living in the ‘Land of Smiles’

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Thailand – 120,000 Cambodian migrants flee Thailand after coup

Via: Coconuts Bangkok

More than 120,000 Cambodians have fled Thailand to return home in the past week, fearing a crackdown on migrant workers after last month’s military takeover, an official said on Sunday.

The mass exodus of labourers who play a key role in Thai industries such as seafood and agriculture but often lack official work permits comes amid a junta warning of arrest and deportation for illegal foreign workers.

“They’re returning en masse like a dam collapsing. They’ve never come en masse like this before in our history,” Kor Sam Saroeut, governor of the northwestern province of Banteay Meanchey where the main border crossing is located, told AFP by telephone.

Around 122,000 Cambodian migrants have returned from Thailand in the last week after being transported to the border by Thai military trucks or making their own way, he said late Sunday.

“They said they are scared of being arrested or shot if they run when Thai authorities check their houses,” Saroeut added. “Most of them went to work in Thailand without a work permit.”

But two days later the Thai foreign ministry dismissed “RUMOURS” the army was deporting Cambodian labourers and later Sunday released a new statement citing spokesman Sek Wannamethee as saying: “No crackdown order targeting Cambodian workers had been issued by the NCPO (junta body).”

As a result of the rumours, “Cambodian illegal workers have reported themselves to the Thai authorities for being repatriated voluntarily to Cambodia,” the statement said, adding that Thai immigration officials had provided transport for them. (NOT RUMOR!)

More than 12,000 migrant workers crossed the border into Cambodia on Sunday alone, according to Saroeut, who expects many more to make the journey over the new few days.

Thousands were sheltering from the rain at local Buddhist temples and a market as they waited for transport to their home provinces.

Cambodian authorities have arranged nearly 300 cars and military trucks to ferry workers home from the Aranyaprathet-Poipet border checkpoint but many would have to stay near the site overnight until transport became available, Saroeut said.

At the smaller border checkpoint of Boeung Trakuon, south of Poipet, around 1,000 Cambodian men and women walked across the border with heavy bags and children in tow, said a local journalist.

Sirichan Ngathong, a spokeswoman for Thailand’s army which seized power in a coup on May 22, had said Wednesday the junta viewed illegal migrants as a “threat” and they faced arrest and deportation.


Personal thought:

I haven’t read anything similar as to whether this is affecting the Lao and Burmese. If the crackdown becomes more widespread, I believe this will have a dire consequence on the Thai economy.



June 17, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thailand – Dual Citizenship Male Arrested With 305kg Of Cocaine


Nonki altogether announced the arrest of a  Mr. Avelino De Jusus, 33 years old, dual citizenship of  FRENCH and PORTUGESE. He was caught  smuggling 305kg of cocaine woth more than a billion THB (+$3,ooo,000 USD). He was arrested at the first check point on the  Thai-Lao friendship bridge at 8 pm. On the 2nd  March.

Pol.Lt.Col.Phanu said that he  asked for cooperation from the France embassy to arrested the man because he was smuggling  drugs, Cocaine into Thailand , and the gang contained 14 men, from Surinam, Ivory coast.In 2013 He was caught smuggling 159 kg ofcocaine in France ,  but was able to give the police the slip so the Court of Paris issued an arrest warrant  on Jan 28th.

From checking his record the police found that he had  dual citizenship for  France and Portugal. He had used his French passport to go to Guangzhou , China, and then Portugal to Thailand on November 2013. He went to the first checkpoint of the friendship bridge whilst trying to escape to Laos. The officers at the checkpoint  checked his record and found that he was wanted French police.

He will now be held by police before being sent back to France (GOOD RIDDANCE!).


March 5, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thailand – HORRIFIC Car Accident Hints (hints?) At Traces Of Human Trafficking


Via: Khaosod English

Police say the 19 Laotian labourers who were killed in a car accident earlier this week had been victims of transnational human trafficking rings.

24 Laotians, mostly construction workers, were packed on a converted pick-up truck when it slammed into a tree on Buriram – Satuek Road in Buriram province on 7 October. 15 people, including the driver, were pronounced dead at the scene, while 4 more died at the hospital. The rest were severely injured by the accident.

The police said they had found a single tablet of amphetamine and a bottle of alcoholic beverage at the driver′s seat. The driver was thought to have been driving under influence and dozing off when the horrific accident occurred.

