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Junta to receive royal endorsement

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PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

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

Junta to receive royal endorsement
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha will be given a royal command, appointing him as the head of the NCPO, and a ceremony will be held at 10.49am today at the Royal Thai Army headquarters on Rajdamnoen Road.

A press conference will be held later to announce the NCPO’s roadmap and the likely set-up of a national legislative assembly to push ahead with a new constitution and a national council for reforms.

The move follows the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) yesterday announcing that, in order to tighten security, any offence against the monarchy and national security would face prosecution in military courts.

The offences are those cited in Articles 107-112 of the constitution and include lese majeste.

Articles 113-118 cite other security offences, including talk of secession and insurrection.

Any violation of the NCPO’s orders would also be tried in military courts.

NCPO order No 37 exempts offences committed in areas where the Internal Security Act and the emergency decree are in effect from being tried in military courts. In such cases, the offences would go through the normal judicial process.

The NCPO last night summoned more than 30 prominent individuals, including businessmen Land & Houses president Anant Asavabhokin, ItalianThai Development president Premchai Karnasuta, and Sansiri president Srettha Thavisin.

Academics allied with the anti-Thaksin protesters, including Suraphol Nitikraipot, the former rector of Thammasat University, and critic Thirayuth Boonmee, as well as the Banjerd Singkaneti, the dean of the Faculty of Law at the National Institute of Development Administration, were also summoned.

GOVERNMENT IN EXILE

The NCPO said it would take legal action against Thaksin Shinawatra’s lawyer Robert Amsterdam over his interview to the foreign press, in which he said some states had offered to Thaksin to host a government in exile, Army deputy spokesman Colonel Winthai Suvari said.

The content of the interview was deemed as disturbing the peace in Thailand, so the NCPO would ask the Foreign Ministry to cut the lawyer’s communication channels, he said.

DETAINED

Meanwhile, key community figures summoned for talks by the coup-makers have not been tortured and will not be detained more than seven days, NCPO spokesman Col Winthai said.

However, the period of detention would depend on the degree of importance of the individuals and the information they had to give, he added.

Winthai said the NCPO had summoned leading individuals from all sides of the political spectrum to inform them about the current situation.

Many of the summoned figures were detained but the military said they were being treated well and would be released in a few days when the situation had calmed down.

“They are not chained or tortured. We treat all of them with honour,” Winthai said. “We have informed them of the need for cooperation to help solve the country’s problems.”

Winthai said many of the summoned persons had been released and some were freed on the first day. He said if detainees were wanted on arrest warrants, they would be handed over to police for further prosecution, which would begin tomorrow.

Regarding summoning the Shinawatra family, Winthai said that the name of Khunying Potjaman na Pombejra, the ex-wife of Thaksin, was on an unofficial list. The spokesman said he still did not have information as to when former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra would be released, and he did not know whether NCPO chief General Prayuth would hold talks with Thaksin.

Thaksin yesterday wrote on his Twitter microblogging page that the NCPO must return happiness to Thais.

He said he was sad that another coup had happened in the Kingdom and added that conflicts in the country stemmed from divisiveness and the lack of fair rules.

On Saturday night, troops escorted Panthongtae Shinawatra, the son of Thaksin, to his Bangkok residence, Winthai said.

The NCPO spokesman said Panthongtae was staying in Chiang Mai when he was summoned for talks with officials “to set aright his understanding”. Later he was taken to his Bangkok residence “in line with his wishes”.

People who reported to the NCPO at the Army’s auditorium in the Thewes area yesterday morning were transported to an unidentified military camp around 3pm.

They include The Nation‘s senior reporter Pravit Rojanaphruk, Bonanza Khaoyai Resort owner Paiwong Taechanarong, and Pheu Thai legal expert Pichit Chuen-ban. Kanchanapa Honghern, secretary to Potjaman, who was among those summoned, sent a representative to inform the NCPO that she had been receiving treatment in a hospital.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Thailand

Former party-list MP candidate convicted of drug smuggling, sentenced to 50 years in prison

Caitlin Ashworth

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Former party-list MP candidate convicted of drug smuggling, sentenced to 50 years in prison | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thairath

A former party-list MP candidate is sentenced to 50 years in prison for smuggling crystal methamphetamine. Suban Mahachanon was on the MP candidate list for Seri Ruam Thai Party in the March 2019 election, but his bid was unsuccessful. Just a few months later, he arrested for drug trafficking a large amount of methamphetamine into the Philippines.

Suban was busted when a fire broke out at Chon Buri’s Laem Chabang sea port, damagin shipping containers at the port. Police inspected the scene after the fire and found a container rented under Suban’s name was carrying 985 kilograms of methamphetamine hidden in Emperor brand tea packages. The shipping container also had boxes of shoes and bags of chopsticks, all ready to be shipped out to the Philippines.

Police also arrested 3 other men involved in trafficking the methamphetamine. Along with sentencing Suban to 50 years in prison, the Criminal Court also sentenced 2 Chinese nationals, 25 year old Huang Guoxiong and 45 year old Zhou Qingchu, to life in prison and a Thai man, 62 year old Joi Sae Fong, to 50 years in prison.

At first, the Court sentenced the 2 Chinese men to death, but it was lowered to life in prison. The Bangkok Post says the 2 men were responsible for concealing the drugs and loading the container. The Thai man Joi, also rented the container under his name with Suban. Joi and Suban were initially sentenced to life in prison. Their sentences were reduced to 50 years in prison.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand

Thailand News Today | Rumours of amnesty extension, 22 new Covid cases | September 28

The Thaiger

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Thailand News Today | Rumours of amnesty extension, 22 new Covid cases | September 28 | The Thaiger

Daily TV news and updates from around Thailand on The Thaiger and on Youtube at Thaiger TV.

