Farrangs Arrested As Pattaya Immigration Storm Walking Street Bars

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Pat1

It was anything but party central on Pattaya’s Walking Street last night as over 100 cops came a knocking at pubs and clubs with foreigners set firmly in their sights – all in a bid reassure tourists that Sin City is a safe place to party.

I doubt the half dozen or so foreigners carted off in the back of a police pickup would agree but according to those in charge of the operation, those detained had broken the law in one way or another.

Pat2

From what I can gather the primary objective was to catch visa violators as during the raids both Thais and foreigners were asked to produce I.D. which led to a number of party people checking bin sooner than they hoped and making an unscheduled stop at the police station to answer a few questions.

Pat3

A number of go-go bars, nightclubs and restaurants were targeted including Sensations A-Go-Go and 808 nightclub, both popular with the tourist and expat crowd.

One bright spark who was carrying his passport with him whilst on overstay was nabbed in 808 and made the work of cops all the more easy.

Pat4

To top off a great nights work, three foreign nationals were found to be working illegally in a restaurant and were detained pending prosecution and deportation.

Source: Stickboybangkok.com

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Thailand – Visa overstayers face bans of up to 10 years

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Visa rule

Foreigners overstaying their visa in Thailand face being banned from the country by up to 10 years.

Offenders face blacklisting whether they turn themselves into authorities or whether they get arrested, reported the Nation.

Those who come clean face a 3-year ban for overstaying one year; a 5-year ban for overstaying three years; and a 10-year ban for those overstaying five years.

However those who get arrested face harsher penalties: a 5-year ban for overstaying less than one year and a 10-year ban for overstaying more than one year.

Overstaying a visa is illegal in Thailand, with offenders currently facing a maximum fine of up to THB20,000.

“The existing law is weak,” immigration bureau chief Pol Maj Gen Natthorn Prosunthorn told the Nation.

The new measures will take effect next March.

Source: Coconuts

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#Phuket calm after riot

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Dozens of cars burnt out and Thalang police station damaged after mob protest over a hot pursuit that led to death of two young men.

PH2

TENSION between police and local residents in Phuket province that escalated into a riot at a local police station yesterday appeared to ease, after an inquiry panel was formed to look into the death of two young men during a police hot pursuit on Saturday.

Police representatives met with families and relatives of Pathomwat Panarak, 22 and a 17-year-old teen, whose name was withheld, at a school yesterday with a military officer as a mediator. The meeting was held under a tense environment as supporters of the pair gathered around the venue occasionally booing and jeering.

The meeting was held after local residents, including families of both victims, rallied in front of Thalang police station, angry over the death of the pair. They claimed police used excessive action on the young victims – who allegedly refused to be searched and rode off on a motorbike near a police checkpoint – without solid evidence.

Dozens of vehicles parked before the police station were burnt and police buildings damaged during the clash that involved hundreds of residents and officials on Saturday night and early yesterday. Four police involved in the case were transferred out of the area at about midnight on Saturday.

PH1

Suksri Kaentakian, mother of the teenage victim, said if her son was involved in drugs, her family would certainly be very rich. “Police involved in the death of my son should be sacked from the service and face legal action like ordinary people. I cannot accept that the incident came to the end after concerned police were transferred out of the area.”

Thaweesit Panarak, father of the 22-year-old, wept and said he had only one son. He admitted that his son used to use crystal meth or ‘Ice’ and was in jail. “I don’t think that my son would have had narcotics, as I believe he did not want to go back to jail again.”

However what the police had done was considered excessive. “It is not acceptable that my son and his friend had to end their lives this way. When police conducted the hunt, they had no evidence in hand that they had narcotics,” the father said.

Phuket Governor Chamroen Tipayapongtada said after a committee would be set up to investigate the case and a fund set up to help the victims’ families.

At 3pm, protesters demanded that police discuss the case and bring the officers responsible for the pursuit to talk with them. However police did not heed their demand.

The situation escalated in the evening when the protesters threw sticks and stones into the station, then hurled Molotov cocktails that burnt vehicles at the station.

The protesters were angered by the police’s claim that they found 50 pills of amphetamine and one kilogram of kratom leaves in the young men’s bags.

The tension seemed to decrease at 3am after the intervention of Major General Theenachat Jinda-ngen, chief of Military Circle 41, came to stop the protest. After talks, they agreed to attend the meeting yesterday at Wat Bandon School. The protest dispersed at about 3.30am, ending a 12-hour stand-off.

