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UPDATE: Second victim emerges in horrific Saraburi gang-rape

The Thaiger & The Nation

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UPDATE: Second victim emerges in horrific Saraburi gang-rape | The Thaiger

State agencies have become embroiled in a case in which an 11 year old schoolgirl (reported as 12 year old in yesterday’s news) is alleged to have been gang-raped by five teenagers last Sunday. The incident, that happened in Saraburi, has flared up after the girl’s father expressed concern that justice was not being served and that the accused had been allowed to go free.

The father says police initially failed to record the rape complaint and that a local politician even tried to negotiate on the suspects’ behalf to get the girl to drop her complaint. He then made inappropriate comments that was caught on video with his comments clearly audible.

As social workers prepared to help the traumatised girl yesterday, her 30 year old father posted another video clip, claiming there had been more than one victim on Sunday night.

In the father’s latest comments, he claims that a 16 year old girl had asked his daughter to chaperone her while she went out with her boyfriend.

According to The Nation, the 16 year old teenager had earlier been falsely accused of being a decoy for the attack, but she said seven youths committed the rape while two others witnessed it, but did nothing.

The father produced a video of an interview with the older girl, in which she denied being a decoy and said she herself had also been raped by three teens on the same evening.

Provincial Police Region 1 deputy chief Pol Maj-General Thanayut Wutthicharasthamrong has ordered an inquiry to establish if local police had assisted the suspects. Thanayut visited the scene, a grocery shop on Pichai Ronnarongsongkhram Road opposite Sara Buri Vocational College, but it was locked as the owner was away.

He said the victim and her parents had been sent to the provincial attorney’s office to be interviewed by female police officers. Meanwhile, the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) said it was on standby in case Saraburi police were deemed to be dragging their feet.

CSD chief Pol Maj-General Jirapop Phuridech assigned a team led by Pol Colonel Arun Wachirasrisukanya, and said it was ready to take over the probe if the victim’s family feared that justice was not being served. However, Arun said he was satisfied that local police had acted according to the book, so the CSD would let local officers continue with the case.

Meanwhile, Chalermphrakiat District’s tambon Pheung Ruang Administrative Organisation Council chairman Sangwan Sitthipanya yesterday submitted his resignation to district chief Kokchai Chairassameekul after he was criticised for intervening in the case.

Sangwan is the man alleged to have stepped in to question the victim, tried to settle the case by way of compensation to aid the suspects, and made an inappropriate comment.

In the clip, posted online, a man, identified later as Sangwan, is heard saying… “Tell me honestly what they did to you. Did you orgasm?”

“Let’s talk first about what we can do. She’s kind of a slut.”

The case has attracted huge attention on social media after the victim’s father, a tattoo artist, posted on his Facebook page a claim that a local administrator, who he said was a relative of one of the suspects, had intervened and offered 10,000-30,000 baht from each boy as settlement money.

The father also posted two video clips, one of which showed the local administrator questioning the victim in front of the suspects and relatives while another showed her father assaulting some of the suspects, a suspect’s father and the administrator.

The assaulted suspects’ parents later filed an assault complaint against the victim’s father. On Tuesday, the victim’s mother vowed to pursue the rape complaint and bring those responsible to justice. The girl’s grandmother said the victim, who claimed she had also received threats of assault from the attackers while she was being raped if she told anyone what had happened, was now stressed and ill, suffering from fever and dizzy spells.

UPDATE: Second victim emerges in horrific Saraburi gang-rape | News by The Thaiger UPDATE: Second victim emerges in horrific Saraburi gang-rape | News by The Thaiger

STORY: The Nation

Business

“Government stimulus package for Thai economy is unsustainable”

The Thaiger & The Nation

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“Government stimulus package for Thai economy is unsustainable” | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Wikipedia

Anusorn Tamajai, an economist from Rangsit University, says he expects the proposed package to make little difference and has declared it unsustainable.

The package, which should be approved this week, is worth 370 billion baht and includes cash handouts for farmers and low-income earners, grants for children, incentives for domestic travelers, and tax incentives for small businesses.

It’s hoped to stimulate the economy by 3%, in the wake of domestic uncertainty and the ongoing US-China trade war. Last week, the Finance Minister said the aim of the package was to prevent growth sliding below 3% in 2019.

However, economist Anusorn Tamajai has his doubts.

“Short-term spending as part of populist policies will not help much, as the Thai economy is monopolised by big business.”

