Thailand and Vietnam exchange crime prevention and suppression information01 Jun 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - Thailand’s police force has sent a delegation to Vietnam to discuss both nations’ cooperation in the prevention and suppression of transnational crime. The two sides exchanged relevant information that is expected to help improve work efficiency.Royal Thai Police Assistant Commissioner, Pol. Lt. Gen. Prachaub Wongsuk, has met Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Public Security Lieutenant General Le Quoc Hung, and the chief of Vietnam’s Department of International Cooperation, in Hanoi. The visit was for an exchange of information on transnational criminal suppression and illegal entry of persons. The Thai and Vietnamese parties also discussed other types of crime. It was the second such exchange on this theme.Both parties also presented important work results such as those stemming from Thai-Vietnamese cooperation in preventing and suppressing human trafficking, and cooperation in preventing and suppressing illegal entry into Thailand and Vietnam.Pol. Lt. Gen. Prachuab said transnational crime has evolved to become more complex and is considered an emerging threat that affects all nations’ security, economy, and society. He said it is highly necessary for security agencies in this region to boost cooperation in preventing and suppressing transnational crime so that nations in the region and their peoples are kept safe.
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2 Chinese arrested for international hybrid scam after searches on luxury homes in Prawet, Bangkok01 Jun 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - The police have arrested two Chinese suspects who were allegedly involved in an international investment scam that has caused as much as 10 billion baht in damages worldwide. The arrests were made after a search of several luxury homes in Prawet district of Bangkok.Officials from relevant agencies carried out the “Trust No One” operation involving searches in 19 locations in Bangkok. The search sites of particular interest were luxury homes in Prawet district. The values of the homes ranged from 35 to 60 million baht. During the searches, two Chinese suspects were arrested for defrauding the public and money laundering. 1.5 million baht of cash was seized, along with housing estate property deeds worth 60 million baht, condo title deeds worth 128 million baht, 14 Bearbrick figures, 6 iPhones, and a number of iPads, Macbooks, and brand-name purses.Police officers also inspected 16 other sites in the housing estate where the target search locations were situated. Luxury cars, documents, property deeds, and cash were seized during these inspections.The operation was initiated after police received information from victims, who alleged that scammers had used fake social media profiles to get acquainted with them. The scammers then encouraged them to invest in fake digital currency or assets trading platforms, in what is known as “hybrid scams”. According to the police, 35 million baht of damages have been incurred on Thai victims.Thai officials have also coordinated with the US’s FBI, Secret Service, and Department of Homeland Security on the matter, as there are two cases in the US and one case in the UK that involved this network of scammers – the damage value from the 3 cases amount to about 1 billion baht. The officials believe there are many more victims and that the total value of losses has likely reached 10 billion baht.
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Pita, TCC discuss minimum wage raise01 Jun 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - Prime Ministerial candidate from Move Forward party (MFP) Pita Limjaroenrat continues his discussions with the private sector about his party’s proposed daily minimum wage increase to 450 baht. His discussion today with the Thai Chamber of Commerce yielded no concrete outcome despite both sides’ mutual sentiment on the need to increase minimum wages.TCC Chairman Sanan Sanan Angubolkul revealed after the meeting that both sides share a common sentiment on the need to raise wages, but their views remain different on the appropriate rate and duration. Both sides agreed to set up a committee to follow up on the issues discussed today, which included the issue of energy prices, assistance measures for the agricultural sector, and lifelines for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).Mr. Sanan said he is content with the clear economic measures proposed, while expressing his wish for the forming of a new government coalition to complete quickly.He said the new government should be able to take office by September, in time for the passing of the new government budget. Any delays to this process would result in restricted disbursement, affecting the country’s economic boosting measures.Move Forward party has campaigned for a minimum wage raise to 450 baht per day to be implemented within the first 100 days of the MFP-led administration. Mr. Pita said more talks will be held with the TCC to discuss the final rate and the appropriate timeframe for implementation.On concerns that a higher minimum wage would drive up the prices of goods, Mr. Pita said that might not always be the case, but he was certain that a wage increase would improve people’s livelihoods. Addressing the latest minimum wage adjustment to 350 baht per day, Mr. Pita said it was only a 5% increase compared to the 8% inflation rate. He added that workforce productivity will also need to be promoted.The forming of ฟ new administration currently awaits formal endorsement of MPs by the Election Commission, which shall be followed by parliamentary sessions to select a house speaker and a prime minister, as well as Cabinet appointments. Many sides have called for a new government to be formed as soon as possible, in order to drive forward government budgeting and economic measures.
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Caretaker Govt Highlights Current Economic and Fiscal Management31 May 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - Caretaker Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha recently discussed the current economic situation and fiscal administration in Thailand during this week’s Cabinet meeting on Tuesday (May 30th). The first quarter report for 2023 noted an uptick in employment, an improvement in weekly work hours and a steady unemployment rate of 1.05%. Notably, household debt is on the decline, ensuring stability in the repayment capacity even considering past circumstances.As of April 2023, fiscal management of 43 state enterprises reached a substantial total of 94.8 billion baht, indicating an expenditure rate of 109% covering 35% of the annual constitutional budget. The report also elaborated on specific investments over the first seven months, corresponding to a significant portion of the disbursement plan and the annual investment budget.Amid persisting uncertainties in the political and fiscal spheres following the general election, the premier reassured that the situation is under vigilant observation. He also emphasized that Thailand’s financial standing remains robust, backed by strong international conditions and a comprehensive macroeconomic policy framework. The resurgence of private sector consumption and the return of international tourists are both positive indicators, representing an all-round progress in the economic situation. Gen Prayut advised the public to stay apprised of these and other encouraging developments as the national outlook continues to improve going forward.