22 new cases of Covid-19 detected in Thailand

Out of nowhere, the Thai government’s CCSA has reported 22 new cases of Covid-19 in the past 24 hours this morning, raising the country’s total of infections to 3,545.

22 cases is the largest number of daily cases announced in a 24 hour period since April 5 this year when Thailand was emerging from its first wave.

16 of the new cases have come from imported cases, and became apparent whilst they were in quarantine during routine tests. The people have arrived from South Sudan, 4 people from India, 1 from Pakistan and 1 from the Philippines.

Thai doctor warns about short-cuts in quarantine

Meanwhile, a doctor from the Faculty of Medicine at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University says reducing the quarantine period for foreign tourists would be inviting disaster.

Dr. Thira Woratanarat made his statement after a suggestion from the Tourism and Sports Minister that quarantine could be halved if all goes well when Thailand re-opens its borders to a limited number of foreign tourists.

“In Thailand, if we decide to follow the proposal to reduce the quarantine time to 7 days, it would be an invitation to disaster.”

Rumours of a new visa amnesty, up to October 31

Thai Immigration offices have been flooded with foreigners trying to find a last minute solution to stay in the country and figure their situation out before the end of the visa amnesty… September 26, last Saturday.

The end of the amnesty, allowing visitors with lapsed visas to remain in the country, put many in a difficult situation, especially after a warning from the government the people could face fines and jail time for overstaying. But foreigners could have 1 more month to figure it out.

The news will come as a massive annoyance to those who went through the hoops last week to meet the deadline, although many thousands simply failed to get an appointment or satisfy the extension requirements, or simply had no flights to leave the country.

The government estimated around 150,000 foreigners were living in the country on amnesty.

Now there’s an “unofficial” letter, on official Thai government letterhead, floating around, claiming that the visa amnesty will be extended until October 31. It’s said the letter is waiting to be signed by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha which would then be published in the Royal Gazette. The letter title translates loosely as “extension for foreigners staying in Thailand”.

Meanwhile, The Phuket News is reporting that their local immigration office plans to start charging people with overstays from tomorrow.

There’s still a lot of confusion over the finish, or not, of the visa amnesty. We will bring you all the latest details, as soon as they come to hand, at thethaiger.com

“Boss” commission chief says Thai justice system in need of reform

Former National Anti-Corruption Commissioner, Vicha Mahakun, who led the recent inquiry into the handling of the case against Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya, says Thailand’s justice system is in need of reform.

The Red Bull heir and grandson of co-founder Chaleo Yoovidhya, “Boss”, stood accused in a 2012 hit-and-run case that caused the death of a 47 year old Bangkok police officer who was hit by Boss’s Ferrari and dragged over 100 metres, before the car fled the scene.

Boss was never brought to justice and is believed to be living outside Thailand, having managed to flee the Kingdom in 2017. Now, the chairman of the investigating panel says the whole Boss fiasco proves that Thailand’s legal system needs to be reformed. He says the decision to drop all charges in the case clearly came about as a result of systemic corruption in the ranks of Thailand’s police and judicial departments.

“Why was the case, that should have been closed within a year, delayed for 8 years? There’s a legal proverb ‘justice delayed is justice denied’. An attempt to delay it gives a clue.”

1,202 gambling websites to be blocked in Thailand

Thailand is cracking down on online gambling websites. Internet providers will have 15 days to block 1,202 gambling websites before charges are pressed for violating Thailand’s Computer Crime Act.

Although gambling is technically illegal in Thailand, underground and online gambling thrives in pockets of the country. The Digital Economy and Society Ministry was ordered by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha to crack down on illegal online gambling. The PM ordered the ministry to block the hundreds of gambling websites within the next 15 days. The ministry has requested 1,202 court warrants citing Computer Crime Act violations.

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission is collaborating with the ministry to block access to the gambling websites. The strict order is aimed at keeping teenagers away from online gambling.

More rain fronts on the way around Thailand today and tomorrow

The Thailand Meteorological Department is forecasting more isolated heavy rain over many parts of the country over the next few days.

Last night there were heavy rains and flooding in parts of inner city Bangkok. Cars were stuck in knee-deep water and footpaths were inundated in several inner city suburbs, including Phra Khanong. Phuket also had a rough night of high winds and rain. For most of Thailand, the most rainfall is accumulated in September and October making them the wettest months. We have a special story about Thailand’s monsoon… the link is under here in the description.

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Crime

Teenagers allegedly fired guns into the air, stray bullet kills 16 year old girl

Caitlin Ashworth

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Teenagers allegedly fired guns into the air, stray bullet kills 16 year old girl | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Siamrath

A 19 year old man faces charges of intent to murder for allegedly shooting and killing a teenage girl. The man told police he shot the gun in the sky and did not intend to harm anyone. The stray bullet went through the girl’s heart and also injured her friend.

16 year old Nutthicha Thanthaisong was riding home on a motorcycle from an event in the Isaan province Buriram while a group of teenagers were allegedly firing off guns. A bullet hit her back and exited through her heart, killing her. Her 19 year old friend driving the motorcycle was also injured by the bullet. Nation Thailand says he is being treated, but did not report on the details of his injury.

Police questioned 19 year old Natthakit Boonluea after receiving reports from 6 of the man’s friends saying he shot the teenage girl. Natthakit told police he shot the gun in the sky and did not aim it at the girl.

Police say they believe more people were shooting off guns and plan to question around 50 people that may have been involved in the shooting.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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