Police to get tough with baht bus drivers
Complaints coming in from the public
Pattaya police have been told to get tough with the baht bus drivers
who for too long have been stopping wherever they want, whenever they want,
and causing ill feeling over unfair prices and impolite behavior.
At a meeting of the Pattaya Administrative and Orderliness Committee at
Pattaya City Hall on July 3, committee chairman Sanit Boonmachai said that
baht bus drivers and private taxis need more effective policing.
Many complaints are being received from the public regarding undisciplined
stopping and parking, blatantly unfair pricing, and general rudeness. The
drivers are causing traffic congestion and accidents, and damaging the image
of the city, he said.
Pol Lt Col Supachat Piammanat, deputy superintendent at Pattaya Police
Station and responsible for traffic affairs said that the police would more
closely monitor the drivers of Pattaya Cityís 700-plus baht buses.
Driver profiles would be created with photos and telephone numbers, and a
system would be implemented to control the routes and times of their
departures to the stopping point. Chamlong Sukprom, chairman of the Pattaya
Baht Bus Cooperative will be asked to arrange this with his members, said
Pol Lt Col Supachat.
Chamlong said that the cooperative has already provided driver profiles and
registration but lacks personnel to control the behavior of the drivers.
Whenever a complaint is received, the cooperative issues a warning to the
driver concerned. More cooperation is required with city hall and the
police, he said.
Sanit said that a further meeting would be held to record the progress of
Public meeting held
for law amendment
Results to be submitted to Cabinet on August 23
The Law Reform Committee held a public consultation in Pattaya on
June 30, the results of which will be submitted to the Cabinet on August 23.
Nakbua (left) and Kanit na Nakhon (right) lead a meeting on law reform.
The event was held at the Siam Bay View Hotel by the Office of Justice
Affairs and was led by Kanit na Nakhon, former attorney general and chairman
of the Law Reform Committee, along with Wallop Nakbua, director of the Law
Reform Committee Office.
Kanit said that the meeting was being held under the Constitution of the
Kingdom of Thailand Section 81 (3). This states that the state will act in
compliance with the law and justice policies to prepare the law to establish
an autonomous organization to reform the judicial process. It is therefore
necessary to listen to people who are affected by the law draft reform to
avoid any disagreements after the process is complete.
Under Section 81 (4) the preparations for the autonomous organization have
to be complete within one year of the Constitution announcement, which would
be in August next year.
Kanit said the process had been taking place for five months. The current
meeting in Chonburi was the eleventh, and the next would take place in
Songkla on July 4.
More than 1,000 get
on their bikes to promote
the benefits of cycling
Saving on fuel costs and reducing carbon emissions
Ever wondered what 1,000
people riding bicycles through a small soi looked like? Hereís a partial
answer, as a few hundred of the thousand pass through a back street in
More than 1,000 Sattahip people gathered for a cycling rally on July
5, riding around the district to promote the use of bicycles as a way of
saving money on fuel costs and helping to reduce carbon emissions.
Vice Admiral Srivisut Ratarun, commander of the Sattahip Naval Base opened
the rally, which started from Nong Takhian Public Park.
Mayor of Sattahip Narong Bunbancherdsri, who had organized the event,
invited personnel from official departments, government and private
organizations, associations, clubs, and members of the public to take part.
The message being promoted was that using bicycles for short distances is
healthy, reduces household expenditure on fuel, and helps keep down traffic,
noise and pollution.
Led by members of the Sattahip Bicycling Club, and with many students
joining in enthusiastically, more than 1,000 people took to the roads and
toured the main areas of Sattahip, covering a distance of 40 km and arousing
great interest wherever they went.
Vice Admiral Srivisut said that Sattahip District has many tourism
attractions, a lot of them under the responsibility of the Sattahip Naval
Base and that the volume of cars and motorcycles in the area has
consequently increased. If local people used bicycles whenever they could,
it would help to control the number of vehicles on the road.
Competition between hotels drives room rates down
Marathon good for Pattaya but no big profits
for hotels says THA head
Despite the extra number of visitors due to flood into the city for
the Pattaya Marathon, which will be run on July 20, hotels are not expected
to make much of a profit on the room bookings owing to the intense
competition between them having kept their prices low.
