It is very apt that Thailand is currently honoured with hosting a conference on international anti-corruption because Thailand is one of the countries that have such a bad reputation in terms of corruption. Although we are not the world’s champion, we nevertheless rank high in the corruption stakes; 78th, in fact, out of 178; in a descending scale where the least corrupt are designated by the lesser numbers. We can take a modicum of pride in that we are not as bad as most of our SE Asian Neighbours, but that hardly gives us cause for celebration. Let’s face it the 78th position is a pretty damning one.
Cynics have long claimed that justice in Thailand is a marketable commodity like almost anything else. A current issue involving a wealthy elderly Swede, accused of multiple cases of sexual abuse of children, financially manipulative lawyers perverting the course of justice and a greedy adulterous judge, have cast a ‘cloud of corruptive gloom’ over the Courts of Justice in Thailand.
Recently, by way of investigating a distressing case of car theft, PDN discovered a massive vehicle sales scam being operated in the Pattaya area. Apparently, a consortium of businessmen are buying up severely damaged vehicles, and thus having the respective registration plates and licence books, they then get their extensive team of car thieves (at least one of whom appears to be a care salesman) to steal cars and substitute the ownership details with those of the written-off ones.
Due to the current speculation and media focus on the recent arrest of internationally renowned Russian musician, Mikhail Pletnev, on “child sex” charges, PDN would like to offer our readers a brief incite into the ‘facts’ surrounding the case and our subsequent investigations with Mr. Pletnev and the investigating officers.
Social tensions between South and North Korea have escalated once again due to the sinking of the Cheonan. The two Koreas have remained technically at war with each other ever since the 1953 ceasefire ended the Korean War. If one considers the premise that their long-term struggle is a "cold civil war" with periodic "hot flashes," then it could be argued that the protracted "civil wars" in Latin American countries like Colombia, Bolivia, etc. have followed similar patterns. However, the latter situation is now changing, and perhaps both Koreas could learn something from new developments regarding the implementation of Invincible Defense Technology (IDT) in Latin America.
The continuing state of affairs along the Thappraya/Jomtien 2nd Road has left local residents branding the transport artery “The Seven Lifetime Road,” referencing to the amount of time that it is taking contractors and administrators to complete the development.
Ilhan ‘Allan’ Ozturk recently received a much needed positive contribution, from the Pattaya City Mayor, in his continuing fight for justice over the death of his beloved brother Ilhami. Although Mayor Itthiphol Khunpluem’s generous personal contribution was well received, Allan voiced his determination to continue to fight against the maritime administrators and private individuals who are attempting to avoid accountability over his brother’s tragic death off Koh Larn in 2006.
Somchai and his family have been living in complete desolation in the heart of grimy Bangkok city, amongst the unemployed, street beggars and deplorably low income earners for several months. Continually fearing for both his children’s health and their safety, basic human rights seem to have been lost in this thriving, rat infested metropolis that they call the Thai capital. Already living several kilometers from anywhere they can afford to shop and barely being able to cover the cost of the bus fare to start with, the onset of the current political crisis has further restricted their ability to survive as they live merely 2km south of the Silom square, the main rally center. Coupled with the fact that he and his children have seemingly been abandoned by the Belgian Embassy it is easy to see how their situation is becoming increasingly desperate, which is why we bring you this heartfelt plea for assistance.
Following an interview with Mr Michel Spindler (his correct surname), who was recently, detained, tortured and assaulted by members of a motorbike‘group going by the name of the Lone Brothers MC Club, Pattaya Daily News is now able to reveal the whole story.
The Lone Brothers is a group of motorcycle enthusiasts, largely composed of Germans with two Swiss members, that Mr Michel was, until recently, also a member of. The group or ‘family’ also has affiliations in Cambodia and Australia. The group meets on a regular basis on Wednesdays in Naklua Soi18 to party and generally indulge in drinking sessions and sometimes to go on motorbike tours.
The theft of a large cache of arms from the Army arsenal in Phatthalung coming so soon after the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions February 26’s decision to seize Bt46.37 billion of Thaksin Shinawatra’s frozen assets does not bode well for the stability of Thailand.
Property in Thailand is probably one of the most lucrative investment arenas, worldwide, with prices almost 1/3 of an equivalent unit in most top Western destinations. This particularly applies to Pattaya where the total value of condos sold leapt from US$12m in H1,2005 to an astounding US$222m in H1,2008 (Bt 392.4m-7,258.33m), with prices rising from US$1,929 prices per square metre (psm) to US$3,264 psm (Bt63,096.51 - 106,767.98). In one case, The Cove topped Bt220,000 psm; the equivalent of top Bangkok prices. Being such a lucrative arena, however, makes the property market highly susceptible to scam merchants, one such we will elaborate on after giving you the background to the Pattaya Property Market.
Robert McInnes, the prominent Pattaya businessman and self-styled kung fu master, recently released on Bt100,000 bail after being arrested on firearms charges, may not be all that he represented himself as being, recent evidence suggests.
Real Estate is a very high value industry, which inevitably makes it a prime stamping ground for rip-off merchants and scam-artists, particularly in Thailand, sometimes dubbed the Land of shark smiles”. Naïve, would-be investors make perfect victims for the unscrupulous, who delight in taking the shirts from off their backs, especially in Fun Town, where anything goes and scams are legion.
Pattaya is too in your face for a shy man such as your reporter; Its claim to fame or more correctly, notoriety is based on the sex trade. Having its origins as a major Rest and Recreation base for the American forces during the Vietnam War. Beer bars with raucous girls screaming for you to join them in the bar, assault ones' ears from every soi (road) and even in Walking Street, which is a popular street where tourists can ogle Asian girls of all descriptions and Eastern European tarts dancing in windows. Amsterdam this is not; these girls are not regulated and therefore, their health is somewhat questionable. The cries of the girls put me in mind of a Dickensian picture wherein London doxies (prostitutes) would accost their would be clients with the refrain ' allo dearie want a good time'. This has to be said with a London Cockney accent to get its full garishness.
Friday the 15th of January 2010, I was awoken at 8:30am by an intriguing phone call from a Singaporean woman requesting that I help her translate to a motorbike taxi. She informed me that she was here in Thailand following the murder of a Singaporean businessman on the 13th of January.
First and foremost the Pattaya Daily News team would like to wish you all a very Happy and Fortuitous New Year. We also hope that your New Years Eve celebrations were safe and extremely enjoyable, wherever you happen to be located.
Often people wonder how Thai court cases are decided, time and again we see minor or none existent charges going to court, where there is often a decidedly negative outcome. As you may be aware PDN have assisted in a variety of cases over the years, with an outstanding success record to date.
PDN has managed to obtain two exclusive interviews with, Mr Bloch (the murderer) and an eye witness to the murder, here are our findings:
Rage, this time of the air variety rather than on the road, is becoming more commonplace apparently, representing an extremely worrying trend for air passengers, captive in potentially incredibly dangerous situations.