Indian escapees recaptured in Phuket
MORNING of Saturday 21, Sandeep Singh and Raj Kumar (from left) were re-arrested at Patong Beach after they escaped from Sakhu police station in Phuket’s Thalang on Friday 20.
The Phuket police chief Pol Maj Gen Teerapol Thipcharoen said at a news conference on Sunday that the two, who admitted they were Indian nationals, reached Thailand in March in an attempt to fly from Phuket to Toronto, Canada via Seoul, South Korea to take jobs. The South Korean immigration officers spotted their forged Portuguese passports and sent them back to Phuket on May 20.
Thai immigration police arrested them at the Phuket airport and handed them over to Sakhu police station to be interrogated for carrying fake Portuguese passports. While waiting to be taken to the provincial court, the two asked to go to the toilet and fled from behind the station.
A manhunt was launched right away. With gathered information and security camera footage, the two were re-arrested on Saturday night at the Otop market on Rat-uthit Road. They were initially charged with using fake documents and escaping police custody.
Pol Maj Gen Teerapol said a committee would be set up to investigate the Sakhu police for neglect of duty after the suspects escaped their custody.
Top: The two Indians who were traveling on fake Portuguese passports recaptured in Phuket. Photo: Manager.co.th
Informant campaign to curb speeding
A CAMPAIGN called fong pa pia (complaining to Aunt Pia) by the Asia Injury Prevention Foundation (AIP) was launched to encourage Bangkok residents to report city locations where they find most speeding vehicles.
Bangkokians are asked to act as informants, taking photos of part of the city’s roads likely to have accidents or where accidents often occur and send them to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram page with #fongpapia hashtag added in the text.
The information will then be forwarded to City Hall so it can design a pilot scheme to limit speed on roads.
AIP Foundation manager for Thailand Orathai Chunsuwannarak said that statistically, traffic police have caught and ticketed more drivers speeding than drunk. The foundation aimed at reducing speeding incidents which is a major cause of road accidents and speeding should be effectively controlled by law.
Thai Roads Foundation’s executive Natthaphong Buntop said that an opinion survey of 2,000 drivers, found from over 800,000 questioned nationwide, who had been arrested for speeding in 2015 found that only 17% said they changed their driving behavior while 63% slowed down “only for a certain period of time.”
Above: A fong pa pia campaign poster. Photo: Facebook.com/fongpapia/
New marine center to curb illegal harvesting
MAY 24, Natural Resources and Environment Minister General Surasak Karnjanarat announced the establishment of the Marine Resource Protection Centre to prevent illegal harvesting of marine lives such as the recent attempt to smuggle the famous giant coral at Koh Wiang Island in Chumphon which was found broken apart on May 23.
It was a large 5 meters wide, over 100 years old estimated age, about 1,000 kilograms disc coral, and a major underwater attraction at Koh Wiang Island.
Mr Surask said the established center will joint-operate with the Marine and Coastal Resources Department officers, police, Navy and the local authorities to take care of the marine resources and tackle criminal behaviors.
Risk areas would be prioritized and given sterner guards while, in the long run, the investigation to track down smuggling networks would be organized.
Marine biologist Thon Thamrongnawasawat said this is a criminal offence with penalties equal to tiger parts smuggling and also an increasing trend of imminent threat to the marine ecosystem. He said having the locals report to the police about the incident was also a good indicator of marine resources conservation awareness among them.
Above: A beautiful coral in Thai waters. Photo: ThaiPBS.co.th
Free forensic tests in June
CENTRAL Institute of Forensic Science (CIFS) under the Justice Ministry will be providing forensic test services to the public in June as required under the 2016 forensic service law enacted in June last year.
The CIFS will provide the service for free for only the month of June where the public can have access to services ranging from DNA and drug tests to signature, document and banknote verification. It will start charging 1,000 – 50,000 baht fee per test after June.
The institute’s director-general Somn Promaros said on Thursday that the priority of the free services is people with problems and the needy and low-income earners, provided they have proof of registration with the Interior Ministry, and they will continue to get the services for free after June.
The chief of the CIFS’s evidence management section Taywan Viwatpattanakul said initially the institute had a monthly capacity to handle 50 DNA tests, 20 hair drug tests and 10 document examinations.
CIFS is available for more information at its 1111 hotline or at 021 423 620 and 062 323 9000 phone numbers.
Above: A variety of forensic science equipment. Photo: Central Institute of Forensic Science Thailand’s Facebook
By Piboon Awasdaruharote