- Eastern Region chairman, Chatchawan Supachayanont says that room rates
have been reduced for this Sundayís Pattaya Marathon.
Chairman of the Thai Hotel Association Eastern Region Chatchawan
Supachayanont said during a meeting on July 4 at the Dusit Thani Hotel in
Pattaya that the marathon was good for the city as a whole, as business
would be spread throughout the hotels and restaurants, but that competition
amongst the hotels was keeping the room rates down at a level that was
Chatchawan said that this is the low season for tourist arrivals and so the
marathon itself is well timed and is a welcome addition to the cityís
attractions. If the event were to be held during the high season, it would
not have such a beneficial effect on the local economy.
New jetty for Koh Larn boats
Upgrading ferry facilities
A small jetty is under construction adjacent to Bali Hai Pier for
the use of small boats taking visitors to Koh Larn and for sea tours.
Currently, the foundations for the pier are being hammered into the seabed
about 100 meters out from the shore by Drago Construction Ltd, who are
building the pier under Pattaya City contract number 97/2551, which carries
a budget of 1.4 million baht.
Anuwat Thongkam, chief engineer of the traffic and transportation section at
the Pattaya Department of Public Works said the project is intended to
upgrade the ferry facilities. The jetty would measure 6 meters by 12 meters.
Construction work started on April 9 and would finish on July 27.
A new, smaller jetty for small
boats is being built alongside the Bali Hai pier.
Beach greatly improved by reduction in concession areas says DG Komsan
Vendors infringing new regulations will face legal action
Deputy Governor Komsan Ekachai
(center) along with police and city officials inspect the new arrangements
on Pattaya Beach.
The newly arranged beach bed and umbrella concessions on Pattaya
Beach is just the start of a more carefully controlled approach to the
cityís tourism business so that it develops in a manner that is more orderly
and more beneficial to visitors and residents, says Chonburi Deputy Governor
City hall officials and police have been instructed to monitor closely the
use by vendors of their new concession areas to prevent the undisciplined
sprawl of commerce along the beach that had gradually evolved before the new
measures were enforced last month.
Komsan, speaking on July 9, said that during an earlier meeting with the
Pattaya Business and Tourism Association, it had become apparent that the
level of complaints being received from citizens and tourists regarding the
amount of beach area monopolized by the vendors had reached an unacceptable
The vendors were occupying the greater part of the beach, to the extent that
residents and visitors were unable to get any use from the area, even though
it is public land.
In response, Governor Pracha Taerat had created a stringent policy of
control that reduced the area under concession and returned 50 percent of
the space back to public use.
Now that the vendors have accepted the new arrangements, the improvement is
very apparent, said Komsan. The natural beauty of the beach is once more
there to be enjoyed, there is more space for recreational activities, and
the overall tone and image of the beach has been vastly improved.
Komsan added that Chonburi Province has directed Pattaya City to organize a
committee that would inspect and control the vendors, and that if anyone is
found to be breaking the rules they would find themselves facing legal
action, and the possibility of losing their concessions.
Urgent program needed to mark traffic lanes on cityís roads
Worn and outdated markings cause confusion and danger
Pattayaís road markings are worn-out and in many places out-of-date,
resulting in confusion for drivers and pedestrians, traffic congestion and
accidents, and an urgent program is needed to correctly mark out the roads.
of the traffic lines in Pattaya need repainting.
The Pattaya Administrative and Orderliness Committee held a meeting on July
3 in the new building at Pattaya City Hall to discuss this situation as a
matter of urgency.
Committee chairman Sanit Bunmachai led the session, with city deputy
permanent secretary Sutham Petket and Pol Maj Pitakpong Krongchon, inspector
of the Traffic Unit at Pattaya Police Station amongst those attending.
Sanit said that traffic lanes and other markings on the cityís roads have
faded away due to time, the sun, dust, and weather conditions. Consequently,
drivers are using the roads in an undisciplined manner, and road regulations
are continually being infringed upon.
Some road markings do not correspond to the current traffic route, which
confuses road users. This is especially the case at intersections, such as
the junction at Third Road in Central Pattaya.
Sanit said that all the traffic lanes have now to be made visible, new
traffic lights need to be installed, and traffic regulations made clear to
local users and visitors.
