Laos – Xaysana’s Associate, Drug Kingpin Sisouk Daoheuang Captured

Since the capture of notorious kingpin Xaysana “Vanlob” Keophimpha earlier this year, authorities have been on a manhunt for all of Xaysana’s known associates, including drug kingpin, Sisouk Daoheuang.

A senior official confirmed that the arrest of Sisouk was made by Lao authorities in Luang Prabang on Friday, and the suspect was transported to Vientiane Capital for questioning. However, the official maintains that details of the case still remain unclear and  the investigation is still ongoing.

Though captured in Luang Prabang province, Sisouk is said to have owned and operated a used luxury car shop and a horse-riding business in Vientiane, both of which have since been closed.

Thai police major general Pornchai Charoenwongse, deputy chief of the Narcotic Suppression Bureau, has stated that Thai officials are preparing to travel to Vientiane to investigate the alleged felon and that the NSB officers are set to join the Narcotics Control Board in the interrogation expected to take place next week.

Sisouk, who fled authorities after the arrest of Xaysana, is suspected to be part of a major methamphetamines distribution network in Southeast Asia, operated by the 42-year-old Lao national.

As previously reported by The Laotian Times, Xaysana was arrested on Jan. 19 at Thailand’s Suvarnabhumi Airport following a five-year investigation by Lao and Thai authorities.

Authorities assert that the drug baron was distributing caffeine-laced meth tablets known as “yaba” throughout the region.

On Jan 10, police captured a major drug trafficker said to be even bigger than Xaysana, 50-year-old Khonpasong Soukkaseum, also known as Xiengther, along with three of his associates.

Source – Laotian Times

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Rolls-Royce brings its malefic Black Badge to the Bangkok International Motor Show

Rolls-Royce brings its malefic Black Badge to the Bangkok International Motor Show.

Billed as the alter-ego of the world’s leading super luxury brand, the Rolls-Royce Black Badge makes its Southeast Asian debut this week, with the Wraith model showing its star quality to visitors at the 38th Bangkok International Motor Show.

According to Rolls Royce, Black Badge speaks to a younger, more assertive customer, the people they call the “rule breakers” and the “disrupters”, those that work hard in the day and commit the same intensity to play once darkness falls.

“Southeast Asia is now a global hub for highly successful young entrepreneurs, who have broken away from tradition to make their own mark in the world. Rolls-Royce Black Badge is presenting a darker and bolder proposition to suit this new attitude,” says Paul Harris, regional director for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars in the Asia Pacific region.

“These clients are assertive, demanding and unafraid to take charge. Black Badge is the perfect bespoke answer to this distinctive, decisive and dynamic breed of owner-drivers without compromising the sublime Rolls-Royce driving experience.”

Starting from Bt35 million depending on the bespoke specification, the metamorphosis of the Rolls-Royce Wraith into its Black Badge alter-ego starts with the intensity of the black. Multiple layers of paint and lacquer are repeatedly hand-polished in the most exacting process ever developed for a solid colour. The result is a black that’s darker than night, sinister but sensuous and above all smart.

The Wraith Black Badge also includes a sophisticated centrepiece – aerospace-grade aluminium-threaded carbon fibre composite surfacing. Threads of aluminium just 0.014mm thick are woven together and bonded with carbon fibre through a painstaking process, resulting in one of the world’s most innovative and super-luxury materials.

Black Badge holds the ground with exclusive composite carbon fibre and lightweight alloy wheels, developed over four years, featuring 22 layers of carbon fibre laid in three axes and folded back on themselves to create 44 layers of strength. Further strength is added via a 3D forged, aircraft-grade aluminium hub, which is bonded to the rim using titanium fasteners.

And while the intense black will appeal to many, customers can specify whatever colour they want for the exterior and interior of their Rolls-Royce Black Badge.

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Bangkok International Motor Show kicks off today

Automakers hopeful of boost as motor show kicks off today

THE 38TH RUNNING of the annual Bangkok International Motor Show (BIMS) kicks off today at Impact Muang Thong Thani with automakers crossing their fingers for the market to continue growing after finishing last year with a slight shrinkage.

Altogether 768,788 vehicles were sold in the domestic market last year for a drop of 3.9 per cent, but auto companies are optimistic that the market has bottomed out and sales would reach 800,000-810,000 units this year.

The BIMS is considered a sales extravaganza, with companies launching fleets of new and improved models while dangling irresistible promotions.

