The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has launched a three-day celebration of the new Giant Swing located in front of the Bangkok City Hall. The king and queen presided over the inaugural ceremony of Bangkok’s rejuvenated Giant Swing on Wednesday. The Giant Swing has undergone several renovations since it was built in 1782, with the latest restoration beginning four years ago. The celebrations will feature a wide range of cultural performances, although the ceremony for which the Giant Swing was most known in the past will not take place. Until it was discontinued in 1935, a dangerous ceremony involved teams of men who would ride the swing on arcs as high as 25 meters above the ground, without any safety measures, using their teeth to grab a bag of silver coins hung in the air.
Authorities in Japan, Spain and Thailand have helped smash an Iranian crime ring that produced fake Spanish passports and other identity papers.  Police in Thailand and Japan detained 26 people who were part of the ring and seized 44 fake passports, four driving licenses, two identity cards as well as material used to produce the documents.  Authorities said the stolen passports were sent to Thailand where they were altered and falsified with the aim of facilitating people trafficking, mainly into Japan. Police detained 25 members of the ring in Thailand and one in Japan.
Herald Sun
A Thai court convicted Indian national Reyaz Ahmad Mir on Monday of violating Thailand's wildlife protection law by selling shawls made of endangered Tibetan antelopes. Mir admitted to being part of a ring that sold hundreds of shahtoosh shawls smuggled from China, through India, and into Thailand. One shawl is normally made from the wool of three to five Tibetan Antelopes and can be sold for US$1,200 to US$12,000. Mir was ordered to pay 10,000 baht, but his store was not forced closed.  Some bemoaned the penalty as little more than a slap on the wrist.