He adds that most spending by low-income groups will end up as revenue for large businesses. However, he agrees with the plan to reduce the tax burden for small and medium-sized enterprises, which could lead to more private investment.

The government plans to offer generous tax reductions for those who import machinery to upgrade their production with a five-year depreciation allowance. The state-run Government Savings Bank and Krung Thai Bank will also provide combined soft loans worth about 100 billion baht.

The government also plans to direct a number of other state-run banks to provide soft loans to farmers and lower income groups, which Anusorn warns may not be sustainable as its effectiveness relies on public confidence in the future.

Thai governments often resort to state-run bank lending, quasi-fiscal measures that usually increase the burden for banks but translate into a burden for tax payers later.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Plastics

Calls for total ban on use of single-use plastic bags

The Thaiger

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Calls for total ban on use of single-use plastic bags | The Thaiger

PHOTO: World Wildlife Fund

The death of baby dugong Mariam, which was found to be caused from problems associated with plastic bags blocking her digestive system, has brought about renewed calls for stricter control, or a complete ban, on the use of single-use plastic bags.

Marine scientist, and vice dean of the Faculty of Fisheries of Kasetsart University, Dr. Thon Thamrongnawasawat, told Thai PBS that the recent campaigns to reduce the use of plastic bags “was not enough”.

The campaigns, much touted as ‘environmental Community Service Initiatives’, have been perfunctory and, whilst the ‘savings’ in plastic bag use sound massive, they are in a tiny proportion of the actual single-use plastic bag use in Thailand.

The Charoen Pokphand Group, owners of Thailand’s 7-11 franchise, Family Mart stores – 51% owned by the Central Group and 49% by Japan’s FamilyMart Uny Holdings – and Central Pattana, the operators of the biggest number of shopping centres around Thailand, could do a LOT to take single-use plastic bags out of the system but have so far been reluctant to do more than just pay lip service to the problem.

Dr. Thon suggests that single-use plastic bags should be banned, beginning next year, as was done in New Zealand, or a fee should be imposed for their use. He also says that the plan to reduce the use of plastic straws, due to begin in the next three years, should be brought forward to next year.

Dr. Thon admitted that he was shocked to learn about the sudden death of Mariam, and that several pieces of plastic were subsequently found in her intestine. The plastics ultimately resulted in the septic shock that killed her.

He disclosed that members of more than ten rare marine species, including sea turtles and whales, had died this year by becoming entangled in fishing nets or from eating plastic waste, including the case of a pilot whale which was found to have 85 plastic bags in its stomach.

He also cited the case of a leatherback sea turtle, which was found dead on a beach in Rayong province last month. Veterinarians found two plastic bags in its stomach, one plastic wrap for bread and five small pieces of plastic.

Thammasat University’s vice rector Prinya Thaewanarumitkul, meanwhile, appealed to the Thai public to stop using plastic bags “so that no more marine animals will die from eating plastic bags or pieces.”

“About 80% of the 2,000 tonnes of garbage dumped into the sea each day come from the rivers.”

“The garbage, including plastic waste, dumped into natural inland waterways find their way into the sea.”

SOURCE: Thai PBS

The Thaiger would like to call on Thailand’s main retailers to initiate a total ban on single-use plastic bags.

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Crime

UPDATE: 9 Chinese arrested over 5 billion baht fraud case

The Thaiger

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UPDATE: 9 Chinese arrested over 5 billion baht fraud case | The Thaiger
On Saturday The Thaiger reported that nine Chinese nationals had been taken into custody after travelling to Thailand in order to avoid prosecution for crimes in China. They were wanted by Chinese authorities for alleged crimes in China. Read that report HERE.

We now have some further details…

Out of the 9, 5 were male and 4 were female. They were involved in a case that, according to Chinese counterparts, had affected the Chinese economy by forging contracts. After receiving the information from Chinese police, a Thai investigation team started to search for the 9 Chinese individuals who had sought refuge in Thailand.

The nine had opened an online selling business that they used to cheat victims in China. The suspects worked together in creating fake businesses and accounts that cheated online transactions systems to their advantage in defrauding customers. Their actions allegedly defrauded the Bank of China resulting in damages valued over 5 billion baht.

The 9 suspects will be prosecuted including having their visas revoked before being deported back to China. All 9 suspects will be blacklisted to prevent them from visiting Thailand again.

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