[Published on 5 Jan, 1998]
Farmers in the Thai province of Surin, hit hard by the
country's economic crisis, now have to contend with
"rice bandits" who steal their harvests in broad daylight.
The perpetrators, who arrive in motorcades of trucks
and farm tractors, enter barns and fields where the rice
is stored, tie up farmers and their families, load rice
onto their vehicles and drive off.