Continue Reading

Thailand

Top 7 Thai expat myths

The Thaiger

Published

on

Top 7 Thai expat myths | The Thaiger

If you read the internet, particularly one particular website we won’t name (thaivisa.com)… whoops, then you’d think that Thailand is a dreadful place to visit, filled with hate-filled expats who live in fear and loathing of, well, everything. According to many, the sky is likely to fall in at any moment and everything in Thailand is too expensive, too corrupt, too hot, too cold and too dangerous.

Here are a few of the popular myths expats like to keep pushing.

The TAT (Tourist Authority of Thailand) make up the tourist arrival numbers

This has been a popular conspiracy theory for decades. As the numbers of tourists continued to rise, so did the comment “they’re making it up”. With no evidence to back their claims, keyboard warriors, seemingly unhappy that there is a rise in the number of tourists coming to Thailand, claim passionately that the TAT are just inventing numbers to appease their bosses.

Meanwhile the airports get busier, add new terminals, more flights arrive, new hotels get built, new tourist attractions open, new condos get constructed and people scream about long immigration queues.

The TAT have assured us, over the years, that the methods used for collecting tourist arrival data has been the same for 20 years and that the figures are audited. The risk the TAT would have of being exposed with fraudulent numbers would be a major loss of face.

However if you’d prefer to believe ‘CrankyPattaya’, ‘BritRoot’ or ‘TratTrash’, then go for it.

Things are getting too expensive in Thailand

And things are getting more expensive around the world. It’s called inflation. The rises in prices for food, services in goods in Thailand can partly be explained with the rise of tourism to the country with popular locations having higher rentals than in the past as the value of the property in tourist regions rises.

Whilst you can pay 300+ baht for a pad thai in a tourist area, locals can still get the same meal for under 50 baht. Is the price higher than it was 10 years ago? Of course.

The differences in prices between the popular tourist magnets and the outlying areas of the country continues to become more apparent though. If you’re going to live in Pattaya, Phuket or Sukhumvit Road, then you will find many prices have risen along with the popularity of the locations and the rising real estate prices.

You have a high chance of dying on Thailand’s roads

According to figures from the World Health Organisation, Eritrea has the most number of road deaths (with 48.4 deaths per 100,000 residents), Dominican Republic – 41.7, Libya – 40.5, Thailand – 38.1, Venezuela – 37.2. So Thailand has, statistically, the fourth most dangerous roads in the world. The statistic looks bad.

But when you factor in that 74% of those deaths are people on motorcycles, often also drunk and not wearing a helmet, it’s not as bad as the numbers suggest, if you’re not in the high-risk categories. But IF you’re not drunk, wear a helmet, ride responsibly or travel in a car, your chances of getting killed on the roads are a LOT lower. Whilst the statistics still look truly awful they are heavily weighted against young males between 16-24.

So if you don’t fall into the ‘at risk’ categories that make up a very high majority of deaths on Thailand’s roads, then you are in less danger than the world average. That’s still not good enough but it puts Thailand’s high ranking into perspective.

The Thai government don’t want us to stay here

In recent years there has been additional levels of paperwork put on the application for visas for long-term stayers in the Kingdom. In the past some of the requirements were overlooked or sorted out through, ummm, negotiation. At the same time the Thai Government has announced many other changes to visas and introduced Smart Visas and BOI visas, aimed at encouraging skilled professionals to live and work in Thailand.

All this while the exchange rates for many currencies have turned bad, especially for UK, European and Australian citizens, so their pensions or offshore investments haven’t been stretching as far as in the past.

Most of the changes come in the form of enforcement of existing rules and a general ‘clean up’ of procedures at Thai Immigration offices. There have been many improvements, well… attempts at improvements, along the way as well – things like drive-thru services.

Bottomline, if you think it’s difficult to live, work and stay in Thailand, just check how difficult it is for a Thai citizen to move to your country.

All expats sit in bars and date bar girls

In the 1980s this may have been statistically prevalent. But the type-cast expat living in Pattaya, Patpong and Phuket has changed radically in the past 30 or so years. Now expats come from a much broader range of countries, settle here for many different reasons, are younger, many have families and are much more likely to be working here than retired. And you’re unlikely to see them sitting in bar chatting up bar girls (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

But old perceptions die hard and the typical Thai expat is still thought to be white, older and enjoys dating younger Thai bar girls. Statistically this is a tiny proportion of the 300,000 or so expats thought to be living and working in Thailand in 2019.

Staying in the Kingdom without a job, with limited funds and no health insurance is becoming increasingly complex. But you’d find that situation in most parts of the world now.

The Thai government a dictatorship

We’ll tread a little carefully here. Thailand’s fraught experiment with democracy, since the absolute monarchy was abolished back in 1932, has been fragile. Lots of coups, lots of Army tampering and lots of elections. Thailand now has the dubious distinction of being the world’s only current Military-led government. But is it a ‘dictatorship’ in the historical use of the phrase? Probably not.