The meeting decided that an extra budget is needed for this, and approval
has to be obtained from Pattaya City Council. In the meantime, drivers and
pedestrians should apply extra caution when using the roads.
Pol Maj Pitakpong said that a pilot project is needed before such a
wide-ranging project is implemented and that a section of the highway should
be selected as a matter of priority.
Feisty wife prevents thieves robbing her husband
Thieves who snatched 40,000 baht from a German on a baht bus found
themselves against a formidable opponent when the manís Thai wife grabbed
them and prevented their escape.
three miscreants were caught again.
Officers from Pattaya Police Station were called out just after midnight on
July 6 to the scene of the attempted crime on Second Road, near the Dolphin
The victim, 68-year-old Harry Espis and his wife, Mrs Kannika Polruangthon,
40, together with the baht bus driver were detaining three people who had
attempted robbery. They were identified as Suthep Chotang, a 19-year-old
transvestite from Banglamung, Ms Chanpen Khanthongdee, 24, from Banglamung,
and Mrs Atchara Chansawang, 37. At the scene also was a gray-black Honda
Wave motorcycle that they had used in the attempted robbery.
Kannika and her husband stated that they had gone to a beer bar on Pattaya
Soi 10. They had stopped to withdraw 40,000 baht from an ATM before taking a
baht bus back to the Pattaya Garden Hotel in North Pattaya. Suthep and
Chanpen were already in the vehicle. Kannika said she saw as they tried to
sit closer to her husband. She didnít move her eyes from them but still they
managed to remove the money from her husbandís trouser pocket without him
knowing what had happened. Kannika, however, said she realized, and when the
two thieves rang the bell to make their escape she blocked their way.
Atchara had been following on a motorcycle so that the two could make a
getaway, but the baht bus driver saw what was happening and ran round to the
back of the vehicle to help detain the thieves. In the scuffle, the money
fell to the ground.
The three thieves protested their innocence, but checking the records back
at the station, police found that the three had committed this type of crime
several times before. Once again, they were charged.
Grim find for wife of German man as she returns home drunk
A German man apparently hanged himself from the entrance door to his
house in an act of spite towards his wife, knowing she would be the one to
find him when she returned from an evening out.
Banglamung Police Station received a report at 2 a.m. on July 8 from Mrs
Yupin Herkommer, 46, from a house at 24/48 Moo 5, Soi Mabyailia 17, saying
that her husband had committed suicide by hanging himself from the entrance
At the scene officers found the dead body of Wolfgang Michael Herkommer, a
54-year-old German citizen. The corpse was lying at the entrance door
wearing blue jeans and a shirt with a black-white design, with signs of
something having been tied around its neck. Beside the deceased man were one
wooden table and a 5-meter nylon rope hanging from the balcony rail. At the
end of the rope was a wide noose. On the table in the living room was a last
message from the dead man.
Yupin said in a state of drunkenness that she had had a mild dispute with
the deceased before going out to a beer bar in South Pattaya. When she came
home she discovered the body. Police have sent the body for autopsy.
Mystery gunman shoots
at female reporter
Police are investigating an incident in which a gunman shot at a
female reporter as she was traveling home in her car late at night.
Banglamung Police Station received a report of the shooting at 1:40 a.m. on
July 5, and officers hurried to the scene outside Chunlee Battery on
Sukhumvit Road in the direction of Pattaya City.
by the ordeal, Awada (left) looks on as police inspect the scene.
A blue Toyota Yaris was parked at the side of the road with its engine
running. There was a bullet hole in the windshield on the driverís side, and
on the console was one empty bullet cartridge. The driver had not been
injured, and she was sitting at the side of the road crying in a state of
fright. She was identified as Ms Awada Teerapolakul, a 32-year-old reporter
and broadcaster at Sophon Cable TV in Pattaya, who lives at Nongplalai.
Awada told the police officers she had gone to Bangkok that morning and
returned by Nakhon Chai airbus to North Pattaya, arriving just after
midnight. She went to her car, which was parked behind the bus station. Both
front tires had no air. She believed that vandals had let the air out of the
tires, as the carís badge had also been removed. She called reporters who
she knew in Pattaya, and they came to assist her. It took about half an hour
to change the wheels, and then her friends left.
