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Toxic Waste Killings: Will businessmen get away with it?

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5 million baht to kill 5 local leaders. 2 dead, 1 case dropped, 1 going to court, 3 more contract killings to go? 

CHARGED... The three men charged with the Feb 25 murder of a village headman in Chachoengsao are paraded at a police press conference yesterday. The trio are, from left to right, Sgt Yuthanai Najaeng, 32, Phuthon Kawiphan, 42, and Sgt Anu Boonpheg, 29.

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CRIMES

Tenacity pays off in toxic case

Cops probing the murder of an activist arrest two of their own
22 Apr 2013
Sonthanaporn Inchan

Watcharapong, eldest son of activist Prajob Naowa-ophas hold photo of his late father after he was shot dead on February 25. Prajob had involved in exposing the illegal dumping of toxic industrial waste in Chachoengsao's Phanom Sarakham district.

Police were under intense pressure to solve the murder case of a key environmental activist shot dead in late February while fighting against the illegal dumping of toxic waste in Chachoengsao province.

After putting tremendous efforts into their probe, their hard work has finally paid off.

All the suspected gunmen and the man believed to be the mastermind behind the killing were rounded up on April 13, almost two months after activist Prajob Naowa-opas, 43, the head of Moo 14 of tambon Nong Nae in Phanom Sarakham district, was gunned down on Feb 25.

The alleged hitmen were identified as Sgt Yuthanai Najaeng, 32, and Sgt Anu Boonpheg, 29, while the suspected mastermind was 42-year-old Phuthon Kawiphan.

Mr Phuthon ran a company which allegedly dumped toxic substances into an area of tambon Nong Nae.

"This is our greatest pride to have apprehended all the right culprits," a police source working on the case said

The source said officers were under immense pressure from their superiors

He said villagers held doubts over the police's determination to arrest the culprits in the murder of Suthep Tongkam, another key leader, who was gunned down two years ago.

The case was dropped after the prosecutors decided not to indict the suspects.

During their investigation into the murder of Prajob, most of the witnesses kept quiet because they feared information would be leaked, the source said.

The source said investigators worked hard and pieced together details from the hotel where the suspects had planned the murder to routes leading to the killing.

One accused gunman had confessed to the murder and gave an account which matched police evidence.

The suspect's account helped convince national police chief Adul Saengsingkaew that the investigators had arrested the right culprits.

Although the locals' trust in police has been boosted over the arrests, some other key figures are still fearful of being the next target.

Tambon Nong Nae municipality councillor Sunan Nidorn, 46, said there could be more people involved in the toxic waste dumping.

He said a group of companies involved in the dumping of toxic waste had jointly raised up to 5 million baht to kill five local leaders who opposed the practice.

Two leaders had already been gunned down, Mr Sunan said, leaving 3 million baht to pay for hitmen to kill three more.

He said the key leaders found it difficult to protect themselves because many people from outside the community, including migrant workers, have moved into the area and mingled with the locals.

Mr Sunan said some local leaders had also been offered up to 100,000 baht per month by some people to find ways to stop the villagers from opposing the waste dumping.

Another local activist, Manas Sawasdee, said about five companies were involved in the illegal dumping of hazardous chemicals.

All of them may have lost considerable profits because of the opposition by locals. One of the firms which operated an engine oil recycling business, had released chemicals and oil into the public canal which was the key source for local tap water production, Mr Manas said.

Some firms had paid up to 60,000 baht per rai of land to turn it into a dumping site for hazardous chemicals in the area, he said.

Chachoengsao police deputy commander Winai Jitprung said the investigation had succeeded in rounding up all the gunmen and the mastermind.

Police have not yet established if other people are linked to the case, as claimed by villagers, since more evidence was needed.

Some officers have been transferred from the area to increase locals' confidence in the force, he said.

Police consider the Prajob murder case to be closed, said Pol Col Vinai, when asked about the villagers' call for the police to expand their investigation into the alleged plot to kill other leaders in the area

Contact Crime Track: crimetrack@bangkokpost.co.th

(Source: Bangkok Post, CRIMES, Tenacity pays off in toxic case, Cops probing the murder of an activist arrest two of their own, 22 Apr 2013, Sonthanaporn Inchan, link


Toxic Waste Vocabulary

toxic - poisonous and harmful to people, animals or the environment เป็นพิษ
toxic waste - dangerous and poisonous chemicals that have already been used in a factory ของเสียเป็นพิษ
toxic
waste case

dump - to throw away garbage somewhere ทิ้ง
dump toxic waste

dump toxic substances

tenacity - able to do something difficult and not stop or give up, ability to hold onto something with your hands and not let go 
pays off
- if you do it, you will gain something from it
tenacity pays off