PH3

The Phuket governor said preliminary agreements were made at the meeting to set up an inquiry between police and local authorities to investigate the case, and set up a fund for the men’s families. “The case will be investigated without any bias and will bring justice to both sides,” he said.

Damage to the police station was yet to be calculated, but all windows in the three-storey police building were shattered, while the fence and signpost outside were wrecked and some 27 vehicles belonging to the authorities and private owners were burnt. Fourteen police officers suffered minor injuries.

The riot also forced the road outside the station to be closed, which affected transport to Phuket Airport. Officials at the airport said 35 people missed their flights and nine planes were delayed on Saturday night.

Police spokesman Lt General Prawut Thavornsiri said National Police Chief General Chakthip Chaijinda had ordered police to investigate the case in a straightforward manner to bring justice to everyone and ordered the officers responsible to get people to understand the situation, so tension was relieved.

“The next thing we’ll do is investigate the police who were responsible for the chase – and if they were really excessive [in their actions], they will be punished and aid given to the teenagers’ relatives,” he said.

He said police, doctors, local authorities and soldiers would conduct the autopsies, which would be done as soon as possible, so results could be known within seven days.

The prime minister expressed sympathy to the families of the deceased.

Source: The Nation

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Bangkok, Suspects ‘re-enact’ bombing

Re-Enact

TWO PRIME suspects in the Erawan Shrine bomb attack that killed 20 and injured more than 100 people re-enacted the crime at 19 key spots in Bangkok yesterday.

Adem Karadag, or Bilal Muhammed, who was the first suspect arrested in connection with the August 17 attack in an apartment in Min Buri, and Mieraili Yusufu, the second suspect arrested at the beginning of this month near the Cambodia border at Sa Kaew’s Aranyaprathet district, were taken to re-enact the crime at key spots where they confessed to committing the crime, Royal Thai Police Pol Lt-General Prawut Thawornsiri said yesterday.

Prawut said Adem’s confession was in line with Mieraili’s confession and Adem’s statements also implicated others in the bombing gang. “The suspects’ statements given to police are also in line with other evidence that police found and scientific evidence. This led us to believe that their confession is true,” Prawut said.

Both suspects re-enacted the crime separately. Adem started the re-enactment outside the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel where he allegedly got off a tuk-tuk; the second spot was at the Erawan Shrine where Adem placed a bag containing the bomb. Mieraili was brought to Rama I Road, opposite the Erawan Shrine. The third spot was at Soi Mahadlekluang where Mieraili got on a motorcycle to escape; the fourth spot was at Chalermlok bridge where Mieraili confessed that he threw his mobile phone into the Saen Saeb canal. The fifth spot was at the fifth gate of Lumpini Park, where Adem allegedly got off a motorcycle to walk to Lumpini Park. The sixth spot was at a toilet near the fifth gate of the park where Adem changed his clothes before leaving the park through gate 4 on Rama IV Road to get in a taxi. The seventh spot was near Padung Krung Kasem Canal at the third bridge near Hua Lampong train station where Adem waited for Mieraili to give him the bomb. Mieraili waited at the second bridge. The eighth spot was at a bench near Padung Krung Kasem Canal near Hua Lampong train station where bags were switched.

The ninth spot was near the fence of the Hua Lampong train station near the Padung Krung Kasem Canal where Adem got into a tuk-tuk. The 10th spot was where the tuk-tuk driver stopped to talk to his friend. The 11th spot was the Cockpit shop opposite Ramada Hotel where a bag containing an explosive device was delivered to Zubair – the blue-shirted man who dropped a bomb at Sathorn Pier; the 12th spot was at a mosque between Soi Charoenkrung 105 and 107 where Adem took 20 minutes to pray.

The 13th spot was at the LPG gas station opposite the mosque where Adem changed into a yellow shirt. The 14th spot was at Kor Laem post office where Adem got on a taxi. The 15th spot was at Soi Charoen Nakhon 61 and Chao Phraya Princess pier, where a bag containing a bomb was located.

The 16th spot was Charoen Nakhon Road opposite Soi Charoen Nakhon 61 where the suspect got into a taxi. The 17th spot was Min Buri market where the suspect got off a taxi. The 18th spot was at a 7-Eleven shop at Min Buri where Adem bought some goods and the 19th spot was at room 412 of Poon-anan apartment where Adem was arrested.

