• In prison, with periods and no pads: life in a Thai jail

    When Tang ran out of sanitary pads while serving time in a Thai jail, the 42-year-old convict bled right through her uniform and all over the white, tiled floor.

    Lunch was ruined. Tang felt humiliated.

    That morning, she had expressly asked staff for extra pads, sensing the shame to come, but was told to wait on the say-so of a supervisor.

    “The officer made an angry face. She asked me why I didn’t purchase any backups, and that the prison didn’t have enough pads,” said Tang, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retribution.

    “I felt so ashamed that I cried.”

    Many inmates in Thailand suffer the same monthly indignity as Tang, jailed last year for embezzlement, and are never sure what sanitary products they will get – if any – or when.

    Last year, Tang said each female inmate at Chaiyaphum Prison, which houses some 2,100 prisoners about five hours north of the capital, got 12 sanitary pads, 10 times less than the 120 inmates are due under an annual quota.

    Thai law requires all prisons to provide sanitary pads to female inmates free of charge, but does not specify how many.

    Some prisons lack budget and can run short, said Saovakon Jeadsadaruk, an expert in penology at the Department of Corrections, the department that oversees Thailand’s 143 jails.

    “We admit that there is a shortage of pads at some prisons, since we are allocated only 50-60% of the total budget that we requested to purchase personal items for female inmates,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.


    With women making up 14% of the prison population, Thailand has one of the world’s highest ratio of female inmates.

    Most serve two to five years for drug-related crimes.

    The number of women incarcerated for violating state or local laws has risen sharply since 2008, when Thailand had 26,321 inmates against more than 44,000 now.

    Of those, about 40,000 need sanitary pads. Tampons are sold in Thailand but are rarely used for cultural reasons.

    Nathee Chitsawang, an advisor to the Thailand Institute of Justice, a research organisation, urged prisons to act quickly to ensure they had enough pads to avoid discord among inmates.

    “When there is a shortage, there is a possibility that problems might occur, such as stealing or being berated by prison officials for asking for more pads,” he said.

    Saovakon said her department has received no reports of inmates stealing pads, but promised she would investigate.

    Penal Reform International, an international organisation promoting fairness in the criminal justice system, said prisoners with periods deserved better treatment and supplies.

    “Denying access to basic hygiene necessities like sanitary pads in places of detention is a violation of women’s right to dignity and bodily integrity,” said Triona Lenihan, policy and international advocacy manager at the NGO.

    “Body searches can be especially humiliating for women that are menstruating, and long transfers without bathroom breaks also pose a particular risk. Women should not have to suffer in this way.”


    The Corrections Department says it tries to fill the shortfall with donations from individuals and NGOs, and that inmates can buy pads from prison commissaries with money they are given by visitors or have earned from prison labour.

    But four former female inmates interviewed by the Thomson Reuters Foundation estimate that more than half of all inmates receive no family visits so lack the cash to top up.

    Many prison stores also have little in the way of stock and sell what pads they get at prices above the market rate.

    Tang said she relied on a gift of less than 1,000 baht ($33) whenever her mother visited her, then frequently borrowed extra from a fellow inmate, who charged 20% interest.

    Women’s rights groups want the government to keep its word on pads and provide ready and reliable supplies.

    “All inmates should be provided with free access to pads without any conditions,” said Chumaporn Taengkliang, co-founder of Women for Freedom and Democracy, a pressure group.

    “Once they have adequate access, there will be no need to buy or steal.”

    In September, Tang left Chaiyaphum Prison on royal pardon.

    She said the prison had not handed out pads all year and she worried about the impact on her fellow inmates.

    “The prison should provide pads to those who request them without having to go through any problems like I did,” she said.

    “Sanitary pads are the most important item for inmates who don’t have money.”


  • Wanted by Interpol with 468M USD in Damages arrested.

    Police Lieutenant General Sompong Chingduang from the Immigration Police and related officers reported the arrest of a South Korean man wanted by Interpol hiding in Thailand. Officials received information from the Embassy of the Republic of Korea of a man involved in a Ponzi Scheme called “Pay100” hiding in Thailand.

    Pay100 advertizes to investors claiming that investments will bring back high interests in the form of digital currencies. People from Korea and other nations around the world fell victim to the high claims, there are over 5,000 victims with damages of over 468 Million USD. The suspect is wanted by the Seoul Criminal Court and has a Red Notice from the Interpol.

