Russian nabbed trying to blow up an ATM
A Russian was arrested by police at Suvarnabhumi international airport on
Wednesday after he tried unsuccessfully to blow up an ATM in Hua Hin early
The Russian suspect, identified as Konstantin Dolgov, 27, was spotted by a
passer-by, Mr Manaspong Plienpradab, at about 3 am Monday morning at an ATM
of Krung Thai bank in front of the Hua Hin land office, trying to open the
machine with an oxygen tank.
Upon seeing Manaspong, the suspect escaped. A manhunt was later launched by
Hua Hin police who arrived at the scene after being alerted of the robbery
attempt. Immigration police at all airports were alerted to watch out for
the suspect whose image was shown on the CCTV footages.
Dolgov was apprehended at the departure lounge of Suvarnabhumi airport as he
was waiting for a flight out of Thailand.
After the arrest, Dolgov told police that he plotted the robbery plan by
renting a pick-up truck which he rode through Hua Hin town to scout for the
right ATM to rob. He finally found one in front of the land office and then
went to buy tools needed to blow up the ATM which included an oxygen tank
and a gas tank at a shop in Pran Buri district.
Early Monday morning, he drove the truck to the targeted ATM, waited there
until there was not one around and then moved in to blow up the ATM with the
gas which he filled into the machine through a gap before starting a fire.
The gas exploded but, out of a sudden, a motorcyclist just showed up,
scaring the suspect who immediately made good the escape empty-handed. He
later dumped the gas and oxygen tanks in the shrubs near the hotel where he
Alleged hacker detained for 12 more days
Alleged hacker Natdanai Kongdee was detained for another 12 days from
Wednesday until January 8 by an order of the Criminal Court pending police
Pol Cpt Chalit Maneeprao, the police inquiry officer in charge of the case,
voiced his objection against bail for the 19-year old suspect. He told the
court that he had to question five more witnesses.
Natdanai did not ask for a bail either. He appeared to be tense as he was
taken to the court by police.
The suspect is facing 23 counts of offences, ranging from falsifying
official documents and using the fake documents, computer hacking, illegal
possession of firearms to possessing and using marijuana.
Natdanai was accused of hacking into the websites of governmental agencies
as a gesture of protest against the new Computer Crime Bill which passed the
endorsement of the lower House.
11-month cross border trade surpasses 1.33 trillion baht
The Department of Foreign Trade announced that total cross-border trade and
commerce along Thailand’s borders for the first 11 months of 2016 was in
excess of 1.33 trillion Baht.
This represents a 1.2% increase and the department estimates that the total
figure for the entire year will amount to 1.47 trillion Baht, a total
increase of 2.8%, according to Mr Adul Chottinisakorn, the deputy
director-general of the department.
He said although this figure is bellow the official projection of 1.7
trillion baht, it is still within acceptable limits and was certainly better
than the current global trade situation.
He stated that he was confident that 2017’s cross-border trade and commerce
will be able to grow by no less than 2 – 3%.
Rice packing volunteer program concludes with success
BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Office of
the Permanent Secretary to the Prime Minister has concluded the “Following
in Father’s Footsteps: Doing Good in Tribute to His Majesty” volunteer
program after successfully packing over 3 million donation bags in devotion
to His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Prime Minister’s Office Minister Omsin Cheewapruek chaired the closing
ceremony for the program, which saw large groups of volunteers packing bags
of rice for hand out to mourners at Sanam Luang. The program began on
October 29 and saw 45,000 volunteers from both the public and private
sectors packing a total of 3,565,000 bags of rice. The amount is sufficient
for hand out until January 19 of next year.
The minister thanked all who devoted their time and energy and commended
them for their success. He then proceeded to open the Big Cleaning Day
effort of the Office of the Permanent Secretary to the Prime Minister, which
was used for rice packing during the volunteer program.
Cabinet orders establishment of Rail Transport Department
BANGKOK, (NNT) – The Cabinet has
ordered that a “Rail Transport Department” be set up within this year to
separate the roles of rail regulator and rail operator.
At this week’s Cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Gen Prayuth
Chan-ocha, the government saw fit to order the Ministry of Transport to
expedite the establishment of a Department of Rail Transport to be completed
by the end of this year.