National police chief General Somyot Poompanmuang said the suspects had confessed because they were confronted with evidence. He said the motive for the bombing was the crackdown on human trafficking, which put an end to the illegal business. The suspects were part of the human-trafficking ring and might have been hired by an ill-intentioned group to commit the crime. The re-enactment was carried out under heavy security with some 600 military and police officers being deployed to keep security, who accompanied the two suspects to all the sites. Adem wore a yellow T-shirt and a bulletproof vest and shorts. Mieraili was in a blue T-shirt with a bulletproof vest inside the shirt and shorts. Before the enactment, the Bangkok Military Court approved police’s request to detain the two suspects for 12 days from September26 to October 7. The suspects would be detained at the temporary remand facility in Nakhon Chaisri after re-enacting the crime.

Prawut had announced a list of 17 suspects for whom arrest warrants were approved by the court. All 17 were charged with colluding to commit premeditated murder; colluding to commit attempted premeditated murder; colluding to produce bombs, causing death, serious injuries and damage to the assets of others; conspiring to damage property; colluding to possess explosive devices without permission; colluding to carry explosive devices into a city or public places without justified reasons; and colluding to possess weapons without permission.

Source: The Nation

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The Hunt is on

Hunt
Police put the alleged bomb courier in a yellow T-shirt for re-enactment near the Erawan shrine, but the focus is on Interpol to find the mastermind.

Police seek blast mastermind
Interpol help sought in overseas bolt hole

Police are seeking help from Interpol to hunt the suspected Erawan shrine and Sathorn pier bombings mastermind who they believe has fled to Bangladesh.

Deputy national police chief Chakthip Chaijinda, who leads the investigation into the bombings, Wednesday said Abudureheman Abudusataer, known as Ishan, is believed to be the head of the network which caused the deadly bomb blast at the shrine on Aug 17, based on the accounts of the detained suspects.

Interpol will be asked to contact Bangladeshi authorities following reports that Ishan had fled to the country, he said.

An investigation is underway to look into money wired from overseas to determine whether it was used to sponsor the attack, he said.

Pol Gen Chakthip said he is confident police will be able to arrest the yellow-shirted man, who was seen in CCTV footage planting the bomb-laden backpack at the shrine, based on evidence he gathered.

Hunt 2

Meanwhile, a source said investigations found Mr Ishan had sent an audio clip via Facebook to other suspects containing the screaming voice of a woman whom he claimed was a Uighur and was being deported from Thailand to China.

He met four other key suspects in Thailand. They are Yusufu Mieraili; Bilal Mohammed, also known as Adem Karadag; a man wearing a blue shirt who dropped a bomb into the river at Sathon pier, and the man in a yellow shirt who is believed to be the Erawan shrine bomber.

There is still another suspect living overseas who sponsored the attack, the source said, adding the person booked air tickets en route to Turkey for the suspects. Money was wired to the bank accounts of some suspects, the source said.

Investigators said earlier Mr Mieraili said Mr Ishan had arranged meetings of the bombing cell and assigned them their tasks.

Police sources said the warrant for the arrest of Mr Ishan was issued on Tuesday but police later decided to rescind it as more investigation was needed to ensure stronger evidence.

National police spokesman Prawut Thavornsiri said information about Mr Ishan has been shared with Interpol to help check his records.

According to the spokesman, the bomb used in the attack was unusual and seldom seen elsewhere.

However, some bomb-making materials, including fuses, can be acquired in Thailand.

The National Council for Peace and Order called on fertiliser and chemical substance shops to install CCTV.

Pol Lt Gen Prawut insisted more than 10 people were involved in the bombing network.

READ MORE: The BangkokPost 

Hunt 3

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Were the Grey Wolves behind #Bangkok bombing?


Bomber 2-9
Adem Karadag’ has been arrested in connection to the Bangkok bombing. But is he a member of the Grey Wolves? Photo: Royal Thai Police.

On 8 July 2015, the deportation of 109 Uighur refugees back to China by Thai authorities shifted mob attacks against Asian tourists in Turkey to protests at the Consulate General of Thailand in Istanbul and the Thai Embassy in Ankara.

After stoning the consulate, smashing the windows and wrenching the doors open, the mob poured consular documents and files onto the street.

Roughly two months later, on 28 August a man identified as Adem Karadag, with a fake Turkish passport, was arrested by Thai police in Nong Chok district of Bangkok, as a possible key suspect in the 17 August bombing at the Erawan shrine.

He was found with dozens of fake Turkish passports and explosives similar to the ones used in what is now Thailand’s most deadly peacetime attack.