    There have been multiple Ponzi Scheme cases in Thailand recently with damages amounting to billions of THB, this includes the Mae Manee Ponzi Scheme and the Forex-3D Ponzi Scheme. The Department of Special Investigation and related officials are currently working on both of these cases. The “Pay 100” Ponzi scheme beets all of the Thai Ponzi Schemes as there are victims from around the world with a shocking chart of investments made towards the scheme.

    Jaesong 53 years old traveled into Thailand before the police received information about his crimes and that he is wanted by Interpol. He entered Thailand legally and arrived here on 1 September 2019 at Don Mueang International Airport. He received permission to stay in the country until 29 November 2019. After receiving the information officials realized that he, in fact, came into Thailand to hide from his arrest warrant in South Korea.

    Credit: INN News
    Credit: INN News

    The Immigration Police kept close watch once they realized what Jaesong had done and the number of damages involved in the case. Then on 27 November 2019, the Sa Kaeo Province Immigration Office successfully arrested Jaesong. His visa has been canceled where he has now been deported back to South Korea where his prosecution process will take place.

    FB Caption: People from Korea and other nations around the world fell victim to the high claims, there are over 5,000 victims with damages of over 468 Million USD.


  • American, S Korean, and Indian citizen arrested.

    Police Lieutenant General Sompong Chingduang and other officers from the Immigration Police reported the arrest of 3 cases. The first case is the arrest of a 26-year-old American citizen. The suspect has an arrest warrant out in his name back in the USA. He had committed child molestation on his own sister who was only 14 years old, the case took place in August of this year. The suspect flew into Thailand on 30 August with a temporary visitor visa. He was arrested at a meditation center in Min Buri District, Bangkok. Officials believe him as a threat to society and are wanted by foreign officials.

    The second case is the arrest of a 30-year-old South Korean citizen. Officials were notified from multiple hostel owners that there has been a man robbing hostels in Bangkok. At the moment of the arrest, the suspect had evidence including a combination wrench and multiple foreign currency bills. The investigation discovered that he came into Thailand on 30 June 2016 and has overstayed his visa for 3 years and 26 days. Officials believe that throughout the years living here the man has robbed at least 10 hostels. He was arrested while checking into a hostel at Jakkawat Area, Bangkok.

    Credit: Immigration Police
    Credit: Immigration Police

    The third and last case is the arrest of an Indian citizen who committed sexual assault on a 26-year-old Thai woman while they were in a hostel in the Phayathai Area, Bangkok. Officials found information through the Biometrics and Pibics systems that revealed the suspect lived and worked in Trang Province as a University Professor. This was his first arrest, he was sent to the Phayathai police station for prosecution.

    FB Caption: The American man molested his 14-year-old sister and was found in a meditation center. The Indian man sexually assaulted a Thai woman is a University Professor in Trang Province. The S Korean man is estimated to have robbed at least 10 hostels throughout Bangkok.


  • Man hospitalized after 5M disappears from Bank.

    A famous restaurant owner in Samut Prakan Province named Ekkaphat 61 years old went to file a report with the Samut Prakan Police on 13 November 2019. Ekkaphat had previously deposited 5 million THB into a bank located in Bangpoo Industrial Estate. He went to update his bankbook and realized that the account had been closed and his 5 million THB was gone. He wanted to use his own money but couldn’t as it was nowhere to be seen.

    Ekkaphat was shocked and asked the bank that informed him the money was transferred to another new account that was also in his name. After the money was moved over 2.5 Million THB was withdrawn by someone who forged Ekkaphat’s signature.

    The Sanook News Team received the current update on 14 November 2019 that Ekkaphat is now at Muang Samut Paknam Hospital as a result of extreme stress, high blood pressure, and signs of fainting. While the news team was having a conversation with Ekkaphat, he received a phone call from a woman who claimed to be an employee from the head office of such bank. She promised on the call that the bank would take full responsibility for the incidents that took place. The woman also asked for permission to visit the Ekkaphat.

    After a while, the woman arrived at the hospital with a fruit basket. She insisted that the head office will take care of the problem but they needed to check if there was any money left in the account. After a long time, the woman left the room and walked straight to her car without answering any of the news team questions. The only statement made was that she had talked to Ekkaphat and an agreement was made.

    Credit: Sanook
    Credit: Sanook

    The officials who accepted the police report stated that they have issued a summons for the bank branch manager and the bank employees but they have yet to receive a confirmation date from the bank. All of Ekkaphat accounts have been frozen to track down all movements and to find out all who are connected to the case.

    FB Caption: After the money was moved over 2.5 Million was withdrawn by someone who forged Ekkaphat’s signature.


  • Arrested with 1,000 kg crystal meth and 40,000 Yaba pills.

