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Former Mae Hong Son border police chief gets suspended jail term for pimping out underage girl

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Former Mae Hong Son border police chief gets suspended jail term for pimping out underage girl | The Thaiger

The former commander of a border patrol police company in Mae Hong Son, north-west Thailand, has been given a suspended jail term and a small fine for forcing a girl under 18 into prostitution, according to the victim’s mother.

The girl’s mother, Namphet Koeyputsa, says the Mae Hong Son Court convicted Pol Lt Col Pongnarin Pongnam, former commander of the BPP Company 336 based in Tambon Pang Mu in Muang district, of forcing an underage girl into providing sex service. The ruling was read on Tuesday.

The Nation reports that the court initially sentenced Pongnarin to three years in jail and fined him 30,000 baht. But the court commuted the jail term by half to one year and six months.

But, since the defendant has paid compensation to the family of 100,000 baht, and has no criminal record, the court suspended the jail term and put him on probation for two years.

The court further reduced the fine to just 10,000 baht on the grounds that the defendant had taken measures to provide remedial payments to the family.

The case made headlines in early 2017 when young girls, who were found to be tattooed with the image of an owl, were forced to provide sex services to high-profile customers in the province.

The mother said her family has also asked the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) to file a charge of dereliction of duty against Mae Hong Son police chief Pol Maj Gen Preecha Wimolchaijit and other officers for initially refusing to take action against Pongnarin. The CSD has asked public prosecutors to file charges against them.

She added that former Mae Hong Son governor Suebsak Iamwicharn and the Mae Hong Son chief public prosecutor are also facing investigations by the National Anti- Corruption Commission for failing to take action in the case.

ORIGINAL STORY: The Nation



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North East

Opening of a rail service between Thailand and Cambodia in Sa Kaew

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Opening of a rail service between Thailand and Cambodia in Sa Kaew | The Thaiger

The Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is leading a delegation to officiate at the opening of a new rail service between Thailand and Cambodia at Klong Luek railway station in Sa Kaew province. The Thai government funded the maintenance and restoration of the two kilometre rail track between Klong Luek station and Poipet station in Cambodia.

Rail services between Thailand and Cambodia were suspended for decades due to strained relationships between the two countries since the Cold War era. Although the relationship is much better these days there was little interest in the restoration of the rail link as people in both countries tended to prefer travel by road.

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Southeast Asia

Sea turtle returns to its nesting place – it’s now an airport!

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Sea turtle returns to its nesting place – it’s now an airport! | The Thaiger

by Philippine Daily Inquirer – Asia News Network

Without a choice, with nature instructing her to lay the eggs on the same spot she’d emerged as a baby turtle, the poor reptile made the runway its nest on Maafaru island.

“Despite the unfortunate circumstances that befell the turtle mother, she is reportedly in good health and was released back into the ocean by locals,” wrote local news website The Edition.

The incident has sparked fresh debates on the environmental and social costs of the Maldive’s tourism-propelled growth (sounds familiar?).

“The question remains on how much of Maldives’ biodiversity must be sacrificed in order to propel our country forward industrially and economically,” the website said.

The airport,  which has a 2.2 kilometre, 40 metre-wide runway, was inaugurated in August last year. The UAE-funded project was built on Maafaru, one of the inhabited islands of Noonu Atoll, which is a traditional nesting place of the marine turtles.

Once a green turtle hatches and heads into the ocean, it rarely returns to land. When they reach sexual maturity, they travel long distances to go back to their natal place to mate and lay eggs.

The green turtle (Chelonia mydas) is on the list of endangered species of animals by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Sea turtle returns to its nesting place - it's now an airport! | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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Southeast Asia

East Sulawesi rocked by 6.8 magnitude tremor – tsunami warning

The Thaiger

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East Sulawesi rocked by 6.8 magnitude tremor – tsunami warning | The Thaiger

A strong 6.8 magnitude earthquake rattled eastern Indonesia yesterday triggering a tsunami warning, soon retracted, sending panicked residents fleeing to higher ground.

The quake struck off the east coast of Sulawesi island near where a 7.5 magnitude earthquake and tsunami around the city of Palu killed more than 4,300 people in September last year.

Indonesia’s disaster agency issued a tsunami warning for coastal communities in the island’s Morowali district, east Sulawesi, where residents were advised to move to elevated grounds. The warning was later lifted.

The tremor off the eastern coast of Sulawesi is on the other side of the island from last year’s disaster-hit Palu, where residents still felt the quake despite being hundreds of kilometres away.

The force of last year’s quake saw entire neighbourhoods levelled by liquefaction, a process where the ground starts behaving like a liquid and swallows up the earth like quicksand.

The sprawling Indonesian archipelago is dotted with more than 100 volcanoes, including one in the middle of the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra islands that erupted in late 2018 and unleashed a tsunami that killed more than 400 people.

SOURCE: The Nation | AFP

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