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Don’t blame the Thai army, blame the soldier – General Apirat

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Don’t blame the Thai army, blame the soldier – General Apirat | The Thaiger
PHOTO: General Apirat clarifies some details and apologises to the families of victims - Thai PBS World
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“The army chief offered his condolences to families of those killed and the injured and promised a career in the army if the victims’ children want to join the service.”

The 32 year old gunman who shot 30 people dead during his Saturday afternoon shooting spree in Korat over the weekend, Jakrapanth Thomma, owned legally registered guns. He had five guns – three pistols, one shotgun and a rifle, which were purchased under the Army’s “welfare gun” program. The welfare gun program in Thailand is widely practiced by police, security and armed forces agencies enabling staff to buy weapons at tax-free prices, as low as half the market price.

General Apirat Kongsompong, the Thai Army Commander-in-Chief said yesterday that the program should be scrapped as “there is no need for army officers to have their own guns”.

“Alternatively, the purchase of the guns by army officers must be more tightly controlled and permission to own a personal gun must be granted by an army general, not a colonel.”

According to the Thai army Commander-in-Chief during a media conference yesterday, the gunman used one of his three pistols to kill his commander and his commander’s mother-in-law during a meeting at her house resolve disagreements over an unpaid property brokerage fee.

But the system is flagrantly abused with most guns bought under the program resold to private individuals, at a profit, but the prices would still be lower than market prices. The program also distorts the gun import quotas, where gun dealers are allocated a very limited amount of guns to sell each year, especially handguns.

General Apirat apologised to families of the dead and the injured for the tragic incident committed by an army officer. He described the soldier as a becoming criminal the moment he pulled the trigger.

The army chief explained that, although army special units were sent to the Terminal 21 shopping centre, they were only providing backup to the police specialist ‘Hanuman’ unit who were responsible for entering the mall and searching for the gunman.

The General asked critics not to blame the Thai army merely because the gunman was a serving soldier. He also pleaded for critics not to blame the lax security at the armoury, which allowed the gunman to steal weapons and ammunition.

General Apirat confirmed that the enraged soldier stole an HK33 assault rifle and ammunition from a guard at the army base in Nakhon Ratchasima, stole more weapons and ammunition from the armoury and killed another guard before heading to Terminal 21 in a stolen vehicle. He also confirmed that the vehicle was not a ‘Humvee’ as earlier reported, but a black SUV.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Thailand

Police raid Isaan farm, arrest 2 people allegedly involved in illegal horse meat trade

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Police raid Isaan farm, arrest 2 people allegedly involved in illegal horse meat trade | The Thaiger
PHOTO: INN News

A 44 year old Thai woman was arrested for allegedly trafficking and selling horse meat illegally after police in the Isaan province Khon Kaen raided a farm and found 44 horses that – they say – were about to be slaughtered. Reports say the farm owner was also arrested, but did not give any additional information.

The horse meat was planned to be sold for 100 baht per kilogram and then smuggled across the natural borders to markets in Vietnam and China, according to Thai media.

Thai media says the woman and the farm owner face charges for possessing animals without registration, moving animals from to the epidemic control area without permission and illegal animal trade.

SOURCE: Thai Visa | INN News

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Thailand

A wild elephant kills 80 year old camper in Khao Yai

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A wild elephant kills 80 year old camper in Khao Yai | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Representational

A wild elephant killed an 80 year old man camping in Khao Yai National Park early this morning. Park officials believe the bull elephant was in musth, which is when the elephant has rise in reproductive hormones and becomes aggressive.

80 year old Prayot Jitbun was sleeping in his tent when the elephant attacked. Other nearby campers alerted park officials saying the elephant had walked around the Prayot’s car before becoming angry and stomping on his tent, then throwing the man into a tree.

Fresh fruit was inside the man’s car and park officials believe the smell of the fruit attracted the elephant. Park officials suspect the animal became angry and attacked when it couldn’t reach the fruit.

The wild elephant, known as “Phlai Due” had been fitted with a tracking collar earlier this month. The officials say this is the first person attacked by an elephant in the park this year and ensure it won’t happen again.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Roi Et records first case of Covid-19 in employee from Chon Buri karaoke bar

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Roi Et records first case of Covid-19 in employee from Chon Buri karaoke bar | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Kane Reinholdtsen on Unsplash

The north-eastern province of Roi Et has confirmed its first Covid-19 case since last month’s resurgence of the virus. Governor Chayan Sirimas says the patient is a female employee from a karaoke joint in the Sri Racha district of Chon Buri province, in the east of the country.

“She had close contact with another patient from Chon Buri province (her younger sister) who tested positive earlier on January 9. She then took a test on January 10 at Roi Et Hospital and found that she was also infected. Both patients have symptoms of coughing and sore throat with no fever.”

According to the Nation Thailand report, the travel history and timeline of the woman’s positive test is as follows:

January 1: She travelled with her sister and the sister’s husband from Sri Racha in Chon Buri to the Muang district of Roi Et. The journey was undertaken in a personal car.

January 4 – 6: The woman visited a local market while wearing a face mask.

January 5: Her sister and sister’s husband left Roi Et and returned to Chon Buri in their car.

January 7: The woman is contacted by Sri Racha health officials, who tell her she is “high risk”, after a customer at the karaoke business where she works has tested positive for the virus. The woman does not get tested that day, but her sister, also employed at the karaoke joint, is tested at Chon Buri hospital the next day.

January 9: The sister’s test result comes back positive.

January 10: The sister’s husband also tests positive. The woman then gets tested and is also confirmed as positive.

According to Sri Racha health officials, 10 employees from the karaoke business have tested positive for the virus. 9 family members who had close contact with the 2 sisters have all tested negative. There are 7 people who had close contact with the sister’s husband. Of those, 3 have tested negative and 4 are waiting for their results.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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