Month: February 2001

  • Phuket NewsTourist figures up by 10.7pc | Thaiger

    Tourist figures up by 10.7pc

    BANGKOK, (AFP): International tourist arrivals to Thailand grew 10.7% last year, to 9.57 million, according to figures released by the Tourism Authority of Thailand. Although the average length of stay decreased slightly, to 7.7 days, tourist spending in Thailand was up, at 3,850 baht a day. The TAT estimates that tourism generated revenue of 292.6 billion baht in 2000, up…

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  • Phuket NewsSwiss man stabbed to death | Thaiger

    Swiss man stabbed to death

    PATONG: Dokkaew Niyonrum, 38, from Buri Ram, has been charged with the murder of a 40-year-old Swiss national named by police as Christoph Albert Hartmann. Dokkaew is alleged to have stabbed Mr Hartmann in the chest during a fight in their home on Sai Nam Yen Rd in the early hours of Sunday morning. Pol Maj Komdech Poathong of Patong…

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  • Phuket NewsBookmaker gunned down | Thaiger

    Bookmaker gunned down

    PHUKET TOWN: A restaurant owner, who was also a bookmaker specializing in gambling on soccer matches, was murdered on Tuesday morning outside his restaurant on Phuket Rd. The victim, Supachart “James” Panumassakul, 36, from Phuket, owned the Khrua New James restaurant, opposite the Imperial hotel on Phuket Rd. A witness told police that she was waiting for a friend on…

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  • Phuket News9-year-old raped during burglary | Thaiger

    9-year-old raped during burglary

    NAI HARN: Nervous residents of Nai Harn Villas are awaiting the conclusion of a police investigation into three burglaries, during one of which a nine-year-old European girl was raped, and are hoping that an arrest will be made soon. The rape took place in the early hours of Saturday after the burglar got into the bedroom where the girl was…

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  • Phuket NewsSlow start to Governor’s email hotline | Thaiger

    Slow start to Governor’s email hotline

    PHUKET: Governor Pongpayome Vasaputi’s entry into cyberspace at the beginning of the month has so far received a lackluster response. “We receive only one or two emails a day,” the Governor’s secretary, Boonchai Somjai, told the Gazette. Every morning, K. Boonchai checks the email and then prints copies of relevant messages for the Governor’s in-tray. About 70% of the email…

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  • Phuket NewsVillagers find hanged man | Thaiger

    Villagers find hanged man

    PHUKET TOWN: Villagers found the hanged body of an unidentified man on Monday evening on a hill about two kilometers to the east of Kuan Din Dang Rd and Soi Panieng, in Tambon Rassada. Pol Capt Chaum Kaosrisuwan of Phuket Town Police Station said he was informed by Sataporn Pokaboot, phuyai baan of Moo 6, Tambon Rassada, that the villagers…

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  • Phuket NewsNew ‘geezer visa’ rules come into effect | Thaiger

    New ‘geezer visa’ rules come into effect

    PHUKET: The Immigration Department has recently started applying changes in the regulations covering retired foreigners residing in Thailand. In particular, the department is strictly applying the rules on how much a retiree must have in his or her Thai bank account. The changes were brought into law in October 1998 but it has taken more than two years for them…

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  • Phuket NewsEmployment Services Office moves | Thaiger

    Employment Services Office moves

    PHUKET TOWN: The Phuket Provincial Employment Service Office (ESO) – which, among other activities, issues work permits – yesterday moved from Phuket Villa 1 to purpose-built premises on a one-rai site on Soi Sakdidet 1. Kopit Temsongsai, the ESO chief, said the move had been made because the old offices were too small and the department wanted to have its…

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  • Phuket NewsUrgent call for O negative blood | Thaiger

    Urgent call for O negative blood

    PHUKET TOWN: The Bangkok Phuket Hospital has appealed for urgent donations of type O negative blood for a patient in its intensive care unit. The patient, Hans Lorenzet, 42, of Germany, has a liver complaint which has caused internal hemorrhaging, and is in urgent need of blood. Potential donors are asked to report to the reception desk at the hospital.

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  • Phuket NewsCanadian pedestrian killed | Thaiger

    Canadian pedestrian killed

    PATONG: A Canadian pedestrian died after being hit by a motorbike on Thursday evening while crossing the beach road in Patong. Pol Lt Serm Khannimit of Kathu Police Station told the Gazette, “Michel Luc Ladouceur, 44, was crossing the road in front of the Patong Valentine’s Day Fair at about 10 pm when Teera Muangkalee, 24, from Sukhothai, crashed into…

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  • Phuket NewsThai press: New government a disappointment | Thaiger

    Thai press: New government a disappointment

    BANGKOK (AFP): Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s new cabinet was poorly received today by the Thai press who saw only a few promising figures among the discredited veterans and inexperienced newcomers filling its ranks. Thaksin won the January 6 elections after campaigning on a platform of new and unorthodox ideas as well as promises of an administration free from the corruption…

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  • Phuket NewsMotorbike injury toll hits five figures | Thaiger