Awada said she had then driven out of the bus station alone to go back to
her residence. She saw a man riding a motorcycle in the middle of the road
in front of her, and honked for him to give her the right of way. She drove
past and continued for a while, but then a motorcycle overtook her car and
the rider, a man aged about 30 and wearing a white T-shirt, shot at her. She
said she didnít hear the sound of a shot. Awada said that she thought the
rider had thrown a rock at her, breaking the windshield. She stopped the car
and discovered a bullet had shattered the glass. The rider observed her from
a distance before escaping in the direction of Banglamung Police Station.
She was afraid and called her friends for assistance, and notified the
Awada stated in tears that she didnít have a problem with anyone. There was
no cause for anyone to be angry enough to take her life, even though she
worked as a local reporter and announcer.
The officers took her to Banglamung Police Station, and when she had
regained her composure they questioned her. Police believe that the shooting
may have been for personal, rather than professional reasons. The gunman may
have had problems with his intended victim, and decided to frighten or
injure her, or possibly even to kill her. It was likely he had let the air
out of her car tires. Or it could have just been that the motorcyclist had
become angry when she honked at him, and had fired at her in a fit of road
Police are checking the CCTV camera that has been installed at the Sukhumvit
intersection, which the victim and the gunman would have driven past. They
are also questioning Awada more closely to see if there is anyone who could
conceivably have a grievance against her.
Three questioned over murder of Dutchman
Police are investigating the gruesome murder of a Dutchman who had
been stabbed and his body set on fire before his killers robbed the manís
house and fled.
Banglamung Police Station received a report at 6 p.m. on July 7 of smoke
coming from house number 68/5 at Moo 1 in Nongplalai, and a team of officers
led by station superintendent Pol Col Sarayut Sanguanpokai went to
Arriving at the scene, a single-story house surrounded by a fence, the
officers found the door locked, and had to force their way in. A dead man
was found in the bathroom. He was identified as Martinus Johannes Gerardus
Antonius, age 64, of Dutch nationality. He was lying on his back in the
bathroom and was partially unclothed. The corpse was badly burnt and a one
meter long sword was still imbedded in his neck.
Signs of a struggle were found in the house, and the drawers and the dresser
had been ransacked. Police estimated there had been at least two intruders.
They had stabbed and slashed the deceased then burned his body before
escaping with the valuables they found in the house.
Two men and one woman seen running from the house were questioned at 10 p.m.
on the same day, but no one has yet been charged with the murder and police
are continuing their inquiries.
Thailand and Laos step up
joint anti-drugs measures
Agree to expand cooperation
Thailand and Laos will work more closely together to suppress the
trafficking of narcotics along the Mekong River, which forms the border
between the two countries, and to prevent the drugs traveling through or
Srithirath (left) from Laos and Sompong Amornvivat (right) from Thailand
agree to increase anti-drugs cooperation between the two countries.
July 10 saw the 11th Bilateral Meeting for Cooperation on the Suppression of
Narcotics between Thailand and the Lao Peopleís Democratic Republic, held at
the Dusit Thani Hotel Pattaya and hosted by the Office of Protection and
Suppression of Narcotics at the Ministry of Justice.
Thailandís Minister of Justice Sompong Amornvivat and Soubanh Srithirath,
Minister in the Presidentís Office of the Lao Peopleís Democratic Republic
jointly chaired the meeting.
The talks were divided into two levels, one session for senior officials and
the other for the ministers, and the overall program was designed to create
an operational plan for the following year to reinforce the Border Liaison
Office for Suppression of Narcotics.
The meeting agreed to expand cooperation to prevent the smuggling of drugs
by or via Cambodia, and the ministers agreed there should be an operational
meeting between Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia for greater cooperation in the
suppression of narcotics in the region.
Thailand and Laos agreed that there should be joint patrols along the banks
of the Mekong, not only to stop the smuggling of drugs but also to collect
information that would lead to the breaking up of dealer networks.
Sompong said that the Thai government had supported a budget of 24.5 million
baht to construct an addict treatment and rehabilitation center in Jampasak
District in 2004, and that the center was handed over to the Lao government
after completion on December 16, 2005. The Public Health Ministry of
Thailand is responsible for technical support, and the operation of the
The Thai government has now presented a further amount of 994,580 baht for
materials and equipment at the center.
