living in the ‘Land of Smiles’

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai – Ex-con, friend confess to attack on Chinese tourist

Via: The Nation

Police have arrested a former convict and his girlfriend on suspicion of assaulting and robbing a Chinese tourist at Chiang Mai’s famous Wat Chedi Luang on January 25, an attack that prompted China to warn its citizens to avoid travelling to the northern city.

The 19-year-old suspect, Natthapong Chaithep, and his girlfriend, Net-amporn Insao, 21, were brought by police to re-enact the crime at the temple at 10am yesterday while Chiang Mai Governor ML Panadda Diskul and the Chinese consul-general in Chiang Mai were present.

Natthapong confessed that he, his girlfriend and another friend had robbed and attacked tourists walking alone about 20 TIMES in the past two months to get money to buy drugs and go out clubbing.

On January 25 Guangdong tourist Liu Siew Hong, 36, visited the temple to watch monks perform morning prayers. A young couple on a motorbike approached her and one of them hit her on the head with a wooden club before stealing 1,500 yuan, 200 Hong Kong dollars and Bt5,000 in cash, amounting to about Bt13,150 ($420USD) in all.

The tourist was seriously injured and hospitalised for a week.

Natthapong, who was jailed in 2010 for robbery and released under a Royal pardon two months ago, was caught committing the attack on a security camera. An investigation led police to search Natthapong’s dorm on Ratchachiangsaen Road where they found the duo along with the club, the brown jacket he wore on the day and the motorcycle used in the crime.

The robbery prompted the Chinese Consulate to issue a warning on its website that Chiang Mai was a dangerous city (dangerous?) that Chinese people should avoid unless necessary.

The Chinese Consul-General said they wouldn’t cancel the warning yet but would announce that police had arrested the offenders and that Thai authorities were serious about solving the crime.

He said the warning didn’t prohibit tourists from visiting Chiang Mai, but urged them to be cautious. He urged Thai authorities to provide more security at tourist attractions.

Panadda said the attack and subsequent warning had negatively affected Chiang Mai tourism hence the province would urge the Tourism Authority of Thailand to notify all countries that Thai authorities were serious about crime and would try to prevent it.


personal thought:

I’ve lived in Chiang Mai for nearly seven-years, and I do NOT believe it is a ‘dangerous’ city; say compared to, a Chinese city.

However, this does not mean it’s crime free; and being ‘cautious’ is always good.



February 13, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,

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