The order follows a recommendation from the State Enterprise Policy
Commission pointing out that the management of rail transport in the nation
is no longer efficient or financially sound. It explained that existing
transport offices must both handle rail and road transport with the latter
making up 80 percent of goods transport in the nation. The commission
pointed out a specialized office would increase efficiency in rail transport
and help to shift goods transport back to rails, which provide a slew of
The Cabinet order effectively authorizes the Office of Rail Development to
be elevated into a Department of Rail Transport and calls for regulator
roles and operator roles to do with rail transport to be separated among
relevant agencies. It also empowers the new department with authority
pertaining to rail transport management in the Kingdom.
Drone used in mine development
SARABURI, (NNT) - The Department
of Primary Industries and Mines has used a drone to take aerial photos of a
stone mill factory in Saraburi province to pave the way for future mine
Director of the Bureau of Engineering and Land Rehabilitation of the
Department of Primary Industries and Mines Sura Petpirun led a group of
reporters on a trip to observe an unmanned aircraft operation at Silasanon
Stone Mill Factory.
The drone was used to survey and take pictures of the areas around the
factory. The pictures will later be used to draw a map for the development
of a limestone mine. The Department of Primary Industries and Mines also has
similar plans in place to develop a calcite mine in Lopburi and gypsum mines
in Phichit and Nakhon Sawan provinces.
The drone has been introduced as an effective tool to determine the
boundaries of the mines and to remind the private companies, who received
government mining concessions, not to go beyond the agreed areas.
Sura claimed the drone was just as efficient and effective in surveying the
areas as a GPS system. The use of this aerial technology is also expected to
be enforced under Thai laws in the middle of next year as it is
cost-effective and can be used as often as needed.
Khao Kiew Open Zoo receives rare black jaguar ahead of New Year's
CHONBURI,(NNT) – Khao Kiew Open Zoo is inviting members of the public
to view its newest addition for the New Year’s holiday, a black jaguar from
the United Arab Emirates.
Khao Kiew Open Zoo of Chonburi province has held a press tour headed by its
Deputy Director Attaporn Sriheran to introduce its new black jaguar. The
jaguar is unique due to it deriving its color from a genetic mutation.
The animal is on loan from Al Mayya Sanctuary of the United Arab Emirates.
It is 10 years old and is in good health, providing a prime opportunity for
Thai visitors to see a rare big cat in its prime.
The black jaguar, scientifically named Panthera Onca, is indigenous to South
America and is usually only found in thick jungle areas, making it
particularly hard to see in the wild.
Visitors who want to see the jaguar while it is in Thailand can contact Khao
Kiew Zoo by calling 038 – 318 – 444 or visiting www.kkopenzoo.com.
Trail runners get new event for 2017
Cross-country running returns to Khao Mai Keow
in East Pattaya on January 22 for the inaugural ‘Champion of the Trails’
event. (Photo courtesy AMA-Events)
Organizers of the Columbia Trail masters series of cross-country running
events in Thailand have announced they will introduce a new format to trail
running in 2017, with a championship series featuring 4 trail runs held over
the course of the next 12 months.
Racers will compete per race in male/female distance classes
(3km/10km/25km/50km) to accumulate points and win the ‘Champion of the
Trails’ title. Podium finishers will receive cash and sponsors’ prizes for
every race class, with a total value of over 500,000 THB up for grabs over
the 4 events.
The first race in the series will be held at Khao Mai Keow Reservation Park
in East Pattaya on Sunday, January 22, 2017 with entrance fees set as
follows: 50km (1,500 baht), 25km (1,200 baht), 10km 900 baht, and 3km (250
baht) or free for children under 15. Registration is open until 17 January,
The first 3 winners of each category will receive trophies and medals while
there will be souvenir T-shirts for all participants (except for 3km fun
run). The trail runs are open to all levels of racers, from beginners
through to experienced athletes.
Other races in the series include Khao Ito in Nakhon Nayok on Feb. 26, Nong
Yai in Chonburi on Sept. 7 and a final event at a location yet to be decided
on Dec. 11, 2017.
For more information or to register as a runner, go to
www.ama-events.com/thailand-trail-series or call 02-2521764 – 6.
More lottery tickets for December 30 draw
The Government Lottery Office has issued an additional five million pairs of
lottery tickets for the December 30 lottery draw.