City to form child protection committee
Criminal child abuse cases on the rise
Pattaya is to organize a local subcommittee under the National Child
Protection Committee in a move to try and remove the risks to homeless and
permanent secretary of Pattaya City Chanatpong Juabmee.
Assistant permanent secretary of Pattaya City Chanatpong Juabmee chaired a
meeting on July 9 in the Thappraya Meeting Room at Pattaya City Hall to
discuss ways of organizing the subcommittee with the help of both the public
and private sectors.
Ms Pannee Limcharoen, director of the Pattaya Social Welfare Department said
that the problems with vagabond and underprivileged children are growing,
and that criminal case statistics for child abuse are continually on the
Abuses of children by foreign visitors is an area of great concern, and the
number of cases in Pattaya involving children between the ages of seven and
15 are increasing at an alarming rate.
Formation of a Pattaya subcommittee for the protection of children would
come under Section 15 Paragraph 1 of the Child Protection Act BE2546 (2003).
Dr Sumon Nakchalerm from Somdej Phranangchaosirikit Hospital said that under
the Child Protection Act, Pattaya City would be entitled to cooperation from
all organizations to get to the real problem.
Four Navy special units undertake joint anti-terrorism training
Ensuring personnel and technology are in a state of readiness
No, theyíre not extras in a
1950s alien horror movie; they
are military anti-terrorist experts going through training exercises.
Four Royal Navy units began joint anti-terrorism training exercises
on July 4 at the Boathouse of the Royal Special Warfare Group in Samaesarn
The Attack Squadron from Special Warfare Operations, the Bomb Rescue Group
from the Ordnance Department, the Biological Attack Protection Unit from the
Naval Science Department, and a Mobile Medical Unit from the Naval Medical
Department were working together under simulated conditions to prepare for
any real situation that might occur.
Rear Admiral Chaiwat Phuthong, director of the Naval Science Department
officially opened the exercises at the Boathouse. The training was scheduled
for 12 days, and was due to take place on the HTMS Similan, the passenger
terminal building at International Utapao Airport, and on the Fogger M 400
of the Royal Thai Naval Air Division.
The aim is to ensure that personnel and technology are in a state of
readiness for any terrorism related incidents that might occur, and to
ensure that the four units work smoothly together during any such
operations. The unit commanders were therefore on the alert for any possible
obstructions that might occur in the chain of command or in assigning
duties, or any other complication that could occur when the four units were
working together under emergency conditions.
On the first day, Rear Admiral Chaiwat attended a demonstration for the
destruction of an improvised explosive device (IED). This was done with a
high water vapor pressure bullet. In the simulation, those injured by the
bomb were assisted, and chemical leaks were eradicated.
IT teaching to be improved
in city schools
Lack of standards, teachers and equipment to be rectified
A standard syllabus for computers and information technology is to
be devised for Pattaya schools as the Pattaya Education Department is aware
that teaching on this important subject does not meet necessary standards.
of the Education Department Tawatchai Rattanyoo (left) and educational
supervisor Wannapa Wannasri are calling for better computer education in
A conference was held on July 9 at Pattaya City Hall, headed by director of
the Education Department Tawatchai Rattanyoo and educational supervisor
Wannapa Wannasri to formulate strategy and goals for a new IT syllabus.
Teachers associated with information technology from the 10 Pattaya City
schools attended the meeting for consultation.
Wannapa said that it is important at this stage to devise a standard
syllabus across all of the cityís schools to make sure they are heading in a
uniform direction at each level, and that the subject is receiving the
attention that it needs.
The meeting discussed the current IT teaching at each school. Pattaya School
No 7 was discussed as one example. The school has arranged the computer
course into two levels, primary school classes 1-3, and primary school
classes 4-6. The students are taught use of software such as Microsoft Word
and Microsoft Power Point, and were able to pass tests on practical
application, but often failed on theory.
It was also found that some schools didnít have enough computers to teach
many students at the same time, and some of them such as Pattaya School No
10 had no teachers qualified in computer instruction.
Tawatchai said that Pattaya City has already procured more than 100 sets of
computers, and these would be installed in schools soon. Regarding the lack
of teachers, additional personnel will be hired.