More than 30 auto and 12 motorcycle brands are showcasing their products at the event, which goes to April 9.

“The BIMS is an auto exhibition event that brings together the highest level of automotive technology and one that helps drive the economy,” said Prachin Eamlumnow, chairman of the organizing committee. 

“Throughout the event, starting from construction to the last day, no less than Bt40 billion is expected to be spent.”

The show serves as a platform for displaying the latest automotive trends. It also helps stimulate the car market, allowing consumers to compare makes and models by visiting just a single venue.

Several companies are also showing off futuristic concept vehicles.

Toyota is displaying its FCV Plus, while Mitsubishi is putting the spotlight on the MiEV Evolution III. Nissan is unveiling its SOFC (solid oxide fuel cell) vehicle, featuring the world’s first bio-ethanol electric power system.

Prachin expects increased competition in the passenger-car market this year.

“Since the start of the year, there has been a good number of new passenger car launches for small and medium-sized models, which were postponed from last year because of the passing away of King Bhumibhol. The premium market is also seeing a lot of action due to the increasing number of players,” he said.

The premium segment is welcoming a new player, as Meister Technik Co has been appointed as the new official Audi importer and is offering a large combination of models to compete against leaders Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

Many consumers are ready to replace vehicles purchased through the last elected government’s first-car-buyer scheme, with the five-year ownership requirement ending last October for the first batch of buyers.

“We believe that this group of buyers will start looking for a new vehicle, but we can’t pinpoint what type of vehicle they will be interested in. They could upgrade to a larger model or still go for a small car,” Prachin said. 

Eased financing measures during the past two years have helped more people purchase vehicles, he added.

 Source – TheNation

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Supercar caravan marks Ferrari’s 70th anniversary

FERRARI importer Cavallino Motors is staging a caravan of 70 Ferraris from Bangkok to Ayutthaya Historical Park on March 25 today to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Italian sports-car brand.

Making its appearance in Thailand is the LaFerrari Aperta, a hybrid supercar. Only 209 cars will be built and one is available for Thailand.

Cavallino Motors enjoyed 60-per-cent sales growth during the past two years, which it attributes to improved after-sales facilities, and plans to open more centres in the future, said Voravud Bhirombhakdi, the company’s vice president.

“Establishing more integrated service centres is the goal,” he said.

 It is also offering restoration services for cars older than 20 years, offering certificates from the Ferrari factory in Italy, which helps boost resale value.

In terms of unit sales, managing director Nondhamalee Bhirombhakdi said, the company’s growth each year is driven by the popularity of models among the Ferrari fan club in Thailand. This depends on the price – a higher-priced model tends to lead to a more niche client base |but revenue per unit will be higher. 

The company offers a wide range of models, including vehicles for everyday life such as eight-cylinder models – California T, 488 GTB and Spider – as well as 12-cylinder models such as GTC4 Lusso and the newest 812 Superfast, she said. 

The company can also arrange financing deals to meet customers’ budgets, in line with the goal to increase trade-ins of second-hand Ferraris for new models. 

As many as 60 per cent of sales come from new customers introduced by existing customers, Nondhamalee said.

Source – TheNation

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Thais go Travel alone

According to research conducted by Booking.com, three in five Thais (62 percent) are planning to travel solo for the first time this year.

According to research conducted by Booking.com, three in five Thais (62 percent) are planning to travel solo for the first time this year.

Whilst travelling for the first time can be a scary prospect, three in four (79 per cent) feel it is worth it to be able to see a new place, and more than half (55 per cent) believe any nerves felt when they travelled somewhere for the first time have usually been unwarranted.

The research reveals that 11 per cent had their first travel experience somewhere outside Thailand and that most are planning to head to far-flung destinations. Among the top international destinations for Thai travelers are Siem Reap in Cambodia, Seoul and Jeju of South Korea, Kyoto, Tokyo and Osaka in Japan, Beijing in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.

From cobalt blue seas, adventurous roof-down road trips and delicious cuisine – social media feeds are full of the filtered fantasy of the travel dreams. So it’s no wonder that the research reveals how social media is playing a hugely important role in deciding where to go for a first-time travel experience, especially with 18 to 34 year olds. In fact, about half (49 per cent) of millennials said that they use social media posts to help them remember their first-time travel experiences.