The recent anti-Thai and anti-Chinese protests by the Grey Wolves and the arrest of an alleged Turkish citizen by Thai police has sparked arguments putting the group at the forefront of those possibly behind the deadly bombing that killed 20 and left more than one hundred injured.

For example Susan Cunningham’s piece in Forbes outlines long-time security analyst Anthony Davis’ argument for the strong probability of the Grey Wolves’ involvement in the Bangkok bombings. Lindsay Murdoch of Australia’s Fairfax media has also outlined the Grey Wolves past activities, including military operations in post-Soviet states with Turkic people. But before the blame is laid squarely at their feet, a few key points need to be considered.

First, the Grey Wolves, a group also known as the Idealist Hearts, was founded in February 1968 to break the hegemony of socialist groups in Turkish universities throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Formed by the leader of the Nationalist Action Party, Alparslan Turkes, the group’s raison d’etre was anti-communism.

The Nationalist Action Party has since then held firm de facto control of the Idealist Hearts, although the organisation is not a formal sub-branch of the party. Hearts members came to be known as the Grey Wolves because of their logo, which was originally derived from a Turkic myth.

The organisation soon spread all over Turkey, and until the 1980s, a fierce anti-left stance was combined with Pan-Turkic myths, racism and some Islamic discourses under a typical fascistic leadership cult and strict hierarchy.

During the late 1970s many Grey Wolves sympathisers were recruited for counter-guerrilla operations and used as hoods in the paramilitary actions of the Turkish “deep state” (a group of anti-democratic coalitions with strong influence in Turkish politics) against rising left wing activism in the country.

During this era, members of the group were also involved in several assassinations of left wing intellectuals and a few massacres against Turkey’s Alevite population who were the main base of the far left during that decade.

In the decade following the 1980 Turkish military coup, the suppression of the Turkish left by the military, the collapse of the Soviet bloc and the consequent eradication of “the traditional other” of the Grey Wolves left the group in an ideological vacuum.

With this identity crisis a few sympathisers of the group became largely affiliated with the Turkish Mafia. Several members of the Hearts established connections with international crime, with some becoming hit men for international terrorist groups.

One frequenter of the Grey Wolves, Mehmet Ali Agca, who was convicted of assassinating a prominent left-wing Turkish journalist, was later caught at St Peter’s Square after attempting to assassinate Pope Jean Paul in May 1981.

In the 2000s the organisation turned into a nation-wide club where attendees were exposed to a blend of pan-Turkic, Islamist and anti-Kurdish racist ideas. Today the appeal of this ideological mixture is mostly attractive for Turkey’s least educated youth, and they gather in protests from time to time for pan-Turkic causes.

Despite the Grey Wolves possibly providing a large pool of followers to be used in petty crime, minor mafia activities and even human trafficking, I highly doubt their capacity and preparedness to conduct a bombing such as that at Bangkok’s Erawan shrine.

Simply put, the group has never participated in such a transnational mass bombing.

The person charged in Bangkok may be a sympathiser or a regular member/visitor of branches of this organisation in Turkey. He may also be a supporter of the pan-Turkic ideology of the Grey Wolves. Furthermore, the Grey Wolves might have been so agitated in their nationalist feelings for the Uighur cause to develop strong anti-Thai and anti-Chinese responses.

However, as an organisation the Idealist Hearts, or Grey Wolves, under strict control of the leadership of Turkey’s Nationalist Action Party, is unlikely to be the group behind the Bangkok bombings.

Dr M. Murat Yurtbilir is an associate lecturer in Turkish studies at the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies, The Australian National University. His research focuses on Turkish politics, history and foreign policy, and international politics in Central Asia.

Source: NewMandala

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Erawan Shrine bomb suspect arrested: PM

1-9

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha announced yesterday that the key suspect for the August 17 Erawan Shrine bombing has been arrested.

Prayut said the suspect was arrested in Sa Kaew province, adding that he was not Thai and that police are checking the man’s nationality. He said the Turkish embassy has been informed of the arrest and that the suspect has been brought to Bangkok for questioning.

Nation TV reported that the suspect resembled the man in a yellow T-shirt, who was captured on CCTV leaving a backpack under a bench in the shrine compound. The backpack exploded minutes later, killing 20 people and injuring hundreds of others.

Police spotted the suspect when he was trying to sneak across the border into Cambodia from Aranyaprathet, Burapha Taskforce chief Maj-General Srisak Poonprasit said. The suspect had a black backpack, in which he was found to be carrying clothes similar to the ones the suspected bomber was seen wearing on the day of the attack.

Erawan Shrine 25-8
Source: The Nation

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