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A warder at Nakhon Si Thammarat prison was shot dead yesterday after he refused to cooperate with a drug gang, police said.

Od Sae Pua, 49, was shot and killed on a road in Nakhon Si Thammarat's Phra Phom district.

He had left the prison early yesterday morning and was riding his motorcycle home when he was attacked.

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Wednesday, July 4, 2012
PHUKET: Australian ''cry rape'' tourist Stevie Bamford has decided to serve her sentence on the holiday island of Phuket rather than pursue the option of an appeal.

The 20-year-old Sydney woman presented herself at Phuket Provincial Court in Phuket City yesterday, accompanied by a lawyer, and was behind bars about 8pm last night.

Court sources and prison authorities confirmed today that Ms Bamford had chosen to go ahead and serve the 15-day term rather than make a legal bid to have the conviction overturned or the sentence reduced.

It is believed Ms Bamford was recently shown the relatively high security Phuket Prison, where more than 1600 inmates occupy an ancient facility built to hold half that number.

She was also shown the Bang Jo detention centre, in a less developed part of Phuket, where security is lower and prisoners are encouraged to help grow crops to feed the Phuket jail prisoners.

Court and prison officials confirmed that Ms Bamford was now in Bang Jo, in eastern Phuket.

Ms Bamford, daughter of former Australian rugby league star and radio broadcaster Peter Tunks, was sentenced on Phuket on June 15 to a month in jail for having told lies to police in an alleged rape case.

Her sentence was reduced to 15 days because she confessed and pleaded guilty.

For two days of intense interviews by police in the Phuket west coast holiday hub of Patong, Ms Bamford maintained her story that she had been raped by a tuk-tuk driver.

She said the rape had taken place when she tried to make her way back to a Patong resort alone after a night out.

Ms Bamford maintained her story about the rape taking place in the early hours of Sunday, June 10, until late on Thursday, June 14, when Patong police confronted her with security camera evidence that she had not gone home in a tuk-tuk.

At that point, she confessed. She said she had made up the rape story to avoid an angry reaction from her boyfriend, who had returned to the resort earlier in the night.

Since her sentence and appeal on June 15, Ms Bamford is believed to have been considering her options and visiting other parts of the Phuket holiday region.

It is believed Ms Bamford's boyfriend, seen comforting her when she was in tears on the day of the sentence and appeal, has stuck by her in the ensuing days.

Phuketwan has been told that Patong police went to many night venues in Patong to compile their package of video evidence that disproved Ms Bamford's allegation.
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Inmates at Nakhon Si Thammarat Central Prison have been found burying mobile phones and a large amount of drugs to beat inspections.

In the latest raid under the state crackdown on the drug trade behind bars, officials dug into the ground and found prohibited items ranging from 8,600 speed pills and 1.8kg of ya ice to four mobile phones and accessories.

Corrections Department chief Suchart Wong-anantchai, who inspected the prison yesterday, vowed to continue the crackdown to "make all prisons white", or free from drugs.

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The Criminal Court on Tuesday sentenced People's Alliance for Democracy co-leader Sondhi Limthongkul, to 20 years in jail without parole for violating the Securities and Exchange Act, reports said.

Sondhi, a 64-year-old media mogul and a leader of the yellow shirt movement, was found guilty of verifying false documents, allowing Manager Media Group, a company in which he was one of the board members and held some shares, to seek loans amounting to 1.07 billion baht from Krung Thai Bank during 1996 and 1997.

The court found him guilty on 17 counts. On each count he was sentenced to five years imprisonment.

His 85-year jail term was halved to 42 years and six months because he confessed to the charges.

His jail term was further reduced because the law carries a maximum penalty of 20 years.

After the verdict was delivered, Sondhi went to the court basement, waiting to apply for bail.

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Prison officials and police launched a major raid on seven zones at Bang Kwang Central Prison in Nonthaburi yesterday.

Inmates at Bang Kwang Central Prison in Nonthaburi gather in an open area as police, anti-drugs officials and jail wardens search their cells for illegal and prohibited items in a bid to stamp out the narcotics trade behind bars. PATIPAT JANTHONG

They seized 40,470 baht in cash, some crystal methamphetamine, or ya ice, 39 smuggled mobile phones, 20 sets of gambling paraphernalia and 27 items of pornography.

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Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung plans to propose a budget to build a prison specially for drug convicts in Si Khiu district of Nakhon Ratchasima province.

Mr Chalerm floated the idea yesterday on the "PM Yingluck Meets the People" programme on television Channel 11. He was appearing in place of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who is attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Joining the deputy premier on the programme were Pol Gen Priewpan Damapong, in his capacity as director of the national drug suppression centre, and Pol Gen  Adul Saengsingkaew, the deputy police chief acting as secretary-general of the Office the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB).

Mr Chalerm said drug suppression was an urgent policy of the government, adding that technical knowledge alone could not solve the drug problem, which also required effective operations.

He also warned drug dealers that stepped-up government suppression was not their only worry. The harder the government cracks down on drugs, the more killings occur among dealers as players in the illegal trade try to silence potential sources information to authorities, he said.

Of the illicit drugs available in Thailand, he said only 5% were produced domestically while the rest were smuggled into the country, mostly via eight northern provinces - particularly Mae Hong Son, Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai.

Therefore, it is necessary to block trafficking routes from the North and the Northeast to reduce supplies, said Mr Chalerm, who is in charge of national drug suppression.

If the prison for drug convicts is built in Nakhon Ratchasima as proposed, warders would be screened very carefully, and should be offered extra income to reduce the temptation of corruption, he said.

The prison should also have telephone signal jamming devices to prevent inmates from contacting their drug networks, he added.

Pol Gen Priewpan said two x-ray machines would soon be used at two spots in the North to scan for drugs being transported through checkpoints.

Pol Gen Adul said eight units had been deployed to block the transport of drugs and precursors for drug production along the border.

The OBCB has set up 60,000 communities against drugs throughout the country, provided treatment for 400,000 drug users, and run a programme to prevent 4 million young people in high-risk groups in 10,000 schools from using drugs.

Methamphetamine is the most common of all drugs used in the country while the number of users of ice or crystal methamphetamine is rising along with the number of drug pushers.

Therefore, cooperation from the people against the spread of drugs is needed, said Pol Gen Adul.

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