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Phuket Gazette Thailand News: More Nui victims found; Chiang Mai freezes over; DSI targets PDRC assets; Suthep vows Bangkok jam

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET MEDIA WATCH
– Thailand news compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Bone discovery linked to serial killer Nui
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: Police have found several bones at an uninhabited spot in Loei where a confessed serial rapist and murderer allegedly attacked and strangled a girl earlier this year.

DNA tests will be conducted to determine if the bones belonged to a 4-year-old girl who went missing on February 5.

The search for the bones in Loei began earlier this week after a man, known only as Nui, was arrested for allegedly raping and killing a 6-year-old girl in Bangkok on December 6.

He has pleaded guilty.

Police allege he told them he had committed many other crimes, including two in Loei.

Since then, police have checked records of missing children in the province. Two cases are very likely linked to Nui, one involving the 4-year-old girl who went missing during a festival, and the other involving a 7-year-old boy who disappeared at a merit-making event inside the compound of a local temple on November 10.

Loei police chief Maj-General Sakda Wongsiriyanont said searchers had scoured area where the boy had gone missing since Tuesday.

About 150 police and rescue workers conducted a further search yesterday and found the T-shirt the boy was wearing on the day he disappeared. The boy’s mother and grandmother burst into tears upon seeing the shirt. Nui has continued insisting that he molested the boy but did not kill him.

The Office of Forensic Science yesterday confirmed that DNA tests on a human skull found in Bangkok’s Soi La Salle belonged to the 6-year-old girl whom Nui said he raped and strangled on the night of December 6.

Pol Lt-General Jarumporn Suramanee, adviser to the National Police Office, said the DNA tests on the bones discovered in Loei would take more time.

Meanwhile, Galya Rajanagarindra Institute’s director Taweesilp Visanuyothin has suggested that Nui might be suffering from an anti-social personality disorder and deviant sexual preferences, but not mental disorder.

“He must have been fully conscious of his actions while committing the crimes,” Taweesilp said. He said his analysis was based on available information, not detailed examination yet.

“Police have not yet contacted us to arrange the suspect’s examination,” Taweesilp said.

His institute is one of the country’s key psychiatric facilities.

Sorasit Jongjarern, chief of Bangkok Remand Prison, said experts would be invited to determine the state of Nui’s mental health, though he too is convinced that the suspect is not mentally ill.

“I think he’s just drunk,” the prison chief said.

Corrections Department’s director general Suchart Wong-ananchai ordered Sorasit to closely monitor Nui round the clock out of concerns that he might commit suicide or be attacked by other inmates.

“There are no worrying signs,” Sorasit said.

Suthep vows to paralyse Bangkok Sunday
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: People’s Democratic Reform Committee secretary general Suthep Thaugsuban declared that protesters would paralyse Bangkok traffics at least half a day on Sunday with simultaneous demonstrations around the capital.

He said about 1.7 million to 2.3 million people would join the demonstrations from 1 pm to 6pm.

He said the demonstrations would cover 577,000 square metres of Bangkok streets and adjacent areas in the city.

Rally stages would be set up at the Victory Monument, Ratchathevi, Pathumvan, Samyan, Lumpini Park, Siam, Ratchaprasong, Ploenchit and Asoke.

“On December 22, we will try not to make you, people, too tired. So, we have an appointment on December 22 and the demonstrations will begin at 1pm,” Suthep told the rally at the Democracy Monument Wednesday night.

“Those who live near [planned rally sites], please come out to join the rallies. I would like to invite you to join rallies on Rajdamnoen, Urupong Intersection, on Phetchaburi Road.

“We will set up small rally stages at the Victory Monuments and Ratchathewi Intersection, Pathumvan Intersection, Samyan, Ratchaprasong, and Asoke. There will be monitors for relaying the signal. Please join the rallies at your convenience.”

Suthep said the demonstrators would disperse at 6 pm and if Yingluck Shinawatra refused to resign as the caretaker prime minister, he would hold more mass and simultaneous rallies.

He said his group estimated that the rallies would cover some 577,000 square metres. At the calculation of three demonstrators per a square metre, there would be at least 1.7 million protesters if the areas are fully occupied, Suthep said.

Snow claim kicks up storm among weathermen
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: There is no chance it will snow in Thailand soon, as meteorological conditions and the low altitude of most of the country would not permit it, experts said yesterday.

Their prediction came in the wake of speculation that the Kingdom could see snow following a sharp drop in temperatures across the country, and snowfalls in Egypt and Vietnam in the past few days.

“At best we can see frozen dewdrops on high mountains like Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai,” National Disaster Warning Centre director Group Captain Somsak Khaosuwan said yesterday.

However, the leader of a people’s network that handles emergency situations, Piyacheep Vatcharobol, disagrees. He claimed yesterday there was a 90-per-cent chance that mountaintops 1,500 meters above sea level would experience snow. Average temperatures there would drop to -5 to -10 degrees Celsius, Piyacheep said.

Such mountaintop snow – possibly this month and in January – would result from an approaching “Little Ice Age” and reversal of the Earth’s magnetic field, which had last taken place 800,000 years ago. Because of these factors, the world now saw snow in Egypt, Vietnam and Laos, said Piyacheep.

However, Somchai Baimoung, a meteorological expert, explained that there are three factors that contribute to generating snow: humidity, temperature and atmospheric lifting. Even though the temperatures in some parts of Thailand, especially in the high mountain areas, are falling below zero Celsius, there is no atmospheric lifting condition in Thailand. Moreover, the altitude of Thailand is not correct for the generation of snow.