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Democrat Party Secretary-General to Step Down After Election Setback31 May 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Chalermchai Sri-on has announced that he will step down as the Democrat Party’s secretary-general once the party selects its new leader and executives on July 13. His decision comes after Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit resigned as party leader following disappointing results from the May 14 election, in which the party secured fewer House seats than anticipated.Chalermchai said the decision to choose a younger person as the party’s new leader would be left to a party committee to decide during the planned general assembly. He also addressed the possibility of the Democrat Party forming a political alliance with the Pheu Thai party if the Move Forward Party fails to garner sufficient support from members of parliament to establish a new coalition government, saying any such deal would require formal party resolution support.Once he steps down as secretary-general, Chalermchai intends to become a general member of the party. He also refuted rumors suggesting that the Democrats have already held discussions with Pheu Thai and agreed to join their alleged bid to form a new government.Deputy Interior Minister Naris Khamnurak, a former Democrat MP for Phatthalung, also dismissed rumors of a secret deal, noting that the Democrat Party makes all significant decisions through formal party resolutions. He added that no proposal of this nature has been made or discussed, and that the party must wait for the Election Commission to certify all 25 of its elected MPs, as they comprise 70% of the party’s new board members.Concerning future reforms, Naris indicated that the party would need to analyze the reasons behind its poor performance in securing House seats before determining the extent to which younger members would be promoted to executive or leadership positions.
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Caretaker Labor Minister Cautions Against Raising Minimum Wage31 May 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - The caretaker labor minister has warned the incoming government about the risks of raising the daily minimum wage to 450 baht, urging those responsible for the matter to seek consultations from the wage committee before proceeding with the hike. Minister Suchart Chomklin insisted that the incoming labor minister should not bypass the process of consulting the wage committee, reminding everyone that the committee is composed of employee, employer and government sector representatives, with wage committees also established at the provincial level. A uniform wage increase would therefore be unfeasible, as each region must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.The minister also stressed that such an important decision must consider multiple economic factors, such as the GDP and inflation rate. He further expressed concern for the additional 50-60 million citizens who would bear the burden if wages were to rise to 450 baht, and urged serious consideration on the matter. Additionally, he noted the need for enhanced vocational skills, given that approximately 2.4 million foreign workers are currently residing in Thailand and any minimum wage adjustment would need to apply to them as well. He pointed out that foreign workers often lack certain vocational skills, leading to higher costs and product prices as a result. Minister Suchart recommended that wage increases follow a natural course in order to allow everyone sufficient time to adjust.He added that he will next week be summarizing the accomplishments of the Ministry of Labor over the past three years. These include an increase in child care subsidies from 600 baht to 800 baht, amendments to the Elderly Fund regulation to guarantee it until the age of 60, allowing for inheritance by heirs, and enhancements in vocational skills.
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More rains expected across Thailand31 May 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - Almost every region of Thailand will continue to experience heavy precipitation, according to the Meteorological Department (TMD). The weather agency said a medium to strong southwesterly monsoon prevailing over Thailand and a low-pressure system over the western side of the country’s central region are currently causing thunderstorms and heavy rains in the lower north, the central region, the Greater Bangkok Area, the east, and the south.Communities in the affected areas are warned against strong winds and lightning.The Ministry of Interior in the meantime said it is well equipped to assist affected people. Deputy Minister of Interior Narit Khumnurak said the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) has enough funding and capacity to assist those in need, with a nationwide network of disaster response teams on standby. The ministry has notified officials in high-risk areas of potential hazards.
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Police launch probe into truck bribery scheme31 May 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - Thailand’s national police are launching an investigation into an alleged bribery scheme that allows cargo trucks to evade checkpoints on highways. The police chief has ordered inspectors across the country to investigate this claim and punish any officers involved.Move Forward party (MFP) member Wiroj Lakkhanaadisorn said truck operators give monthly payments to police officers in exchange for stickers that allow vehicles to pass through checkpoints.The Royal Thai Police Commissioner General in response issued an order for the Office of Inspector General to investigate this claim. The police will be calling in Mr. Wiroj, the Land Transport Federation of Thailand, and highway police officers for statements.This case would be the first ever to be processed by the Police Complaint Review Board, according to the new National Police Act. The board is composed of officials from the ombudsman office, judges, attorneys, lawyers, police commanders, representatives from local communities, and officers from the police’s Office of Inspector General.The conclusion made by the board will include clear punishments and will be forwarded to the supervisors of any officers involved for immediate action. This board review process is expected to take up to 15 days.
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Cannabis Network Urges Coalition to Change Course on Narcotic Relisting30 May 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - The Cannabis Future Network in Thailand has called upon three alliance parties, namely the Move Forward Party, the Pheu Thai Party and the Prachachart Party, to refrain from reinstating cannabis as a narcotic drug. The network, citing research conducted by the Ad-Hoc Committee on Systematic Hemp and Cannabis Resolution, argued that such a move would be counterproductive and could lead to additional problems.Expressing concern on the issue, Cannabis Future Network Leader Prasitchai Nunual said the ad-hoc committee was established prior to the election to explore the removal of cannabis from the narcotics list and study the systematic usage of the plant. He noted that the committee comprised not only experts but also representatives from various political parties, all of which signed a working agenda on May 22.Prasitchai deemed the parties’ intention to revise their stance on cannabis, including the reinstatement of its narcotic status, as contradictory. He contended that altering the agenda seemed motivated by the parties’ self-interest rather than the nation’s welfare, and moreover, it was not based on existing evidence.While acknowledging the parties’ right to reconsider their positions in light of the committee’s earlier studies, Prasitchai emphasized that such decisions should be rooted in the committee’s findings rather than public opinion or personal political gains. He also cautioned that altering the cannabis policy solely based on public sentiment could lead to unintended consequences.
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