Tenacity pays off in toxic case

probe (noun, verb) - an investigation into crime and wrongdoing การสอบสวน an attempt to find out the truth about an issue, problem or accident, made by an official group (or by the media); an investigation การตรวจสอบ การสอบสวน การตรวจสอบ

murder
- the crime of intentionally killing a person ฆาตกรรม
cops probing  murder

activist - someone who takes part in activities that are intended to achieve political or social change, especially someone who is a member of an organisation นักกิจกรรม, ผู้ดำเนินการที่มีความกระตือรือร้น
murder of an activist

Cops probing the murder of an activist arrest two of their own

intense - done with a lot of effort, energy, attention, etc.; very strong; lots of activity in a short time or small space  เข้มข้น
pressure - when people are being pushed or forced to so something ความกดดัน
police under intense pressure

illegal - against the law ผิดกฎหมาย, นอกกฎหมาย
the illegal dumping of toxic waste

Police were under intense pressure to solve the murder case of a key environmental activist shot dead in late February while fighting against the illegal dumping of toxic waste in Chachoengsao province. 

hard work -
diligence, trying very hard in your work ความพากเพียร, ความขยัน
hard work has finally paid off

tremendous - very great in amount or level, or very good ใหญ่โตมาก ที่ดี ที่มากมหาศาล
efforts - people trying to accomplish something, achieve a goal; the work done towards achieving some goal ความพยายาม

tremendous
effort - Same as "hard work"
putting tremendous efforts into their probe

After putting tremendous efforts into their probe, their hard work has finally paid off.

suspected - thought to be something เป็นที่สงสัย
suspected gunmen

mastermind - someone who plans a difficult or complicated operation, especially a crime คนวางแผน
the man believed to be the mastermind behind the killing

gunned down - shot and killed

All the suspected gunmen and the man believed to be the mastermind behind the killing were rounded up on April 13, almost two months after activist Prajob Naowa-opas, 43, the head of Moo 14 of tambon Nong Nae in Phanom Sarakham district, was gunned down on Feb 25.

alleged - claimed to be true although not yet proven ที่ถูกกล่าวหา
alleged hitmen

identified - named ระบุชื่อ

The alleged hitmen were identified as Sgt Yuthanai Najaeng, 32, and Sgt Anu Boonpheg, 29, while the suspected mastermind was 42-year-old Phuthon Kawiphan.

allegedly - claimed to have done something wrong, but not yet proven ที่กล่าวหา

Mr Phuthon ran a company which allegedly dumped toxic substances into an area of tambon Nong Nae.

apprehended - arrested; caught by the police
culprits - the people who broke the law or did something wrong   ผู้กระทำผิด
apprehended all the right culprits

pride - feeling good and satisfied about what people close to you have achieved (example: pride in your daughter's high grades) ความภาคภูมิใจ
source - someone who gives information แหล่งข่าว

"This is our greatest pride to have apprehended all the right culprits," a police source working on the case said

immense - extremely large มหึมา มหาศาล
under immense pressure

superiors - people who are senior (having a higher position) to you in an organisation ผู้บังคับบัญชา
under immense pressure from their superiors

The source said officers were under immense pressure from their superiors

determination - when a person continues to try to reach their goals even when it is very difficult (they don't give up and keep trying)
the police's determination to arrest the culprits

doubts - feel uncertain and question whether something is really true
villagers held doubts over the police's determination to arrest the culprits

He said villagers held doubts over the police's determination to arrest the culprits in the murder of Suthep Tongkam, another key leader, who was gunned down two years ago.

indict - to start a criminal case against someone to punish them for breaking the law
suspects - people that the police think might be guilty of a crime ผู้ต้องสงสัย
indict the suspects

drop a case - stop investigating and trying to make a legal case against someone
prosecutors - the group of government lawyers who make a legal case in court against someone accused of a crime

The case was dropped after the prosecutors decided not to indict the suspects.

investigation - the process of trying to find out all the details or facts about something in order to discover who or what caused it or how it happened การตรวจสอบหาข้อเท็จจริง การสอบสวน
witnesses - a person who say an event, usually an accident or crime that they describe, an eyewitness

leak information - when secret information gets out to the media and public (who then know about secrets)

During their investigation into the murder of Prajob, most of the witnesses kept quiet because they feared information would be leaked, the source said.

pieced together details - find out what the whole story is behind something by using the details and facts you do have 

routes - ways to get from one place to another (roads, sidewalks, pathways, flight paths, etc)
routes leading to the killing

The source said investigators worked hard and pieced together details from the hotel where the suspects had planned the murder to routes leading to the killing.