The research reveals how first-time travel ignites the travel bug for Thais with three in five (60 percent) confirming their first-time travel experiences inspired them to try a new or different type of travel experience or accommodation the next time. In fact, almost half are planning to be more adventurous in their next travel plans with three in five (67 per cent) resolving to travel further away from home.

The types of first-time experiences people want to try this year is also broadening beyond the traditional beach holidays or city explorations, with road trips proving to a popular choice (44 per cent), followed by eco tours (39 per cent), spiritual adventures (23 per cent) and volunteering-based trips (21 per cent) selected by wanderlust travelers in their travel plans.

Source – TheNation

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THE NETHERLANDS ON THE THAI NEWSPAPERS

Turkey suspends top ties with Netherlands in escalating crisis

Istanbul – Turkey on Monday said it was suspending top-level ties with The Netherlands and blocking the return of its ambassador in a spiralling crisis over the holding of rallies abroad ahead of a crucial referendum.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also accused German Chancellor Angela Merkel of “supporting terrorists,” as acrimony flared between Turkey and EU states — a standoff that risks affecting Ankara’s entire relationship with Europe.

Both Germany and The Netherlands have blocked Turkish ministers from staging rallies to court the vote of expatriate Turks in the April 16 referendum on giving Erdogan greater powers.

Ankara was especially angered by the acts of The Netherlands days ahead of general elections in the country. The authorities prevented the foreign minister’s plane from landing and expelled the family minister over the weekend.

“Until the Netherlands compensates for what it has done, high-level relations and planned meetings at a ministerial and higher level have been suspended,” said Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus after a cabinet meeting in Ankara.

Turkey will not allow the Dutch ambassador to Ankara to return until The Netherlands meets Turkey’s conditions over holding rallies, he added. Diplomatic flights would also be suspended.

Ambassador Kees Cornelis van Rij is currently outside of the country, and business is being handled by Dutch charge d’affaires.

‘Merkel backs terrorists’

Twice over the weekend, Erdogan accused The Netherlands, a Nato ally, of acting like the Nazis. His comments sparked outrage in a country bombed and occupied by German forces in World War II. The United States urged both countries to resolve their row.

“They’re both strong partners and Nato allies. We’d just ask that they not escalate the situation any further and work together to resolve it,” said a senior State Department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

With the exchanges worsening Turkey’s already fraught relations with the European Union, Brussels sternly warned Ankara to avoid intensifying the crisis.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn called on Turkey to “refrain from excessive statements and actions that risk further exacerbating the situation.” But hours later in an interview with A-Haber television, Erdogan bluntly stated: “Mrs Merkel, you are supporting terrorists.”

He accused Berlin of not responding to 4,500 dossiers sent by Ankara on terror suspects, including those linked to Kurdish militants and the failed coup in Turkey last year. 

“Mrs Merkel, why are you hiding terrorists in your country?… Why are you not doing anything?” Merkel’s spokesman described the accusations as “absurd”, saying the chancellor had no intention of taking part in a “competition of provocations”. 

Turkey’s EU Affairs Minister Omer Celik also said Ankara “should re-evaluate” a key part of a 2016 deal to stem the flow of migrants to the EU.

He said Turkey should look at its policy on preventing migrant flows across land borders, although it would keep halting the illegal and dangerous sea crossings as a matter of human responsibility, state media said.

‘Completely wrong’

Dutch authorities at the weekend prevented the plane of Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu from landing and blocked Family Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya from holding a rally in Rotterdam.

Bringing out the millions-strong expatriate vote could be key in a referendum that could be a turning point in Turkey’s modern history.

Erdogan said the ministers would make the “necessary applications” to the European Court of Human Rights over their treatment.

Meanwhile Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is under pressure to take a hard line against Erdogan as he faces the far-right populist Geert Wilders in general elections on Wednesday.

The Netherlands also issued a new travel warning to Dutch citizens, urging them to stay “alert across the whole of Turkey”. And Germany warned its citizens to take note of “increased political tensions and protests that could be directed against Germany”.

Turkey had already responded furiously to fellow Nato ally Germany’s refusal to give permission for ministers to hold rallies there, with Erdogan comparing such action to “Nazi practices”.

After Erdogan used the same language to scold the Netherlands, Merkel said on Monday that the comparison was “completely wrong” and “banalises suffering”.

‘Lifeline for Erdogan’

The issue risks spiralling into a crisis with the EU as a whole, which Turkey has sought to join for more than half a century. Erdogan, who has indicated he may personally travel to EU states to address rallies said Sunday that the West was showing its “true face” in the standoff.

