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Mastermind of court attack reportedly in Australia

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

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

Mastermind of court attack reportedly in Australia
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Police will seek the extradition of a man suspected of masterminding the hand-grenade attack on the Criminal Court last week, who is also wanted for allegedly committing lese majeste and failing to report to the junta, Royal Thai Police commander Gen Somyot Poompanmuang said yesterday.

Suspect Manoon or Anek Chaichana, who is also known by the alias Anek San Francisco, has reportedly been living in Australia since avoiding arrest.

Gen Somyot said police were also looking for another suspect, Wirasak Towangjon, also known by the alias Yai Pattaya, who is also reportedly on the run abroad.

The military yesterday handed over to police four more suspects allegedly behind the hand grenade attack, after the first four suspects were handed over on Friday for their seven-day detention period.

14 suspects under investigation

The four men have been identified as Sansern Sri-unruen, Charnwit Jariyanukool, Wichai Yoosuk and Naraphat Luaphol.

There are 14 suspects either in custody or wanted on arrest warrants issued by a military court.

The eight in custody have been charged with terrorism and criminal conspiracy and will be put in military custody again under martial law when police are done with their initial interrogation.

Citing details collected during police questioning, Gen Somyot said all eight suspects knew Suphaphorn Mit-arak, or “Dear”, who police learned had been discussing the attack with Mahahin Khunthong, the driver of the motorcycle used in the attack, when they discovered their Line conversations on his mobile phone.

The military will hand Dear and three other suspects including another woman, Wassana Butdee, to police on Wednesday, Gen Somyot said.

“The suspects have communicated through various channels, exchanging information and jointly planning the attack, leading to a conclusion that they were all in the same group,” he added.

Police are gathering evidence against members of this network, which included both those in command and at an operative level, he said.

Tracking the records of money transaction among the suspects requires police coordinating with the Anti-Money Laundering Office, he said.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Pattaya

Pattaya City council pushes for action against abandoned Waterfront condo project

The Thaiger

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Pattaya City council pushes for action against abandoned Waterfront condo project | The Thaiger

The Pattaya City Council is pushing for action against the abandoned 53 story Waterfront Suites and Residence luxury condo after it has been left as an eyesore for many years along the Bali Hai Pier. The Waterfront Suites and Residence is a half-finished condo project that was stalled in 2014 after safety inspectors discovered that the building’s fire escapes and elevator systems designs varied from the already approved construction designs.

Thai Engineering, however, allegedly ignored the stop-work order and continued, but the company says it was not informed from the developers to stop. The project was originally launched and proposed back in 2004.

In July, 2014, Pattaya city officials halted construction of the condo and hotel project following an internet firestorm after photos showing the tower obstructing a “classic” Pattaya viewpoint. The majority of comments were negative, claiming the project ruined the viewpoint hill and the area around Bali Hai pier and was an “eyesore”. The mayor at the time, Itthiphol Kuneplome spoke up for the project and said that it had continually followed correct and fully transparent legal processes.

Then the condo’s Israeli-owned Bali Hai Company, due to complaints about the condo’s obstruction of the natural landscape and land permit issues, filed a petition with the Central Bankruptcy Court in Bangkok for debt restructuring which subsequently failed as the company went bankrupt.

The Pattaya Court has ordered for the condo to be legitimately demolished but due to legal proceedings against the company dragging along, the condo continues to sit abandoned. Furthermore, Pattaya City authorities were rejected by the departments that would carry out the demolition citing that the authorities were not specialised in estimating the cost of such a demolition. Now the authorities are still trying to get estimates from 11 different companies to outsource the demolition which is contributing to the delay.

But the Pattaya City Council chairman says that law firms should take control and use photographs and other documents before collecting the evidence to speed up the process. Regardless, the demolition of the condo is in limbo as pending lawsuits are preventing it from moving forward.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Pattaya

Elderly Dutch man’s body found floating near Pattaya Beach

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Elderly Dutch man’s body found floating near Pattaya Beach | The Thaiger

An elderly Dutch man’s body has been found floating near a Pattaya beach in South Pattaya after telling his wife he was going to go swimming. The 74 year old man’s wife Ms. Sukjai Bungutum, a 41 year old Thai woman, was found by rescue workers crying near his body.

“My husband told me he was going to go swimming. He had not returned after many hours. I was worried as he had personal health issues after a recent accident. I called Pattaya police for help until I was informed that his body was found.”

Rescue workers say they found the man’s body yesterday evening at 7pm. They say his body was face down in the water and there appeared to be no signs of a struggle or of being in distress, but was wearing only underwear.

The Dutch man’s name is being withheld, according to The Pattaya News, pending the notification of his embassy. Police say an autopsy will be conducted to determine the man’s exact cause of death.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Pattaya

Pattaya men allegedly posed as police officers, extorted 50,000 baht from a woman

Caitlin Ashworth

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Pattaya men allegedly posed as police officers, extorted 50,000 baht from a woman | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Line Today

A group of 4 men in Pattaya allegedly posed as police officers and extorted 50,000 baht from a woman. The 20 year old woman says the men claiming to be police officers raided her condominium and a friend visiting had drugs in his possession.

In the report filed with Pattaya City Police, the woman says the men asked both her and her friend for a bribe of 25,000 baht each. If they didn’t pay up, the men said they would arrest them on drug charges, according to the complaint. The woman says she gave the men 50,000 baht.

The men who allegedly posed as police officers were not in uniform and did not show any identification or badges, the woman says. After giving it some thought, the woman became suspicious and decided to file a complaint with police. Police are still investigating.

SOURCE: Pattaya News

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