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Survey shows that Thais feel “less safe”

Jack Burton

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Survey shows that Thais feel “less safe” | The Thaiger
PHOTO Paramedics help a man wounded during the Aurora gold shop robbery in Lop Buri on January 9. - AFP
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A recent survey by Suan Dusit Rajabhat University, the Suan Dusit Poll, shows that Thais are more concerned about their safety than ever before, citing the country’s economic woes as the reason.

The poll was conducted from January 15-18 on 1,365 people throughout the Kingdom of varying education levels and occupations. The survey followed a spate of serious crimes in the news, including rapes, robberies, shootings and drug dealing, culminating in the high-profile Aurora gold shop robbery in Lop Buri province where three people died.

On January 9, a man shot and killed three people and injured four others during a gold shop heist in Lop Buri.

Numerous CCTV cameras captured the man’s brief rampage, during which he casually strolled into the shop and shot customers and staff. One of the victims was a two year old boy who was shot in the head while walking past the shop with his mother.

67.6% of those polled say that they’ve become more serious about their personal security over the past year as a result of the economic slump, deteriorating social conditions and low moral standards.

In August the Government revealed that the country’s economy grew at its slowest rate in nearly five years in the second quarter of 2019. It cited slowing exports, a struggling farm sector and US-China trade tensions, saying all had taken their toll on Thailand.

The Government also blamed falling domestic demand and weakening export performance, due in part to the strong baht. The Thai baht was one of Asia’s strongest performing currencies in 2019, which hurt Thai exports and the key tourism sector, which generates more than 20% of the Kingdom’s gross domestic product. To make matters worse, the farming sector is currently in the grip of the worst drought in decades.

When asked what causes risks to their personal security, 53.8% pointed to the poor economy; 24.4% cited “deteriorating social conditions, social disparities and a low standard of living”; 21.3% cited the government’s inability to solve economic problems, forcing people to help themselves; 18.2 percent said it was caused by low public moral standards, and 14.5% cited poor law enforcement.

(Figures are rounded to to the nearest one tenth of a percentage point)

When asked to identify what they feared most, 67.5% pointed to robberies and banditry; 32.7% said the use of violence and weapons such as guns and knives; 25.1% cited the spread of drugs; 21.3% pointed to sex crimes and 15.1% said they fear toxic smog.

Survey shows that Thais feel

SOURCE: Suan Dusit Poll

Whether a slowing economy leads to crime or increases it remains a topic of debate. In 2015, the World Economic Forum published an article titled “Do Recessions Increase Crime?” which quoted American economist Gary Becker’s seminal 1968 work on criminal choices, saying low expectations on returns for legal activity may lead to initial involvement in crime and subsequently to a first encounter with the criminal justice system.

Whether an economic slump inevitably leads increased crime is still up for debate, but the recent poll shows many Thais believe it does.

SOURCE: The Asean Post

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Thailand

Banned politician says government silencing him by invoking Lese Majeste law

The Thaiger

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Banned politician says government silencing him by invoking Lese Majeste law | The Thaiger

A banned politician, who criticised the government’s Covid-19 vaccine plan, is claiming the government is silencing him (again) by invoking the Lese Majeste lawagainst him. The alleged defamation case concerns his questioning of using one of the king’s companies as part of the Covid-19 vaccine strategy that he says will slow down the process of inoculations.

Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit accused the government of PM Prayut of relying too much on Siam Bioscience to help in the vaccine plan, and pointed out that it is owned by the Crown Property Bureau, the organisation that manages billions of dollars in investment under the king’s personal control.

Siam Bioscience agreed to manufacture AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine and supply it domestically and across Southeast Asia. but Thanathorn says the deal “lacked transparency” and it was given an unfair advantage over other companies after the government ordered 61 million doses of the vaccine.

He says the government is slowing down the process by relying on just 1 company and points to other countries as they are already starting to inoculate residents. Both AstraZeneca and Siam Bioscience have not commented on his allegations, while the government has filed a complaint against Thanathorn citing the royal insult law under article 112 of the criminal code that can send law-breakers to prison for up to 15 years.

“The deals were not negotiated independently of each other. There was no selection process or comparison so questions must be raised.”

But a government spokeswoman, Ratchada Dhanadirek, maintains the filing of the criminal complaint was not politically motivated. Last year, Thanathorn was banned from politics for 10 years after a court dissolved his Future Forward Party for illegal loans, charges which were upheld by the Constitutional Court.

Meanwhile, others are criticising the government’s announcement to allow local municipalities to pay for vaccines as they say it coincides with upcoming elections. They point out that the government should pay for the vaccinations, especially in Bangkok, as they say the government has the funds to do so.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Crime

Police search for man who allegedly stole 1.9 million baht worth of gold at gunpoint

Caitlin Ashworth

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Police search for man who allegedly stole 1.9 million baht worth of gold at gunpoint | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

Police are searching for a man who allegedly pulled out a gun and stole 119 gold necklaces worth more than 1.9 million baht from a Tesco Lotus gold shop in the Isaan province Nakhon Ratchasima’s Non Thai district.

The man allegedly pulled out a gun and yelled at the Yaowarat Krungthep gold shop staff to get down on the floor. He then allegedly climbed over the counter, opened the display cabinets and grabbed dozens of gold necklaces. Police say he then took off on a motorcycle.

Gold shop employees told police that the man was wearing a yellow hoodie, red pants and a purple face mask. An employee at the scene said the man held a gun and ordered him to lie on the ground.

“The robber then jumped over the display cabinets and grabbed several gold necklaces before fleeing on a motorcycle, which had no license plate.”

Police are investigating and reviewing surveillance camera footage. Officers also set up roadblocks.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Bangkok

Man arrested for allegedly importing millions of fake designer sunglasses

Caitlin Ashworth

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Man arrested for allegedly importing millions of fake designer sunglasses | The Thaiger
PHOTO: DSI

A 42 year old Chinese man was arrested for allegedly importing fake designer sunglasses after police raided 2 locations in Bangkok’s Thonburi area and seized 3 million pairs of fake designer sunglasses worth around 300 million baht.

Officers from the Department of Special Investigation raided multiple rooms at the Dao Khanong Condominium and the BMC Dao Khanong Cinema. The department posted photos of the raids showing rooms filled with boxes stacked to the ceiling.

Police say the sunglasses had major designer brand names like Ray Ban, Gucci, Oakley, Chanel, Christian Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Cartier, Mont Blanc, Marc Jacobs, Armani, Fendi and Versace.

Man arrested for allegedly importing millions of fake designer sunglasses | News by The Thaiger

Man arrested for allegedly importing millions of fake designer sunglasses | News by The Thaiger

Man arrested for allegedly importing millions of fake designer sunglasses | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: Thai Visa

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