Two foreigners arrested in alleged extortion sting

Two foreigners arrested in alleged extortion sting

CHIANG MAI: Police arrested an Australian and a Dutch national in Mae Rim district in Chiang Mai yesterday afternoon, for allegedly trying to extort an Australian restaurant owner out of 1.7 million baht. The chopper-riding suspects say they are innocent. The alleged victim, aged in his 50s, told police that the duo threatened to kill his family if he failed to pay the money. The victim said that the men told him they had spent that amount trying to collect a debt from his former business partner on his behalf. He added that he had previously revealed to the Australian man his suspicion that his ex-business partner had ch

Friday, March 17, 2017 | 05:00 PM

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Immigration sealed for fugitive monk

Immigration sealed for fugitive monk

THAILAND: Immigration police have been ordered to prevent Phra Dhammachayo, the former abbot of Dhammakaya Temple, from fleeing to neighboring countries, Immigration Police Bureau commissioner Lt General Nuttathorn Proesunthon said yesterday. “The 'modern' system and technology of the bureau, which is linked to all exit points, will help block the fugitive monk from leaving the country,” he added. The monk was stripped of his patriarch rank by His Majesty The King a week ago (story here). “It’s impossible that he will be able to flee via legitimate channels. Authorities concerned are instructed to keep a clos

Monday, March 13, 2017 | 10:55 AM

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Swiss expat admits abusing more than 80 boys in Thailand

Swiss expat admits abusing more than 80 boys in Thailand

THAILAND: Swiss authorities yesterday confirmed that a man suspected of sexually abusing more than 80 boys in Thailand will be going on trial to face numerous allegations including molestation. It was reported that some of his victims were as young as nine years old. “The unnamed man has admitted to taking thousands of pornographic pictures of the boys, but denied allegations that he molested any of them or pushed some into prostitution,” said prosecutors in a statement in the western Swiss canton of Fribourg. The abuse is alleged to have taken place between 2001 and 2014. The man had previously been convicted of sexuall

Saturday, March 11, 2017 | 02:15 PM

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Six killed in bus accident tied to school budget issues

Six killed in bus accident tied to school budget issues

PRACHIN BURI: Budget constraints may have contributed to the deaths of four teachers and two students who were killed yesterday when a double-decker bus on a school trip plunged into a ravine in Prachin Buri’s Na Di district. The accident took place on Highway 304 on the route from Nakhon Ratchasima to Na Di. The two-lane road, which is known to be dangerous, is steep and curvy along a 12-kilometer stretch. An initial investigation of the scene revealed that a burning smell had spread in the bus just before it went out of control, hit another car, several electricity poles and a road barrier, before plunging about 20 mete

Friday, March 10, 2017 | 03:10 PM

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His Majesty strips fugitive monk of patriarch rank

His Majesty strips fugitive monk of patriarch rank

THAILAND: His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun has signed a royal command to strip Phra Dhammachayo of a senior monk rank, equivalent to a patriarch. The royal command, which was signed on Saturday, was published in the Royal Gazette yesterday. The command stripped Phra Dhammachayo of the rank of Thep Yarn Mahamunee on grounds that he is wanted on a court warrant for alleged money laundering and embezzlement. The royal command said Phra Dhammachayo also faced several charges, but refused to surrender. As a result, the government proposed that His Majesty remove the former Dhammakaya abbot

Monday, March 6, 2017 | 12:33 PM

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Asian black bear's fall to death 'explained'

Asian black bear's fall to death 'explained'

THAILAND: A member of the team responsible for sending an Asian black bear back into nature said yesterday that the animal’s fatal plunge from a helicopter was an “unavoidable accident caused by sudden turbulent weather”. Thanatip Chaiyos, a volunteer photographer, was part of a mission to move the five-year-old bear back to the forest, which ended tragically last month, sparking criticism from wildlife activists (story here). The bear had been found wandering into villagers’ houses and eating their crops, so a team of vets and park officials, including Mr Thanatip, captured the bear near Wangmuang Waterfall

Wednesday, March 1, 2017 | 03:03 PM

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