The NCPO, the Army-led National Council of Peace and Order, took the reins of government on May 22, 2014 in a bloodless take-over from the civilian-elected government.

But the Thai Government are in good company in and around South East Asia. Laos and Vietnam are both run by communist governments (with stable capitalist economies), Cambodia is a constitutional monarchy run by a leader who has been seen to control the ‘elections’ by suppressing political dissent. Malaysia is a federal constitutional monarchy but has suffered ongoing political division and nepotism, and more recently a rise in religions tensions that cripple the government’s ability to govern. Singapore is more of a family business than a democracy – the south east asian economic miracle of the 20th century. Brunei is run by a Sultan who has recently introduced aspects of Sharia law into the Sultanate – no elections there. Myanmar is a quasi army-run dictatorship. Etc, etc…

Indonesia, Japan and South Korea are the only relatively stable Asian democracies but they are few and far between.

So Thailand’s unique take on the words ‘election’ and ‘democracy’ should be viewed in a wider framework of pan-Asian politics. Bottomline, there aren’t tanks rolling down the streets or soldiers standing on street corners toting guns. In the Wikipedia Democracy Index, Thailand falls into the category of ‘hybrid regime’ and that’s probably about right.

There’s NO Freedom of Speech in Thailand

Whilst there are many subtle, and a few less subtle, limitations on Thai media, you will see robust debate and editorials printed in Thai and foreign-language media any day of the week. It’s a uniquely ‘Thai’ type of media but there are a few well-documented cases of individuals who have dared to tread over the grey line.

Going to a Thai media scrum is about as robust as you’ll find anywhere in the world and the questions fired at politicians, usually cloaked in very polite language, can cover just about any issue. There are a few ‘no go’ topics in Thailand and that’s a cultural thing that takes a few years to fully understand. But, believe me, the Thai media is a robust part of the ongoing political and economic discourse of the country, despite the many perceived or real restrictions. Like many other things in Thailand, when it comes to freedom of the media, TIT.

The Thaiger has never been contacted by the police, the Army or government officials to discuss or remove anything we’ve published.

Top 7 Thai expat myths | News by The Thaiger

Continue Reading

Thailand

Ministry looks at tourist levy to fund infrastructure

The Thaiger

Published

on

Ministry looks at tourist levy to fund infrastructure | The Thaiger

A tourist levy is being considered amongst a raft of changes to improve the amenity of local tourist attractions. The Tourism and Sports Ministry is floating the initiative after the National Tourism Policy Act was enacted and published in the Royal Gazette this week, according to the Bangkok Post.

The Ministry is now in talks with universities and insurance companies to research solutions that would provide additional funds but have minimal impact on the flow of tourists into Thailand.

This year the Ministry is predicting that 41 million travellers will visit Thailand.

Tourism remains a key economic driver in the Kingdom and has been on the rise for the past two decades. Last year Thailand welcomed 38 million foreign tourists contributing more than 2 trillion baht to the local economy. Local tourism contributed another 1 trillion baht.

The tourist levies would be used to rehabilitate different tourism sites across the country. The other expenditure would go towards new infrastructure. One such idea is to build a proper port for passenger cruise ships in the South.

Japan and Malaysia have slapped tourist levies or departure taxes on travellers.

Continue Reading

The Thaiger Newsletter

Keep up with all the day’s news. Subscribe here.

The latest news and information from Thailand.

* indicates required
[คลิป] “ธนาธร” มาแล้ว สวมชุดขาวร่วมพิธี “เปิดประชุมรัฐสภา” “พรรณิการ์-ปิยบุตร-ส.ส.อนาคตใหม่” มาด้วย : เลือกตั้ง 2562 | The Thaiger
ข่าวการเมือง44 mins ago

[คลิป] “ธนาธร” มาแล้ว สวมชุดขาวร่วมพิธี “เปิดประชุมรัฐสภา” “พรรณิการ์-ปิยบุตร-ส.ส.อนาคตใหม่” มาด้วย : เลือกตั้ง 2562

ผลการแข่งขันนัดที่ 3 วันที่ 23-24 พ.ค. ทุกคู่ใน “วอลเลย์บอล เนชั่นส์ ลีก 2019” | The Thaiger
วอลเลย์บอล2 hours ago

ผลการแข่งขันนัดที่ 3 วันที่ 23-24 พ.ค. ทุกคู่ใน “วอลเลย์บอล เนชั่นส์ ลีก 2019”

กางสถิติบล็อกโปแลนด์ ปังจนไทยแพ้ 3 เซตรวด “วอลเลย์บอล เนชั่นส์ ลีก 2019” นัดที่ 3 | The Thaiger
วอลเลย์บอล4 hours ago

กางสถิติบล็อกโปแลนด์ ปังจนไทยแพ้ 3 เซตรวด “วอลเลย์บอล เนชั่นส์ ลีก 2019” นัดที่ 3