confess - when a person says they did some crime
confessed to the murder

account - a written or spoken report about something that has happened บันทึกถ้อยคำ การอธิบาย
evidence - facts statements or objects that help to prove whether or not someone has committed a crime หลักฐาน information that is used in court to try to prove something หลักฐานประกอบการไต่สวนคดี หรือพิจารณาคดี

One accused gunman had confessed to the murder and gave an account which matched police evidence.

convince - saying things to make a person believe something
The suspect's account helped convince national police chief Adul Saengsingkaew that the investigators had arrested the right culprits.

key - important คนสำคัญ
figures - people
key figures - important people

trust - believing in someone; when people have confidence in each other   ความเชื่อมั่น
boosted - increased
target -the person or thing you  trying to attack; the goal  เป้าหมาย

Although the locals' trust in police has been boosted over the arrests, some other key figures are still fearful of being the next target.

municipality - a town, city or district with its own local government เทศบาล
Tambon Nong Nae municipality councillor Sunan Nidorn, 46, said there could be more people involved in the toxic waste dumping.

raise money - to get money for some project

jointly - done together อย่างร่วมกัน, พร้อมกัน, ด้วยกัน
jointly raised up to 5 million baht

local - in or related to the area that you live, or to the particular area that you are talking about ท้องถิ่น
local leaders 

practice - a way of doing something การปฏิบัติ
who opposed the practice

He said a group of companies involved in the dumping of toxic waste had jointly raised up to 5 million baht to kill five local leaders who opposed the practice.

gunned down - shot with a gun
hitmen - a person paid money to kill someone, a gunman

Two leaders had already been gunned down, Mr Sunan said, leaving 3 million baht to pay for hitmen to kill three more.

community - local people, all the people who live in a local area or place ชุมชน
migrant - moving from one place to another อพยพ
migrant workers - someone who travels to another place or country in order to find work (an immigrant is someone who comes to live in a country from another country) ผู้อพยพ
locals - people who live in a particular place ชาวบ้าน

mingle - mix with (examples: the people at the party mingled together and talked, let's mingle)
mingle with the locals

He said the key leaders found it difficult to protect themselves because many people from outside the community, including migrant workers, have moved into the area and mingled with the locals.


waste dumping
Mr Sunan said some local leaders had also been offered up to 100,000 baht per month by some people to find ways to stop the villagers from opposing the waste dumping.

hazardous - dangerous, especially to people's health or safety
hazardous chemicals

illegal dumping 
illegal dumping of hazardous chemicals

Another local activist, Manas Sawasdee, said about five companies were involved in the illegal dumping of hazardous chemicals.

considerable - large; of noticeable importance จำนวนมาก ค่อนข้างใหญ่
lost considerable profits

opposition - strong disagreement with a plan or policy ความขัดแย้ง
opposition by locals

recycling - taking old material and chemicals (paper, plastic, oil, etc) and using it to make new materials (so it can be used again)
an engine oil recycling business

canal  -
a man-made water way that water and sometimes boats can travel from place to place along คลอง
public canal

release - let something out (of a container and into the environment, for example)
released chemicals - let chemicals leave (a factory and enter the air or water)
released chemicals and oil into the public canal

tap - the metal thing that water comes out of in the sink of your bathroom or kitchen
tap water - the water that comes out of pipes that people use in their homes and businesses
the public canal which was the key source for local tap water production

All of them may have lost considerable profits because of the opposition by locals. One of the firms which operated an engine oil recycling business, had released chemicals and oil into the public canal which was the key source for local tap water production, Mr Manas said.

site - a place where something is located or where something happens สถานที่ สถานที่เกิดเหตุ
dumping site
dumping site for hazardous chemicals

Some firms had paid up to 60,000 baht per rai of land to turn it into a dumping site for hazardous chemicals in the area, he said.

linked - connected เชื่อมโยง  
people linked to the case

establish - find out, determine some fact, what is true
establish if other people are linked to the case

Police have not yet established if other people are linked to the case, as claimed by villagers, since more evidence was needed.

transfer - move; change someone's job or responsibilities โยกย้ายตำแหน่ง
transfer police officers

confidence - the quality of being certain; feel sure about something; trusting and believing in something  ความมั่นใจ ความเชื่อมั่น
the force - the police force, the police organization
increase confidence in the police force

Some officers have been transferred from the area to increase locals' confidence in the force, he said.

expand - to become larger ขายตัวออกไป
a call for the police to expand their investigation

plot - a secret plan to do something bad แผนการลับ
a plot to kill leaders in the area

Police consider the Prajob murder case to be closed, said Pol Col Vinai, when asked about the villagers' call for the police to expand their investigation into the alleged plot to kill other leaders in the area

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