A pregnant Laotian woman is also among the dead.

The dead driver had been initially identified as Mr. Chavalit Thawornkham, 24, according to the driver′s license he carried. But further investigation indicated that the man was actually Mr. Suwaphonchai Phanchan, 27, disclosing the fact that he had carried a fake license.

It was also difficult for the police to identify the casualties at the scene, as none of the passengers was travelling with any ID or relevant documents.

The police later realised that the passengers are illegal workers from Laos who had illegally crossed the border to work in Samut Prakarn province. The police believe they had been brought to the kingdom by human traffickers.

According to one of the survivors, Mr. Pu Liamwongrat, a native of Laos′ Salavan province, he and his colleague wished to travel from Samut Prakarn to his homeland, so they joined the group of workers who had hired Mr. Suwaphonchai to drive them to Ubon Ratchathani, where they would cross the border to visit their homes in Laos.

Mr. Suwaphonchai′s vehicle had not been registered as commercial vehicle and had been modified without proper license. Police said the driver charged his passengers 1,000 baht ($32 USD) each, and drove on deserted route at night to avoid police detection.

The pick-up truck had also exceeded passenger limit, as 25 people were on-board at the time of the accident. (So, what exactly is the limt? 22? 23?).

Mr. Pu, the Laotian worker, also revealed to the police that they had been brought to Thailand by an agent, who required them to pay THB 2,300 each for the “services fee”, with which accommodations and jobs are provided.

The police said further investigation is under way and vowed to tackle human trafficking (yeah, right!) around Thailand and its neighbouring countries, using the existing leads and evidences from the deadly incident on 7 October.


So the plan NOW is to crack down on Western drivers; because, WE don’t know how to drive!


October 11, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Thailand – Cat smuggler apprehended on border with Laos


Via: Coconuts Bangkok

Sure, this took place outside of Bangkok, but it exists precisely at that intersection of “gross” and “weird” wherein our attention perpetually resides.

The National News Bureau of Thailand reports that law enforcement officials have apprehended a “transnational” cat smuggler on the border between Thailand and Laos. This miscreant was caught transporting 90 cats into Laos, which he had stuffed into a scant six cages for the duration of the trip.

Though the cross-border trade in stray dogs has long formed a point of contention between Thailand and the world at large, this traffic in edible cats marks a somewhat fresher foray.

The driver, a Buriram native named Sodsai Amhawa, confessed to running regular shipments of cats across the border into Laos, from which location they were then smuggled in Vietnam, where they met their fate as “exotic dishes.”

Sodsai reported that he had received THB2,000 to THB3,000 ($67 to $1oo USD – and inexpensive, too!)   for each shipment of cats.:


Read more, HERE:


July 13, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thailand – Pet Rescue Fighting the Illegal Dog Meat Trade

Via: City News

CityNews today received information about how Thailand Pet Rescue are working in hard to stopping the trade of dog meat. Panaree Cotchacote and her team of volunteers from Thailand Pet Rescue (TPRC) rescue dogs everyday from certain death – but there’s evidence thousands of dogs are slipping into the illegal dog meat trade because authorities aren’t enforcing the law.


Panaree knows that the few ‘lucky ones’that survive the journey are often tortured before they are killed. Traders believe that meat is more tender if more pain is inflicted.

But border provinces can put a stop to the “disgusting” dog meat trading by enforcing the law. That’s why Panaree has started a petition asking Governors of Nakhon Phanom and Sakon Nakhon to stamp out the illegal trade.

In just over two weeks, more than 3,000 people have signed Panaree’s petition -click here to add your voice.

Last year, the former Nakhon Phanom Governor implemented a successful crackdown fining local officials who didn’t enforce the law. But the new Governor let trade run rampant again. Panaree has witnessed first-hand the notorious Ban Phaeng border pier packed with dogs crammed in chicken cages.

When she has gathered 5,000 signatures, Panaree will deliver her petition to the Governors directly. With so many voices behind her, she is confident her trip will get media coverage the Governors can’t ignore.

She asks you to sign now, and share the petition with your friends and family, before more dogs are killed.



related post:

‘Thailand – Illegal transnational do trader caught – 700 dogs rescued’


August 11, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thailand – Illegal transnational dog trader caught, 700 dogs rescued

Via: Pattaya Daily News

An illicit transnational trader was arrested by a Mekong Riverine Operation Unit in the northeastern province of Nakhon Phanom, rescuing 700 dogs which were bound for Vietnam.

