Daily News-April 16- 2001- Monday

  • Thai Authorities Seize Beef Smuggled From Burma
  • Thai Forestry Dept to drill cave to reach gold

  • Thai Authorities Seize Beef Smuggled From Burma

    MAE SOT, Thailand (AP)--Thai authorities seized about five tons of beef smuggled from Burma, and arrested one person near Thailand's western border, officials said Sunday.

    The seizure was made Saturday night near Wankeaw village in Mae Sot province, 370 kilometers northwest of Bangkok, said police Lt. Likiphong Siranarang.

    A Thai citizen, Surachai Sansawan, who purchased the 4,800 kilograms of beef in Mon state in Burma and brought it across the border was arrested.

    Thailand banned import of cow, buffalo, goat and sheep meat from neighboring Burma two months ago as a precautionary measure against foot and mouth disease.

    Beef in Thailand costs 100 baht ($1=THB45.32) per kilogram. In Myanmar, one kilogram of beef is worth THB20.
    Thai Forestry Dept to drill cave to reach gold

    Source : Bangkok Post

    The Forestry Department will drill open a cave which supposedly holds a World War II treasure trove left by the retreating Japanese army.

    Co-operation has been offered by Plodprasop Suraswadi, the department chief, despite his earlier reluctance to assist the treasure hunt led by Senator Chaowarin Latthasaksiri.

    Mr Plodprasop said heavy machinery would be used to drill and remove an estimated 2,000 tonnes of stone and boulders blocking Lijia cave in Kanchanaburi's Khao Laem National Park.

    Explosives would not be used. Drilling would stop once access to the inner cave was established.

    The forestry team would not join the treasure hunt. Drilling could begin in a few days. Mr Plodprasop said he was not sure the section to be drilled was the actual mouth of the cave.

    Drilling would cease if no opening was found.

    He said it mattered little whether he believed in the existence of the treasure or not. It was important to clear up public speculation about the treasure story once and for all.

    Mr Chaowarin said he was prepared to hand over part of the treasure, which he said includes decades-old US bonds, to His Majesty the King.

    The American bonds were worth US$55 billion, he claimed. Once retrieved they would be examined by experts. The bonds, together with about 2,500 tonnes of gold, would then be presented to the King and kept as assets of the nation. The bonds and gold were among 13 items waiting to be discovered.

    The treasure was in good condition as it was stored in titanium chests, he said.

    Mr Chaowarin said that at the onset of WWII, Japan had planned to conquer the world and therefore stocked up on bonds and gold for the purpose of financing its military invasion. Thailand, he claimed, was the nerve centre where the valuables were stored.

    Mr Chaowarin, who has spent the better part of a decade looking for Japanese gold but found nothing so far, said several thousand people had signed a petition supporting the excavation of the cave.

    He lauded the Forestry Department's co-operation in the treasure hunt and said he was seeking an audience with His Majesty tomorrow.

    On Wednesday he would announce his find. Mr Chaowarin's claim of a treasure trove has made the cave a popular tourist attraction.