“There is no chance for Thailand to have snow,” he insisted.

He explained the generation of snow is not related to the phenomenon of the so-called ” magnetic reversal of the Earth”.

Somchai said that snow in Egypt is not new. There are records of snowfalls in this country 100 years ago. Also, snow has fallen in Vietnam in locations at high altitude and with enough humidity and sufficiently low temperatures to generate it.

“The falling of snow in Vietnam is not surprising,” Somchai said.

Somsak explained the temperature in Thailand has dropped because a cold air mass from China still covers the country. This cold air cannot pass through to the sea because it is blocked by a low-pressure trough floating over the southern regions.

The Meteorological Department yesterday forecast for upper Thailand a temperature drop of another 2-3 degrees Celsius in the next three to four days. With more rain predicted for southe

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

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Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai restaurants want dine-in ban revoked as infections drop

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Flickr/Siripanna Chiang Mai

The governor of Chiang Mai has called for the ban on dining in at restaurants to be lifted and for eateries to be allowed to serve food on-site until 9pm. Charoenrit Sa-nguansat’s request follows a drop in Covid-19 infections in the northern province.

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration has colour-coded Chiang Mai “dark red”, making it a maximum control zone, along with the central provinces of Bangkok, Chon Buri, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, and Samut Prakan. According to restrictions imposed on maximum control areas, in-house dining is prohibited at restaurants, which are only permitted to remain open for takeaway orders up to 9pm.

The Bangkok Post reports that Charoenrit has appealed the ban in a letter to the CSSA, after daily new infections dropped from triple digits to double digits. In his letter, he attached a copy of a petition from the Chiang Mai Restaurant and Entertainment Venue Association, who last week called for the dine-in ban to be lifted, pointing out that it’s having a significant impact on more than 14,000 restaurants and 80,000 workers. The association also argues that there have been no infections linked to local restaurants.

Charoenrit, who also heads up Chiang Mai’s communicable disease control body, says he supports the association’s petition, adding that case numbers have been following a downward trend in the last week and calling on the government to lift the dine-in ban in the province.

According to the Bangkok Post, an innovative restaurant thought it had found a way around the ban when it opened up a “drive-in” service, in which customers could order and consume food in their own cars for up to 2 hours. Alas, the move was opposed by health officials, who pointed out the small gap between vehicles and voiced concerns that diners could use the opportunity to mingle.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Thailand

Chiang Mai on track to reopen 2 districts to foreign tourists in October

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo via Pexels

Chiang Mai is still on track to reopen to foreign tourists under the sandbox model this October. The so-called sandbox model would allow foreign tourists, who are vaccinated against Covid-19, to travel to designated areas in Thailand without undergoing quarantine. In Chiang Mai, tourists will be able to travel in the area with tour guides on designated routes. Phuket is set to reopen under the scheme on July 1.

In Chiang Mai, the districts Mae Rim and Mae Taeng are planned for the sandbox model. President of the Tourism Council of Chiang Mai, Punlop Saejew, says those areas have a low population density and around 400,000 vaccine doses are needed for residents in both districts.

With Phuket set to reopen in July, tourism operators expect other tourist destinations in Thailand will benefit from the potential influx of foreign visitors.

“The Phuket sandbox model will create opportunities for other provinces… However, we have to prepare for our reopening regardless of what happens with Phuket because the country cannot afford another lost year.”

Health officials have said there are a limited amount of vaccine doses with priority given to those in high risk areas. Both Chaing Mai’s public and private sectors are planning to procure more doses, just in case, the government cannot provide the vaccines in line with the reopening schedule.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Drugs

Opium and Heroin seized at Chiang Mai checkpoint

Neill Fronde

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FILE PHOTO: Large drug busts this week in northern Thailand.

500 grams of heroin and 50 kilograms of raw opium were seized at a Chiang Mai checkpoint by Pha Muang Force soldiers. The cache was confiscated Tuesday evening in the Chai Prakan district’s Pha Hong checkpoint in Tambun Si Dong Yen. The soldiers stopped 2 drivers who aroused suspicion and who promptly fled when stopped. The motorcycle was left with 2 bags, with one containing 500 g of heroin and the other 50,5 kg of raw opium which had been packaged into 31 separate packets.

The bust is part of a line of recent drug seizures that have seen about 30.5 million baht worth of drugs recovered while thwarting the trade networks of 3 major drug rings in the Phitsanulok, Sukhothai, and Tak provinces. These drug cases have all been linked to Wichit Arphonrungroj, the chief of Phop Phra tambon administrative organization. While Wichit is still at large with police hunting for him, several other arrests linked to the busts have been made. Four warrants were issued and police are actively pursuing more accomplices.

The first raid on Monday in Tak came as police continued investigating and expanding the scope of a huge drug bust in October 2019 where police seized 1.5 tons of crystal methamphetamine. Police later seized 2 million baht of drugs in a bust of a man in Sukhothai. And in Phitsanulok, a 20 year old man was arrested after being unable to clarify the source of 20 million baht wired into his bank account. He had been selling drugs online, using a Facebook page called “Phee Laem Pilok”.

Last December police confiscated drug assets valued at 100 million baht in Bangkok. And just a few weeks ago police took in 100 kg of ketamine and crystal meth in a drug bust in Lat Phrao.

With the Covid-19 pandemic crippling the economy and many jobless and increasingly desperate, Thailand has seen an increase in drug use and trafficking. Add to that the civil unrest in Myanmar, where illegal drug manufacturers are using the turmoil to sneak drugs across a tumultuous border, and Police have seen the need to implement a widespread crackdown on drugs throughout Thailand.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

 

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