GLO spokesman Thanawat Phonwichai said the additional issuance from the
normal 60-70 million pairs on each draw for the December 30 draw came as
lottery tickets are still sold higher than the controlled price of 80-baht a
This was the result of higher demand than supply, particularly on the last
draw date of this year on December 30 when people will buy lottery tickets
to give as new year gifts, he said.
He believed that the extra five million pairs this week would meet the high
demand and keep the price at 80 baht a pair.
He asked for cooperation from the people not to buy overcharged lottery
tickets, particularly lucky numbers or beautiful numbers or buy in a set of
lottery tickers with same numbers which are overpriced.
He warned lottery agents of facing termination of their lottery quotas
permanently if they are found to collect same lottery numbers for sales in
The seized quotas will be allocated to other agents or vendors for sale, he
Cabinet is due to consider Thai-Chinese high-speed train project in January
The long overdue Thai-Chinese high-speed train project is now in the process
of being considered in details before a full report of the project can be
wrapped up and submitted to the cabinet for consideration in mid-January,
Transport Deputy Permanent Secretary Phirapol Thavornsupacharoen said on
The report and the cabinet’s decision on the project and recommendations –
if there are any – will be presented for discussion at the Thai-Chinese
joint railway cooperation during January 16-18, said Mr Phirapol, adding
that, once there is an approval of the report by the joint committee, the
project can proceed initially with the handover of land for the
Regarding the light Red Line railway route between Bang Sue and Hua Mark and
between Bang Sue and Hua Lampong, the deputy permanent secretary said could
be held in March.
As for the 95 billion baht worth of high-speed project between Bangkok and
Hua Hin and the 152 billion baht worth of Bangkok-Rayong high-speed train
project, he expected bidding to take place in the third quarter of next year
under public-private sectors joint investment platform.
Under the PPP platform, Mr Phirapol explained that the private sector could
present their land for commercial development on land beside the rail lines
and would be required to conduct feasibility study and environmental impact
assessment at its own costs.
He said that ministry would try to wrap up the two high-speed train projects
this year before they are to be submitted to the National Economic and
Social Development Board and the cabinet for consideration respectively.
Contract signing for four dual-track train projects worth together 91
billion baht are to be concluded within March 26. They are 167-km Prachuab
Khiri Khan-Chumporn train project, 132-km Mabkabao-Chira junction project,
148-km Lop Buri-Paknam Po project and 165-km Nakhon Pathom-Hua Hin project.
More time to be given to Bestlin Group to deliver 489 NGV buses to BMTA
Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) will give more time for Bestlin Group
to secure financing to pay for the import taxes and fines for Chinese-made
489 NGV buses to be delivered to the city bus operator.
BMTA director Surachai Iamwachirakul said Monday that it was doubtless that
the company which won the auction to supply the city bus operators with 489
NGV buses could not deliver the bus fleet within the December 29 deadline
because the company could not secure the funds needed to pay the Customs
Department for the import taxes and fines imposed on the company for
declaring the false origin of the buses.
The buses were supposed to be assembled in Malaysia with 40 percent local
contents which would have enabled Bestlin to be eligible to tax free under
the Asean free trade zone. As it turned out, the bus fleet was shipped from
China in fully-assembled form and re-routed to Malaysia supposedly to be
assembled which never actually took place. The buses were shipped to Laem
Chabang deep-sea port.
Customs Department have impounded the bus fleet at the port pending payment
of import taxes and fines.
In case the buses could not be delivered within December 29 deadline which
is only a few days away, Mr Surachai said Beslin Group would be fined by the
BMTA 17,000 baht a day for each bus for the delay.
He indicated that the city bus operator had a Plan B in store in case
delivery could not be made and the contract was to be scrapped, but he
declined to elaborate.
Man survives epic car crash
Ratchasart Thansuwanrath claimed the Luang Poh
Sothorn amulet he was wearing allowed him to walk away from the crash that
demolished his car.
By Patcharapol Panrak
A Najomtien man survived a devastating car crash.
Ratchasart Thansuwanrath, 41, suffered only minor injuries after totaling
his black Toyota Altis by plowing it into a light post on Sukhumvit Road
near Ruan Gyoongthong village Dec. 15.
Ratchasart told police that he was coming from his home in Najomtien
Sub-district and was bound for Sattahip when a pickup truck cut him off at a
U-turn. He lost control of the vehicle and took out the light pole.
He claimed the Luang Poh Sothorn amulet he was wearing allowed him to walk
away from the crash that demolished his car.