Corruption cases up 46%
Financial corruption rocketed in the first three months of this year as the territory’s economy deteriorated, officials said yesterday. Corruption cases in the financial and insurance sectors surged 46 percent in the first quarter, contributing to a 23 percent overall rise in corruption. The Independent Commission Against Corruption received 811 reports of corruption in the first quarter, compared with 659 cases in the same period last year.
Man jailed for royal insult
A court yesterday sentenced a man to 10 years in prison for posting altered pictures on the Internet that were deemed to insult the kingdom’s revered monarchy. The 34-year-old Thai national, known by two different names — “Suvicha” or “Chinnapat” Thakhor — was convicted of violating computer and strict lese majeste laws after his arrest in northeast Nakhon Phanom province in February. Suvicha used computer software to doctor the images of the royal family before putting the pictures on the Web, the court said. Suvicha, accompanied by his parents in court, burst into tears on hearing his sentence. Officials say more than 4,800 Web pages have been blocked since March last year because they contain content deemed insulting to the monarchy.
Runway shut down briefly
Tokyo’s Narita airport briefly closed its main runway again yesterday after a FedEx cargo plane — the same model as a jet that crashed there last month — made an emergency landing, the airport said. A McDonnell Douglas MD-11 plane operated by FedEx returned to the airport after its pilot felt unusual vibrations near the aircraft’s front wheel, an airport official said. “The airport received communication from the pilot who asked for a check-up of the aircraft,” the official said. The emergency landing closed the main 4,000m Runway A for only a few minutes, and the FedEx plane took off for Incheon a few hours later, she said. No-one was injured.
Teacher sacked for spying
A primary school teacher has been sacked for putting secret spy cameras in a room where girls changed for dance classes, the South China Morning Post said yesterday. Choi Hing-yiu, 32, used the pinhole cameras to film nine girls at the school in Mongkok District last September, the newspaper said. A 10-minute videotape showing the girls changing their clothes in the classroom was handed to police after a dance teacher and students found the cameras. Choi was arrested. At a court hearing on Thursday, Choi admitted placing the secret cameras and was bound over on a good behavior bond for 12 months, the newspaper said. The teacher, who was dismissed as a result of the incident, claimed he placed the cameras to film dance lessons and had not intended to record pupils changing.
Missing plane located
A light plane that went missing in the north has been located in a remote mountain range, a day after it failed to arrive at its intended destination, police said yesterday. There was no immediate word on the fate of the seven people onboard or of the condition of the aircraft, but reports said there was no airstrip or paved road in the area where the plane could have landed safely. The plane was spotted on the ground near the remote town of Maconacon on the east side of the Sierra Madre mountain range, regional police Chief Superintendent Roberto Damian said.