Philippine ex-president Aquino faces charges over botched raid

The Philippines’ anti-graft agency ordered on Friday the filing of criminal charges against former president Benigno Aquino over a botched raid two years ago on a militant hideout that led to the deaths of 44 police commandos.
The mission to arrest two al-Qaeda-linked militants on the southern island of Mindanao went disastrously wrong when police Special Action Force commandos were ambushed and outnumbered by rebel gunmen, in what was the biggest crisis of Aquino’s 2010-2016…

Father arrested in Thailand at drug party with year-old son

Police raided a drug party in the southern Thailand business hub of Hat Yai and arrested six partygoers, including a man who had his baby son with him. Police Capt Thanarak Borriraknarakul, chief of the anti-drug operation, said methamphetamine pills and crystal meth were found in the room at the Pink Resort, in the municipal area, during the pre-dawn raid. Police detained six people after their urine samples tested positive for the drugs. They were charged with possession of illegal…

Tackling slavery in the Thai fishing industry, one victim at a time

In 2009, as the financial crisis swept the world, Samart Senasuk, now 44, lost his job as a secu­rity guard in Bangkok. Unable to find work, he was preparing to return to his hometown, in Isaan, an impoverished region in the north­east of Thailand, when a friendly man invited him for a drink, to talk about a job on a fishing vessel. Samart turned down the job but, after a few sips of his drink, he says, he passed out. When he woke, he was on a boat off Singapore – how he got…

Japan’s ‘Black Widow’ confesses to killing husband number four

A one-time millionairess dubbed the “Black Widow” over the untimely deaths of lovers and a husband, admitted poisoning her last partner at her trial this week in a multiple murder case that has gripped Japan.
Chisako Kakehi, 70, has become notorious over accusations she dispatched a number of elderly men she was involved with, drawing comparisons with the spider that kills its mate after copulation.
Kakehi is on trial for the murders of three men – including a husband –…

Jailed Singaporean banker handed new convictions in 1MDB-linked case

A Singapore court on Wednesday convicted a jailed banker of additional offences in a case linked to the international money-laundering scandal involving neighbouring Malaysia’s state fund 1MDB.
Singaporean Yeo Jiawei, a former wealth manager with Swiss bank BSI, was sentenced to 54 months after admitting charges of money-laundering and cheating.
The jail term will run concurrently with a 30-month sentence for trying to tamper with witnesses involved in the probe into the scandal, which…

Young Thai teen boxes to support her grandmother

By Phubet Faithes A 14-year-old girl taught Muay Thai by her father is boxing successfully in competitions in her home province and nearby, helping support her grandmother and pay off the family house. Wijitra “Ann” Boon-in, a student at Ban Dan Lan Hoi Wittaya School in Ban Dan Lan Hoi district, said on Wednesday her late father was a Muay Thai boxer. He had passed his love of the sport on to her and began training her when she was in Grade six. She started fighting in the…

Thailand approves long-delayed US$5.2 billion rail link to China

Thailand’s military government on Tuesday approved US$5.2 billion to build the first stretch of a high-speed railway that will ultimately link Bangkok to southern China, a massive joint infrastructure project with Beijing that has been dogged by delays. The project is part of China’s huge regional infrastructure plan to build a high-speed rail network connecting the southern city of Kunming with Laos, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. Construction has already begun in Laos but…