The immediate effect of the row, however, may aid Erdogan, Soner Cagaptay, director of the Turkish Research Programme at The Washington Institute, told AFP.

“By blocking (the rallies), they may have given Erdogan a lifeline to eke out a victory in the referendum,” he said.//AFP

Source – TheNation

CLEAN UP THE NETHERLANDS, VOTE PVV

Thailand – Wine from the Monsoon Valley

Monsoon Valley Vineyard kicks off 2017 with the Vineyard Harvest Festival 2017” in Hua Hin.

Formerly known as Hua Hin Hills, the name of the vineyard was changed to Monsoon Valley to honour its award-winning, globally renowned wine. The festival, now in its eighth year, runs through the end of March. 

Apart from daily grape picking, the festival also offers specially curated daily activities like “From Vines to Glass”, where patrons are taken on a vineyard tour on a jeep. Guests can also participate in grape-stomping or “pigeage” and wine tasting right in the vineyard, priced from Bt550 to Bt900 per person. 

Every Friday throughout the festival period, wine enthusiasts will get to enjoy “The Grapevine Experience” where wine experts from the vineyard take turns to educate and share their insights. The fun-filled day caps off with barbecue dinner, paired with two glasses of Monsoon Valley wines. The “Experience” runs from 3 to 6 and is limited to 20 participants per day. It costs Bt650 per person.

Source – TheNation

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Facebook helps mother locate son after 33 years of parting

A 54-year-old mother has located her 33-year-old son by simply typing his name on Facebook search, allowing her to meet him in person Wednesday night.

Wiphawadi Thisorn from Udon Thani broke down into tears when she saw her son, Parinya Thisorn, get out of a bus from Chiang Rai at the Hat Yai bus terminal. The son knelt down in front of her and the two hugged and shed the tears of joy at 9 pm Wednesday.

Wiphawadi recounted that the poverty was the main reason that prompted her to separate from Parinya’s father, whose family stays in Chiang Rai’s Wieng Pa Pao district.

She said she could visit her son sometimes shortly after the divorce but she later had to move around from Bangkok to Phuket to seek job so she eventually lost contact with her son.

 Now, she is frequently traveling between Singapore and Hat Yai and she has a house in Hat Yai because she has a food shop in Singapore. Now that she has a more comfortable life she wants to take her son to live with her.

Wiphawadi said when she remembered her son recently, she searched his name on Facebook and it popped up. So, they arranged the meeting in Hat Yai.

Wiphawadi said she felt it was wrong for her to abandon her son.

Parinya said he was very happy to meet his mother because he thought she has died. He said he has never been angry at her for abandoning him. “Now, we will never part,” he said.

Source: TheNation

Currency EUR / THB break records today

The Euro reached today the lowest point since years.
The lowest rate was today 36.76 that means that break the record of 36.83 from years ago.
We know the economy in both continents has problems.
Europe is in big problem with the fake EU in Brussels. (Elite criminals)

But in Thailand become many older fralangs (foreigners) problem to survive.
Also the tourism show us fake figures.

We all hope this is a break point and all go up.

Sky is the limit for ticket booking application of Penguin airline

PENGUIN, Thailand’s first travel-tech mobile application, is expected to generate online air-ticket transactions valued at Bt500 million annually in the next couple of years, making it the No-1 travel app in a fast-growing market.

Kittikorn Kunnalekha, chief executive officer of Asia One Click, said the company had developed Penguin as an air-travel booking app to support the high growth potential for online airline ticketing. 

 The mobile app sets out a range of special prices and promotions, from which users can choose the best option and reserve and pay for the ticket via their smart phone.

 “We are providing a travel-tech application to support the new era of online travel. Our system is able to connect with more than 500 airlines with promotions and special prices for customers. The software was launched at the end of last year and Penguin now has around 20,000 active download users, which is expected to rise to 300,000 active users by the end of this year,” he explained.

Asia One Click expects that within the next couple of years, Penguin users will be generating ticket purchases worth around Bt500 million annually, making it the app the Thai market leader for mobile reservations, the CEO added.

 The company’s income from the app comes from an air-ticket booking commission paid by users, and payments made by participating airlines. 

 Google reported recently that the online air-ticketing market in Thailand was valued at US$2.4 billion (Bt84 billion) in 2015, a level that is expected to reach $12 billion in the next 10 years, with annual growth of around 18 per cent. 

Source: TheNation