Thailand News Today | 9 year olds smoke cannabis on Pattaya Beach in Thailand

In December, 130,000 passengers are expected to pass through Suvarnabhumi
airport in Bangkok every day, according to Minister of Transport Saksayam
The airport facilitated daily traffic of around 115,000 passengers in November
as tourists returned for the High Season, said Saksayam.
Tourism always spikes in the festive month of December but should continue to
rise afterward as Chinese tourists are expected to return to the kingdom early
next year, no later than March, according to the transport minister.
After an inspection of the airport, Minister Saksayam insists that immigration is
ready for the uptick in traffic. He says that passport procedures have been
streamlined and the average queue time is 15 minutes per arrival.
Immigration can process 3,000 passengers in 20 minutes and immigration
officials take an average of one minute to process each foreign arrival,
said Saksayam. Commander of the Immigration Bureau
Pol. Maj. Gen. Choengron Rimphadee previously reported that officials spend
just 45 seconds checking the passport data, visa status, personal biometric data,
and blacklist status of each arrival. The transport minister said passengers on
any flight have to wait no longer than 30 minutes to pick up their luggage at
Suvarnabhumi Airport. This presents quite the turnaround from last week
when Saksayam gave Thai Airways, and Bangkok Airways a stern warning
to fix the problem of delayed luggage or else. If the airport was really prepared
to handle so many arrivals, it’s unclear why Thailand would advise Indians to
obtain a visa from their local Thai embassy or consulate before flying to avoid
queues at Suvarnabhumi Airport – rather than obtain a visa on
arrival as is their right.

A new digital channel is being introduced in 7-Eleven stores to make it easier for
residents in Thailand to access government services.
The Digital Government Development Agency (DGA) is using a technology
integrator Counter Service to create a new channel to verify and issue digital IDs
for citizens.
The DGA reckon the systems will make it easier for people to access government
services and verify their identities. Part of the verification process will require
users to download an app and scan a QR code after presenting their ID to
a 7-Eleven operative. After verifying their identity, customers will receive a text
confirming their digital ID is active. DGA moved to ease fears that there is
no danger their personal information will be shared or stolen. DGA underlined
that all information transferred as part of the process will be encrypted,
and sent directly to DGA and it won’t be stored in
any ofthe 7-Eleven stores residents use.
After verification, Thais will be able to access government services including child
support subsidies, credit bureau services, vehicle registration information, and
pension contributions.
Prime Minister’s Office deputy spokesperson Ratchada Thanadirek revealed about
70 online services are available from government agencies.
In June, the country introduced a new mobile ID for residents.

Netizens are concerned about the safety of children after pictures of a group of 9
and 10 year olds smoking cannabis from a bamboo bong on Pattaya Beach in Chon
Buri province, eastern Thailand, went viral on social media.
Thailand delisted cannabis as an illicit narcotic in June to allow the public to utilise
the plant’s medicinal properties. But without much prior planning, little to no
legislation to regulate marijuana use – or to protect young children from using
cannabis – was implemented.
One clear rule is that cannabis cannot be sold or used by anyone under 20 years
old. However, when cannabis is so accessible that it can be bought from vans and
street vendors, it is no surprise that the group of primary school-age children in the
photos managed to get a hold of some.
The man who posted the photos, 35 year old Krittiwat Matrong, said he came
across the children when he was on his way to watch a fireworks display in
Pattaya. As Krittiwat prepared to board a boat, he saw children sitting on the wall
at the beach smoking from a bamboo bong.
At first, Krittiwat thought the children were just playing, but as he approached
them he realised the boys were smoking marijuana.
Krittiwat approached the children and asked them their ages to discover they were
only 9-10 years old. When Krittiwat asked where their parents were, they told him
that they didn’t have any parents.
However, when Krittiwat warned them that they are too young to smoke
marijuana, one of the children said, “I’m not scared of you. My dad is a soldier.”
Netizens are concerned about the children’s well-being and many criticised their
guardians for allowing them to go to Pattaya Beach unsupervised.
Young children openly smoking marijuana on the beach is damaging to Pattaya’s
image, too, added Krittiwat.
Thailand recently made cannabis flowers – the part which contains the most THC –
a “controlled herb” and banned all advertising of the plant. But many think it is too
little too late – the genie is already out of the bottle.

A lottery winner in the central province of Chachoengsao filed a complaint against
her friend saying she stole her 20,000 baht prize-winning lottery ticket.
The lottery winner, 54 year old Paradee Chanwat, told police that she bought 11
lottery tickets on Saturday, November 12. When she checked on November 16 she
discovered one of them, 849272, was the fifth prize-winning ticket
worth 20,000 baht.
Paradee posted a picture of the winning lottery ticket on Facebook announcing that
she was going to claim the prize the next day.
On Thursday, November 17, Paradee took her winning ticket to the Bank of
Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperative near Chin Market, where she met 61 year
old Kamnueng (surname reserved) and stopped to chat with her.
Paradee said they were friends and met frequently because they worked near each
other. Paradee told Kamnueng about the lottery prize and
showed her the winning ticket.
Paradee continued to the bank but then discovered that her lottery ticket had
disappeared. She looked everywhere for it and couldn’t find it so she asked a guard
to check the security cameras.
The security camera revealed that Paradee dropped the lottery ticket while talking
to Kamnueng. Her friend picked it up but did not return it to her.
Paradee showed Kamnueng the CCTV footage and asked her to return the ticket
but Kamnueng refused. Kamnueng claimed she picked up some trash not the
lottery ticket.
Paradee tried to persuade her friend several times but she refused so, she decided to
file a complaint with the police.
Kamnueng was invited to the police station for questioning where she admitted
that she had kept the lottery ticket. She told police she would return it to Paradee.
But, when she was released from custody and met Paradee again, she told her she
had not taken it.
Paradee told Thai media that she did not want the money anymore and was going
to prosecute Kamnueng and let the court decide on her fate.

A “win” motorbike taxi driver from Samut Prakan province, just south of Bangkok
in Thailand, won 12 million baht (US$345,050.76) in the lottery yesterday.
Ek – who works in the King Kaew area of Bang Phli district – revealed that he
chose the winning lottery number 375805 using the age of his ex-wife who sadly
passed away just one week ago.
The lottery’s first prize is six million baht, and lucky Ek bought two tickets with
the same numbers, doubling his winnings.
Ek didn’t want to be interviewed, but photos of him embracing his daughter and
wai-ing on his knees in gratitude as he claimed his prize say it all.
However, Ek briefly told reporters that he would use the money to pay off debts,
make merit for his deceased ex-wife and take good care of his daughter.
When asked whether he would hang up his orange jacket and give up working as a
motorbike taxi driver, he said he wasn’t sure yet. He said he wanted to “hug” the
money for a while first. He didn’t say anything else.

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