24 พ.ค.62 ชมถ่ายทอดสด พระบาทสมเด็จพระเจ้าอยู่หัวและสมเด็จพระนางเจ้าฯ พระบรมราชินี เสด็จฯ ทรงเปิดประชุมรัฐสภา | The Thaiger
ข่าวการเมือง5 hours ago

24 พ.ค.62 ชมถ่ายทอดสด พระบาทสมเด็จพระเจ้าอยู่หัวและสมเด็จพระนางเจ้าฯ พระบรมราชินี เสด็จฯ ทรงเปิดประชุมรัฐสภา

สรุปคำแถลง “ธนาธร จึงรุ่งเรืองกิจ” ต่อคำวินิจฉัยของศาลรัฐธรรมนูญยุติหน้าที่ ส.ส. | The Thaiger
เลือกตั้ง 625 hours ago

สรุปคำแถลง “ธนาธร จึงรุ่งเรืองกิจ” ต่อคำวินิจฉัยของศาลรัฐธรรมนูญยุติหน้าที่ ส.ส.

[Live] ธนาธร จึงรุ่งเรืองกิจ แถลงกรณีศาลรัฐธรรมนูญรับวินิจฉัยปมถือหุ้นสื่อ | The Thaiger
เลือกตั้ง 6219 hours ago

[Live] ธนาธร จึงรุ่งเรืองกิจ แถลงกรณีศาลรัฐธรรมนูญรับวินิจฉัยปมถือหุ้นสื่อ

พ่อทหารเกณฑ์ร้อง ลูกตายในค่ายปริศนา | The Thaiger
ข่าว22 hours ago

พ่อทหารเกณฑ์ร้อง ลูกตายในค่ายปริศนา

เชียร์สด 23 พ.ค. วอลเลย์บอล ไทย-โปแลนด์ “วอลเลย์บอล เนชั่นส์ ลีก 2019” – ช่องทางถ่ายทอดสด | The Thaiger
วอลเลย์บอล24 hours ago

เชียร์สด 23 พ.ค. วอลเลย์บอล ไทย-โปแลนด์ “วอลเลย์บอล เนชั่นส์ ลีก 2019” – ช่องทางถ่ายทอดสด

ลิซ่า BlackPink ต้องดู “ญาญ่า อุรัสยา” สุดร้อนแรง คัฟเวอร์ “Kill This Love” | The Thaiger
BLACKPINK1 day ago

ลิซ่า BlackPink ต้องดู “ญาญ่า อุรัสยา” สุดร้อนแรง คัฟเวอร์ “Kill This Love”

ตัวอย่างหนัง ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD โดยเจ้าพ่อหนังบู๊ “เควนติน” | The Thaiger
ตัวอย่าง2 days ago

ตัวอย่างหนัง ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD โดยเจ้าพ่อหนังบู๊ “เควนติน”

“มงคลกิตติ์” กร้าวฟ้องหมิ่นประมาท ทั้งอาญา-แพ่ง ขอเงิน 2 แสนหาเงินเข้าพรรค | The Thaiger
เลือกตั้ง 624 days ago

“มงคลกิตติ์” กร้าวฟ้องหมิ่นประมาท ทั้งอาญา-แพ่ง ขอเงิน 2 แสนหาเงินเข้าพรรค

ที่แท้เป็นเจ้าหน้าที่เทศบาล โมโหได้อาหารช้า เมากร่างควักปืนลูกซองขู่เจ้าของร้าน [คลิป] | The Thaiger
ภาคอีสาน4 days ago

ที่แท้เป็นเจ้าหน้าที่เทศบาล โมโหได้อาหารช้า เมากร่างควักปืนลูกซองขู่เจ้าของร้าน [คลิป]

ดูสดปิดมหากาพย์ชิงบัลลังก์ Game of thrones season 8 ตอนที่ 6 | The Thaiger
ฉายแล้ว4 days ago

ดูสดปิดมหากาพย์ชิงบัลลังก์ Game of thrones season 8 ตอนที่ 6

สะใจ! วอลเลย์บอลหญิงไทย U23 พลิกชนะเวียดนาม “วีทีวี บิญดิญ ลองอัน 2019”-คลิปย้อนหลัง | The Thaiger
วอลเลย์บอล5 days ago

สะใจ! วอลเลย์บอลหญิงไทย U23 พลิกชนะเวียดนาม “วีทีวี บิญดิญ ลองอัน 2019”-คลิปย้อนหลัง

“อาร์โนลด์ คนเหล็ก” โดนกระโดดถีบขาคู่ ระหว่างเซลฟี่แฟนคลับ นึกว่าแค่โดนชน | The Thaiger
ต่างประเทศ5 days ago

“อาร์โนลด์ คนเหล็ก” โดนกระโดดถีบขาคู่ ระหว่างเซลฟี่แฟนคลับ นึกว่าแค่โดนชน

Trending