Thais eye nuclear power; steroids as gay lube; drug bust

Phuket NEWS Hound

– A daily digest of news about Thailand from around the world, compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community.

Is Thailand ready for nuclear energy?

PHUKET: The Nation reports that energy officials and private operators renewed their support for nuclear power development in Thailand at a seminar on Friday, amid resistance from protesters as well as their network.

At the seminar, titled ‘Thailand’s Exit from the Energy Crisis’, Chavalit Pichalai, a deputy director-general of the national Energy Policy and Planning Office (EPPO), said Thailand was ready for the new power source. But he conceded that Thailand had yet to embark on the legal, regulatory and public-participation processes that would pave the way for nuclear power development.

“The Energy Ministry is seeking adjustments to address the weak points, and will submit them to the Cabinet early next year,” he said.

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The seminar was hosted jointly by the Energy Ministry and the Senate committee responsible for reviewing national energy policy.

Steroids smuggled as ‘Gay Lube Oil’

New Zealand Herald
A former bodybuilder has been jailed for five years for smuggling anabolic steroids into New Zealand from Thailand. The drug was disguised as ‘Gay Lube Oil’.

Mark William Rainbow, 43, pleaded guilty to 38 violations of the Medicine Act of 1981. The charges included possession of anabolic steroids used to boost performance and enhancement of image, and sale of unapproved medicines.

Rainbow was sentenced in Auckland District Court to 5 years for misuse of the drug and to 3 months for illegally importing, possessing and supplying, with the sentences to run concurrently.

Rainbow had marked the drugs as ‘Gay Lube Oil’, giving Customs officers the slip, and later relabeling it with the name of his trading company, SSIS Pharmaceuticals, for onward sale to customers.

Another drug smuggler busted in Bangkok

The Nation
A Filipino woman was nabbed at Thailand’s Suvarnabhumi Airport with 3kg of “ice” (crystal meth) worth 9 million baht, police said yesterday.

After a tip-off, police spotted the 44-year-old suspect, Carmen Arungo Donaerie, when she arrived at 1pm on Friday from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The police say they found the drug in her travel bag and that she confessed to collecting it in Mali before boarding the plane in Addis Ababa.

They police say she was a member of a West African drug ring and had traveled through Thailand four or five times before.

TAT to splurge to meet targets

TTR Weekly
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) reported this week that it would spend 45 million baht to boost tourist arrivals in the last quarter of this year, saying that the expenditure would enable them to reach a visitor target of 15 million and a revenue forecast of 43 billion baht for the year.

TAT Deputy Governor Prakit Piriyakiat said: “The budget will go to advertising campaigns, both domestic and international, to improve the country’s image.”

About 15 million baht will go toward the production of a 30-second spot on the theme of “Amazing Thailand Always Amazes You”. The commercial will be aired on BBC and the National Geographic channel, mainly to “correct” the impact of negative media during the April to May political crisis in Bangkok.

Rough estimates, up to the end of August, suggest the country gained 10 million tourists for the first eight months of the year. Private travel company executives believe 14 million is feasible this year.

Based on past trends, September is traditionally a poor month for inbound tourism, particularly Bangkok, but picks up by mid-October, delivering around 4 million visits in the last quarter.

Malaysia-Thai trade may reach US$20 billion

Business Times
Malaysia-Thailand bilateral trade could hit a record of US$20 billion if the current momentum continues until the end of the year, the outgoing Malaysian Ambassador to Thailand, Datuk Husni Zai Yaacob, said yesterday.

He said both countries recorded a total trade of US$7.2 billion from January to April this year, an increase of 45% compared to the corresponding period last year.

Malaysia’s exports to the country consist of electrical and electronics goods, crude petroleum, chemical and chemical products, machinery, appliances and parts.

Malaysia imports electrical and electronic products as well as automotive parts and rubber from Thailand.

Bilateral trade between the two countries amounted to US$16 billion during the economic crisis last year and US$18 billion in 2008.

— Gazette Editors

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