– Thailand news compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community
PHUKET: After conducting a three-decade-long study, Chulalongkorn University statistician Theeraporn Verathaworn has discovered that the numbers drawn fortnightly in the state lottery are highly improbable.
Hence, he said, the system should become fully automated and be open to external review in order to ensure the results cannot be rigged.
“There should be no problems if they use automated machines and the system is checked by outside auditors every two years or so,” the 59-year-old said.
State lottery operators should also make all statistics of winning numbers available to the public for the sake of transparency, he advised.
He said that though many Thais still believed that drawing a number manually was more reliable, it is not true scientifically.
Theeraporn, who recently briefed concerned panels both in the Senate and the Lower House, said many poor people who placed underground bets on the last two or three numbers of the state lottery had a high chance of being exploited.
While stopping short of accusing the state lottery of manipulating results, Theeraporn said his study proved the results were highly improbable. For instance, he said, having the same last two digits of 66 appear as the winning number twice in a decade is impossible, statistically speaking, as it can only occur once in 417 years on average. This number was first drawn on October 1, 2004 and then again on February 1 this year. “When something that should occur once in 417 years ends up occurring twice, it’s almost a miracle,” he said.
Another highly unusual result was the last two digits of one of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s many vans, which ended up appearing seven times in the 40 bimonthly cycles. “The same number came up three times consecutively,” he said.
Theeraporn said manipulation was possible because the balls containing lottery numbers could not be mixed properly in the small container used and also because lower digits were dropped into the container first.
Underground betting will continue as poor people keep hoping luck will solve their problems. Besides, the amount promised by illegal betting is disproportionately higher than that offered legally. A Bt1-wager on the winning last two digits could win as much as Bt60 in the underground lottery.
Nevertheless, the chance of winning is still much lower than losing, and does not make sense statistically unless you have access to those “special numbers”, Theeraporn said.
“Theoretically, if you asked me if one should gamble on lottery numbers, I would say it’s not worth it,” he said, adding that 25 million of the 69 million Thais, mostly poor people, bought lotteries. “They’re building castles in the air, unless they have access to those ‘lucky numbers’.”
PHUKET: Several high-profile figures are on the newly released list of owners of reassembled luxury vehicles that the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) says it will check to determine if any are involved in tax evasion.
Among those listed are Thongmakut Thongyai, CEO of SCB Securities, and AVM Chaiyapruk Didyasarin.
Pol Lt-Colonel Korawat Panprapakorn, a senior official at the DSI, revealed the “big names” to reporters yesterday.
These names were assembled from among owners of reassembled vehicles worth more than Bt4 million at today’s market rates.
The new list follows the 488 names released on Monday, who the DSI said, would be required to bring in their luxury cars for inspection.
Sergeant Worapoj Phetkhum, owner of a luxury car on Monday’s list, said he would take legal action against the seller if inspection of his Mazda RX8 sports car shows it had been modified to avoid taxes.
“I bought it more than a year ago for Bt1.3million. It’s a second-hand car,” Worapoj said.
The DSI has launched a serious investigation into tax-evading vehicles after nobody stepped forward to claim ownership of the six luxury cars that mysteriously caught fire on a transporter late last month.
Among the six vehicles was a Bentley with trading plates that were initially linked to a company called Born to Run Co Ltd. However, the company claimed it had no knowledge of the car.
Born To Run’s representative, Siriporn Darak, met with DSI investigators yesterday to clear up any doubts about her firm’s involvement. She was accompanied by her lawyer Pissanu Panichsuk.
“We have never used the trading plates found on the Bentley in question.
“We hope our testimonies will be useful to the DSI investigation and assist the department in discovering the truth about the vehicle,” Pissanu said.
He added that the firm had hired someone called Sudburi Prom-thamma to acquire 50 trading plates in 2009 and did not know if he had used the firm’s documents in getting more plates than the agreed number.
“Let’s prove the matter first – it will be fairer to both sides,” said Pissanu.
Korawat said the DSI would summon Sudburi for questioning, because available records at the firm showed none of the 50 plates matched the registered number of the plate found on the Bentley.
“We will also submit the license plate found on the Bentley to the Land Transport Department for inspection,” Korawat said.
PHUKET: Suthipong denies strangling tycoon; victim ‘was dead’ when he saw him
Suthipong “Berm” Pimpisal, the fourth suspect in the murder of businessman Akeyuth Anchanbutr, surrendered yesterday but denied that he had strangled Akeyuth with a shoelace.
Suthipong was earlier implicated by Akeyuth’s chauffeur, Santiparb Pengduang, of having strangled Akeyuth.
Santiparb and two other suspects – Thiwakorn Kuathong and Chawalit Woonchum – have been arrested. Police yesterday obtained the Criminal Court’s permission to further detain the three suspects for investigation.
Suthipong surrendered at the Metropolitan Police head office, after which police took Santiparb to the head office to identify Suthipong.
Suthipong told police investigators that he had not killed Akeyuth. He said when he entered the van he found that Akeyuth had already been killed. Suthipong said Santiparb then told him to tie a shoelace around Akeyuth’s neck.
Earlier, Santiparb told police that Suthipong had strangled Akeyuth out of anger that the businessman had tried to escape.
Santiparb told reporters yesterday that he would like to apologise to Akeyuth’s family. He said he did not intend to kill Akeyuth and he planned to flee after splitting the money with his friends, but Suthipong strangled the businessman.
Following the court’s approval, Santiparb, Thiwakorn and Chawalit were taken for detention to Bangkok Remand Prison at 2pm.
Suchart Wongananchai, the director-general of the Corrections Department, said he had instructed prison officials to closely monitor the three suspects and to check their food for their safety.
Suchart said inmates, who have been appointed as assistant guards, would closely monitor the three to prevent th
— Phuket Gazette Editors
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
Burmese man arrested for dealing in methamphetamine pills
PHOTO: Naew Na
Naew Na reports that a joint operation between Lamphun immigration and the Muangjee police has resulted in the arrest of a 27 year old Burmese man. Lamphun is just south of Chiang Mai and has a large population of Burmese migrant workers.
‘Thun’ was arrested yesterday along with drug taking equipment and 206 methamphetamine tablets. He was charged with possession of an illicit drug with intent to sell, and using the drug.
He has now been handed over to the Muang Lamphun police for processing and probably deportation.
SOURCE: Naew Na
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