Connect with us


Thailand News: Songkhla ranked fourth for human trafficking; Car tax scam; Jet-setting monks



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

Songkhla ranked fourth highest in human trafficking
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: The Royal Thai Police revealed that Songkhla ranked fourth in terms of areas most at risk for human trafficking crimes at 642, after Bangkok’s 1,108, Chumphon’s 997 and Prachuap Khiri Khan’s 848 locations.

This report prompted Social Development and Human Security Minister’s secretary Anusorn Eiamsa-Ard to visit the province for inspection yesterday, where he was told by Songkhla deputy governor Surapong Panut-ampon that there were many human trafficking cases in terms of prostitution in the city.

Surapong explained that Songkhla, a tourism and trade hub, served as a core supplier of women and children to prostitution rings in Malaysia and Singapore. He said authorities had rescued 73 prostitution victims in 2011; 17 in 2012 and eight in 2013. There was also a high number of people being forced into labour in the fishery business, he said, adding that authorities had rescued 15 persons in 2011; 17 in 2012; and seven in 2013.

Provincial Police Region 9 investigator Pol Maj-General Jeerawat Udomsuk said he covered human trafficking crimes in Songkhla, Satun, Trang and Phang Nga provinces and the toughest issue was the Rohingya people who fled turmoil in Myanmar and wished to live here permanently. He said the refugees were a financial burden on the Thai government, but nothing could be done other than force them back into their country.

Even then, they tend to sneak back in, he added.

Jeerawat cited Sadao district, where thousands of migrant children had no access to education and would possibly grow up to cause social problems in the future. He called on the foreign minister and other people in power to speak to Malaysia about pushing Rohingya refugees into Thailand as well as punish the state officials who help with the transfer.

Royal Thai Police representative Pol Colonel Surapong Muenpaopun said there were 2,000 registered Rohinya people in Thailand, but the actual figure could be larger and grow further if nothing is done to send them back to Myanmar. These people also faced the risk of becoming human trafficking victims. Anusorn’s visit was to prepare for the ministry’s strategy to tackle human trafficking in seven pilot provinces such as Songkhla, which will be used as a model for the suppression of human-trafficking cases.

Papers for 301 cars ‘tied to tax scam’
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: More than two-thirds of Mercedes-Benzes and BMWs under investigation for tax evasion have failed to pass document tests.

“But we will have to conduct physical inspections before coming to a conclusion,” Tarit Pengdith, director-general of the Department of Special Investigation (DSI), said yesterday.

The papers for 264 out of 338 Mercedes-Benzes and 37 out of 46 BMWs in the probe showed signs of tax dodging, he said. The DSI has called on the owners of 558 “imported” luxury vehicles to submit their automobiles for inspection to see if the proper taxes had been collected from them. All of them are registered as “reassembled” in Thailand – a classification that will soon be completely banned as some car importers and buyers have reportedly claimed the vehicles are reassembled in country to avoid a higher tax rate.

“The owners should voluntarily come forward this week,” Tarit said. “After this, we will issue summons.”

The DSI estimates that more than 20 billion baht has been lost in tax-evasion schemes for cars. The authorities started to look into the situation more seriously after doubts arose early this month as to why no one came forward to claim six luxury cars damaged in a fire while being transported through Nakhon Ratchasima last month. A closer look revealed at least one was linked to tax-evasion.

The DSI was now going after a prime suspect, Natee Riewthong, in the Nakhon Ratchasima case. “We are also gathering evidence to seek arrest warrants for two luxury-car importers. Both men are well-known entrepreneurs in their field,” he said.

Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung has lodged a police complaint against former senator Ruangkrai Leekitwattana and several newspapers for claiming he possessed a Rolls-Royce, for which proper tax may not have been paid.

“I will also sue Ruangkrai for Bt50 million. The allegation against me is completely groundless,” he said.

Jet-setting monk ‘to return next week’
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: Disciples of Luangpu Nen Kham Chattiko – who was identified as one of three monks seen aboard a private jet in a video clip that has drawn widespread criticism – said yesterday he would return next week from his trip abroad to resume his duties as abbot of Wat Pa Khantitham in Si Sa Ket’s Kanthararom district.

The 34-year-old was one of a trio of monks wearing earphones and sunglasses and using a Louis Vuitton bag, in a clip that has been circulating on the Internet since last week, sparking public criticism at the “ostentatious display”.

Si Sa Ket’s Office of Buddhism director Virod Chaipanna made inquiries at the monastery on Monday and was told the monk had gone on pilgrimage abroad.

The Nation visited the monastery yesterday and was told by a male disciple, who gave his name as Kung, that the abbot often travelled by helicopter or jet provided by devoted disciples in response to urgent invitations to preach in other provinces. The disciple said that the critics of the video clip were motivated by envy.

— Phuket Gazette Editors


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand10 hours ago

Man arrested for spycam porn, 39 videos feature Thai stars

Thailand10 hours ago

Is poor English proficiency holding Thailand back?

Thailand10 hours ago

Shopee stops all bank payments after hackers steal from customer in Thailand

Sponsored18 hours ago

Challenges of starting a business in Thailand as a foreigner

Thailand10 hours ago

Thailand News Today | CAAT warns Thai VietJet for canceling three Phuket

Crime11 hours ago

Cat killer feels no guilt over sadistic act

Koh Samui11 hours ago

Koh Samui’s Moving Market – a hidden local treat

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Visa11 hours ago

Thailand’s 10 year LTR visa most popular among Americans and Chinese

Politics12 hours ago

Thailand PM wants to groom successor in two years

Bangkok12 hours ago

VIDEO: Taxi meter rises suspiciously quickly in Bangkok, Thailand

Thailand13 hours ago

Man wins 144 million baht in Thailand’s lottery

Bangkok13 hours ago

Plumber murders and robs Thai woman in Bangkok

Drugs14 hours ago

Man returns for bag with meth pills he left at restaurant

Transport14 hours ago

Porsche sales in Thailand roaring thanks to nation’s entrepreneurs

Visa14 hours ago

Overstay crackdown uses facial recognition tech

Thailand15 hours ago

Father dies trying to save son from teenage gang

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11