LCDR Kritsana Choosai, chief of a Mekong River patrol unit in Nakhon Phanom, led officials to intercept a white six-wheel truck with Sakon Nakhon-registered license plates on Nakhon Phanom-Ban Phang Road.

There were 77 cages with a total of 700 dogs loaded on the truck.

The driver, identified as Mr Salut ‘I like poodle, with my noodle’ Kotetakok, 43, was arrested and taken in for questioning.

Nakhon Phanom provincial livestock chief Pairat Pathumsuwan has coordinated with related agencies to distribute the dogs to different locations to avoid overcrowding situations, otherwise the dogs may develop infection or die.

Mr Pairat said that the Nakhon Phanom Animal Quarantine Station was now overcrowded with dogs, as there were 773 dogs in custody after an earlier arrest on July 25, where 548 dogs were rescued from a trafficking ring and sent to the station, and the TOTAL stood at 1,321 dogs.

If 700 dogs were added to this station, that would be more than 2,000 dogs, where the capacity of the facility was only 800-1,000 dogs, he said.

He said that taking care of the rescued canines cost some Bt10,000 a day  ($320USD).

Mr Pairat said that dog smuggling was also a problem as dog meat was still popular in some countries and illegal traders were continually trying to smuggle dogs into these countries (Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia).


personal thought:

It might be my imagination, but it seems to me, I see fewer soi ‘street’ dogs around Chiang Mai of late.



July 29, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

WARNING! – S.E. Asia – Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

Via: The Nation

A Ranong Public Health official yesterday urged the province’s childcare facilities, in particular 13 centres caring for 3,000 Myanmar pre-schoolers along the border, to watch out for Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD).

Dr Thongchai Kiratihattayakorn said Thai authorities were worried because HFMD outbreaks had been reported in many provinces as well as in neighbouring countries such as Vietnam, where 40,000 patients and 18 deaths were found.




Via: Thai Visa

“Thai Health Ministry: Number Of Hand, Foot And Mouth Disease Patients Rises To OVER 12,000

Read more, HERE:




“More than 381,000 infected in Chinese outbreak”

Read more, HERE:




Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is a human syndrome caused by intestinal viruses of the picornaviridae family. The most common strains causing HFMD are coxsackie A virus and enterovirus 71 (EV-71)

HFMD usually affects infants and children, and is quite common. It is moderately contagious and is spread through direct contact with the mucus, saliva, or feces of an infected person. It typically occurs in small epidemics in nursery schools or kindergartens, usually during the summer and autumn months. The usual incubation period is 3–7 days.

It is less common in adults, but those with immune deficiencies are very susceptible.

HFMD is not to be confused with foot-and-mouth disease (also called hoof-and-mouth disease), which is a separate disease affecting sheep, cattle, and swine (both are caused by members of the picornaviridae family, but are not trans-communicable between humans and livestock).

Read more, HERE:,_foot_and_mouth_disease


July 15, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mekong River – Xayaburi dam

Via: Bangkok Post


“Wait be Damned”

Construction work around a controversial dam in Laos which is expected to provide cheap energy to Thailand is well underway despite the project not yet receiving official approval.

An investigation by the Bangkok Post Sunday which visited the area surrounding the Xayaburi dam on the Lower Mekong River last week found major road works under construction and villagers preparing to be relocated.

Several of the villagers said they were to receive as little as US$15 (450 baht) in compensation for moving from the area.


Via: Than Nien News

With less than a week to go before the Mekong River Commission’s Joint Committee makes a decision on a major hydropower dam on the river, environmentalists highlighted its infeasibility and called for its cancellation.

If built, the dam could perpetrate an ecological catastrophe, they said.

“Disruptions to fish migration and food supplies for MILLIONS in the Mekong basin are likely if the first mainstream dam on the lower Mekong is allowed to go ahead,” the WWF, one of the world’s largest independent conservation organizations, said in a statement released Thursday (April 14).

Expert analysis showed that the feasibility study and environmental impact assessment prepared for the Xayaburi hydropower dam in Laos failed to address key environmental risks, the WWF said.

The US$3.5 billion dam, to be built in northern Laos, would generate power mostly for sale to Thailand.

April 17, 2011 Posted by | Bangkok Post newspaper | , , , , , , | Leave a comment