Face of the day


Restarting a new life has been hard for Ralph Simpson and his family, but they don’t miss their old life. CHRIS SKELTON / FAIRFAX NZ

Today’s face of the day is Kiwi solicitor Ralph Simpson, who has taken the road less travelled in order to help victims of sex trafficking in Thailand.

Just reading the witness statement you could feel the boy’s fear. He was under 15 and living on Thailand’s streets when he was brought back to an apartment where two Western men were waiting. There he became their plaything.

In those moments, reading those documents, Ralph Simpson felt angry.

“Those images do haunt you. You feel that nobody gives a damn. That this kid is utterly alone.”

…Eight years ago, Simpson was a partner at Bell Gully, one of the country’s biggest corporate law firms. He was successful, earning a large pay packet. He admits he was “cushy” when he first came across the term “sex trafficking”.

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A good idea for fleeing drivers–AznCI

Instead of listening to the crim-huggers over fleeing drivers perhaps we should look to overseas jurisdictions for how they deal with them.

Like Thailand:

A dramatic video of a police chase in Thailand finally ends after an officer decides he has had enough and opens fire on a speeding car.

The hot pursuit is captured by a cop riding a motorbike with a helmet camera.

Several officers join him in a frightening chase before they burst the fugitives’ wheels and the car skids to a halt before the squad runs in to make the arrest.

At the beginning of the footage the policeman with a helmet camera joins a chase where a driver is attempting to escape from the law by speeding away in a car.

The fugitive hurries down a narrow street in the countryside before turning onto a main road. ? Read more »


So why doesn’t Labour care about this person’s deportation to New Zealand?

A 59-year old Australian teacher with dual New Zealand citizenship is to be deported from Thailand following his arrest in the country’s north on suspicion of child sex offences.

Peter Dundas Walbran, originally from Sydney, has been held in immigration detention cells in Bangkok since his December 9 arrest in the northeastern town of Ubon Ratchthani, 600 kilometres away, where he taught at a local international school.

Investigators say the deportation is expected to take place late on Friday as Thai police re-examine some of the digital media recovered from his apartment on the day of his arrest.

If they find anything illegal on his computer hard drive, they could have him extradited from New Zealand. But so far they haven’t found anything incriminating that would lead to charges in Thailand. Read more »

Photo Of The Day

Photo: John and Jackie Knill, Courtesy of Knill family.

Photo: John and Jackie Knill, Courtesy of Knill family.

?Last Shot On The Memory Card

On?December 31, 2004, the body of John Knill was found; and on January 13, 2005, the body of Jackie Knill?was discovered?at a Thailand beach resort. They were two of the many victims killed from the December 26, 2004 tsunami. Weeks later, a Seattle man doing relief work found a damaged camera and discarded it but kept the memory card in the camera. After downloading the images he discovered pictures of the Knills enjoying their vacation, as well as shots of a huge wave approaching the shore. With each picture it shows the wave getting closer and closer to shore. The last picture taken of them before the wave hit (shown above) was shot just after 8.30 am on December 26.

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Is her citizenship being cancelled?

Some people are just scumbags.

They way they treat workers is appalling.

A woman who illegally hired foreign sex workers to work at an Auckland massage parlour has been jailed.

in the Auckland District Court on Tuesday, Naengnoi Sriphet, a joint citizen of Thailand and New Zealand, jailed for 27 months after being found guilty of five offences under the Immigration Act relating to providing false or misleading visa information.

An investigation by Immigration New Zealand (INZ) found Sriphet brought two women from Thailand to work for her in Auckland.

According to their visas, they worked as “massage therapists”.

However the court found she encouraged and facilitated at least one of the women to work as a prostitute. ?? Read more »

Photo Of The Day

Photo: Jesse Rockwell

Photo: Jesse Rockwell

The Secret of The Abandoned Fish Mall

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Perhaps Gareth Morgan can give them some advice

Gareth Morgan has all sorts of advice lately, but perhaps he might like to take his motorbike on a trip to Vietnam to give them some assistance with a little culinary problem they are having.

VICE News reports:

Just after midnight on Tuesday, police in Hanoi detained a truck smuggling three tons of live cats into Vietnam. The driver, a 30-year-old man named Hoang Van Hieu, admitted that the ill-begotten cats were bound for restaurants in the country, where cat meat is, in fact, a delicacy, especially in the provinces of Thai Binh and Nam Dinh, not far from Hanoi.

“After receiving a tip, we searched the truck and discovered the cats inside,” Sky News?quoted Dong Da district deputy chief of police Cao Van Loc as saying. “The owner, also the driver, said he bought the cats at the [Chinese] border area of Quang Ninh province. All of the cats were from China.”

With an average adult weight of about ten pounds for a healthy domestic feline, three tons means we’re talking hundreds of cats. The animals, crammed on top of one another in bamboo cages, were just the latest haul in a small cat-trafficking market that sources from nearby China, Laos, and Thailand to satiate Vietnam’s appetite for kitty flesh. ?? Read more »


The dog meat trade, and why it needs change

As a hunter and a carnivore myself, I don’t have a problem with the source of protein. ?Cultural differences can cause squeamishness. ?For example, horse meat is generally not seen as appropriate meat for those living here, whereas it is freely sold an eaten throughout Europe and nobody thinks twice about it.

The way the meat is raised and brought to the table is another issue altogether.

If you are squeamish – perhaps pass this story by.

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If Kim DotCom would do a runner from New Zealand, how would he do it?


Let’s do a bit of crowd-sourcing.

If Kim DotCom would do a runner from New Zealand, how would he do it?

I doubt he would go to South America, he seems to have a preference for the Asian lifestyle (girls etc), and its closer. Though I am told that after getting extradited from Thailand and having to do a runner from the Philippines over unpaid gambling debts that he is frightened of Asia.? Read more »

Thai coup, will McCully put in place sanctions like with Fiji?

The Thai military has reacted to political instability and conducted their 12th coup since 1932.

Thailand’s military seized power in a bloodless coup, dissolving the government, scrapping the constitution and dispersing groups of protesters from both sides of the country’s political divide who had gathered in Bangkok and raised fears of a violent showdown.

The powerful army chief, Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, announced the military takeover in a statement broadcast on national television.

It was followed by additional announcements including a nationwide curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. and an order for 18 government officials – including the ousted prime minister – to report immediately to the country’s new governing military commission.

Soldiers kept a low profile in the center of the capital. But as the curfew approached, troops diverted traffic at key intersections and used armored personnel carriers to block some main roads, including the one in front of the US Embassy. ? ? Read more »