    Police Lieutenant General Visanu Prasatthong from the Royal Thai Police with Police Lieutenant General Chinaphat Sarasin from the Narcotics Suppression Division and related officials reported the arrest of 3 drug cases with evidence including 40,000 Yaba pills and over 1,000 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine worth together about 360,000,000 THB.

    The first case took place on 10 November 2019. Officials arrested Kriangkrai 22 years old and Worachun 21 years old in Tubklo District, Phichit Province. The men were arrested with large yellow bags that were placed in a truck. Inside the bags were smaller tea packs filled with 1,000 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine. The first arrest leads to another arrest of a Burmese suspect.

    Credit: INN News
    Credit: INN News

    The Burmese suspect was found with a truck as he was relocating drugs from the North of Thailand into Central Thailand. All 3 suspects admitted that they got the drugs from a big seller up in the North, the goal was to spread the drugs into Bangkok and around the city outskirts. All 3 were charged with crystal methamphetamine-related drug distribution charges and are awaiting further prosecution.

    Credit: INN News
    Credit: INN News

    The second case involves drugs sent by mail into the country. The police received information that there were going to be boxes of drugs sent out from Thailand into other countries. 8 kilograms of crystal meth were found in a box being shipped out to Japan at Don Muang Airport. The crystal meth was hidden inside a wall clock that appeared to be heavier than usual. Officials took the clock apart and discovered 8 kilograms of crystal meth.

    Credit: INN News
    Credit: INN News

    The third and last case is the arrest of Jukapong 42 years old and 4 other suspects involved. Police received information that an ex-offender was still in contact with inmates at prisons located in the North and Northeastern part of Thailand. The group will sell drugs online through social media before collecting the goods in neighboring countries. The police tracked the members down and arrested the 5 suspects in Prachuap Khiri Khan province. Evidence included 2 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, 40,000 Yaba pills, and 1 kilogram of marijuana.

    FB Caption: 8 kilograms of crystal meth was found in a box being shipped out to Japan at Don Muang Airport.


  • Wanted inmate escapes Bangkok Prison.

    An inmate managed to escape the Bangkok Remand Prison at about 15.00 on 12 October 2019. The Prachachuen Police announced on 13 October 2019 that an inmate had escaped on the day before. The inmate escaped while working in his daily job at the prison. This incident is frustrating to the prison employees because the man was in for a case of theft and had only 3 months left before his official date of freedom.

    Credit: Sanook
    Credit: Sanook

    The man is now wanted for arrest with a 30,000 THB reward for anyone that can give information leading to his arrest. The Prachachuen Police received a notification from the Bangkok Remand Police on the escape of inmate Paitew Pumipu. The inmate was working on his job within the inmate’s area. He was behaving, as usual, no suspicious signs. While he seemed to be working, Paitew suddenly started running to the front of the prison grounds.

    The Prachachuen Police and the investigation team has started the hunt for the escaped inmate. This includes the area around the prison, Prachachuen Road, and Bang Khen District, and the area around Wat Suntorn Temple. Officials are also requesting an arrest warrant to be issued out for Paitew’s escape.

    Credit: Sanook
    Credit: Sanook

    Paitew is in prison under theft charges. He was sentenced to 2 years imprisonment, to which only 2 to 3 months left before his time in prison ends. It is estimated that the cause of his escape might have come from a mental breakdown as he has psychological disorders in his medical record. He might have been challenged by stress caused by something we don’t understand, or don’t know for a long period of time reaching the breaking point. When Paitew is arrested, he will have to serve an extended 6 months to his time left in prison for escaping while still an inmate.

    Facebook Caption: Paitew had only 3 months left on his sentence.

    Source: Sanook


  • Eleven prison wardens sacked amid drugs, embezzlement charges

    The Corrections Department has dismissed 11 prison wardens found guilty of serious misconduct, eight of them losing their jobs without pensions or benefits.


    Of the three “retired” with pensions, two were found to have been absent from work for 15 consecutive days and the other had let an inmate receive a package from a relative that contained a SIM card for a cell phone.

    The more serious charges against the other eight include smuggling in opioid pain relief medication for inmates, peddling a large quantity of cough medicine, being middlemen in drug deals, cooking the books to pocket extra cash and absconding with inmates’ earnings.

    Others abetted the smuggling of phones inside, failed to report the discovery of phones to spare inmates punishment, and rented prison property without departmental permission.

    Narat said the department was emphatic about its officials strictly following rules, but some continued to engage in wrongdoing.

    The “heavy” punitive action was intended to deter others from doing likewise and to shore up public confidence in the department’s integrity.

    The Nation

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