    Motorbike injury toll hits five figures

    PHUKET: The number of people injured in motorcycle accidents went into five figures for the first time last year, with 10,359 needing treatment, according to statistics supplied by the Wachira, Thalang and Patong government hospitals. The number of people injured represented an increase of 4.6% on the previous year’s 9,903. In 1998 the toll was 9,681 and in 1997 it…

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  • Phuket NewsLove beats disenchantment, 254 to 1 | Thaiger

    Love beats disenchantment, 254 to 1

    PHUKET: Love was in the air yesterday, as 254 couples formalised their marriages at the island’s registry offices on the year’s most romantic day. With 167 couples, Muang District saw the highest number of registrations for Valentine’s Day, while 57 couples were married in Thalang District and 30 in Kathu. “Our district gave flowers made from fish scales to the…

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  • Phuket NewsTintin goes boom-boom | Thaiger

    Tintin goes boom-boom

    BRUSSELS (AFP): The Belgian prosecutor’s office says it has seized hundreds of forged comic books depicting Belgium’s fabled boy reporter Tintin and his trusty dog Snowy on a sex spree in Bangkok. Some 650 copies of a comic book entitled “Tintin in Thailand” were scooped up by undercover police over the weekend. They depict Tintin, always a model of propriety…

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  • Phuket NewsForged 500-baht notes found | Thaiger

    Forged 500-baht notes found

    KATHU: The manager of a gas station found two forged 500-baht notes on Monday morning while counting the cash taken overnight. Sopit Chaijit, manager of a Caltex station on Wichitsongkram Rd, reported to the police that the two 500-baht notes were lighter in color than normal. Her counting machine also rejected the notes, she said. The notes were received sometime…

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  • Phuket NewsToddler killed in motorbike smash | Thaiger

    Toddler killed in motorbike smash

    KARON: The three-year-old daughter of an American expatriate was killed in a motorcycle accident in Karon early on Saturday afternoon. Herman Bachmann, 69, better known to Phuket residents as Shankar, was riding his bike along Patak Rd in Karon, heading toward Phuket Town, with his maid on the back and the child in front. In front of the Karon Tong…

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  • Phuket NewsFrench resident dies in head-on smash | Thaiger

    French resident dies in head-on smash

    PATONG: A French resident, 27-year-old Laurent Robert Beauvais, was killed when his motorcycle smashed head-on into a jeep on the bypass road in the early hours of yesterday morning. The investigating officer, Pol Maj Songwut Khunjan of Phuket Town Police Station, told the Gazette that the accident happened opposite the Daihatsu showroom at about 3.20 am. The jeep’s driver, 30-year-old…

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  • Phuket NewsGambling cases top crime stats again | Thaiger

    Gambling cases top crime stats again

    PHUKET: Gambling cases once again topped the crime lists in Phuket for the period between January 1 and 15, according to statistics released yesterday by the Phuket Provincial Police. A total of 163 people were arrested for gambling in the course of 96 police raids. Following close behind were illegal immigrants; 94 were caught in the same period. Drugs also…

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  • Phuket NewsThaksin voted in as PM | Thaiger

    Thaksin voted in as PM

    BANGKOK (AFP): Thailand’s House of Representatives today elected Thai Rak Thai party leader Thaksin Shinawatra as the nation’s 23rd prime minister, by a majority of 340 votes to 127. Another 30 MPs abstained and three MPs were absent. Thai Rak Thai and its coalition partners, Chart Thai and New Aspiration, were bolstered in the vote by the support of 15…

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  • Phuket NewsScheduled blackouts announced | Thaiger

    Scheduled blackouts announced

    PHUKET: The Phuket Provincial Electricity Authority (PPEA) has announced the following scheduled blackouts for the month of February: The PPEA will be clearing tree branches and installing orange insulating covers on power lines in these areas. The blackouts will last from 9 am to 4 pm. February 13: Chao Fa Nai Rd from the Kwang Rd intersection to the Tah…

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  • Phuket NewsAirport passenger figures still rising | Thaiger

    Airport passenger figures still rising

    PHUKET: The number of passengers arriving at and/or departing from the island via Phuket International Airport continues to rise, according to the latest figures released by airport officials. Passenger throughput in December last year rose to 347,720, an increase of 13.51% over the figure for December 1999. The number of passengers on domestic flights increased by 14.16% to 205,939, while…

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  • Phuket NewsMalaysia to build free trade zone at Thai border | Thaiger

    Malaysia to build free trade zone at Thai border

    KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) – A free-trade industrial zone costing three billion ringgit (789 million dollars) is to be developed near the Malaysian/Thai border over the next decade, a senior official said today. The “ASEAN Industrial Metropolis”, covering 2,400 hectares (5,928 acres), will be built at Bukit Kayu Hitam in the northwestern Malaysian state of Kedah, the state’s chief minister, Syed…

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  • Phuket NewsActivist’s alleged killer arrested | Thaiger

    Activist’s alleged killer arrested

    THALANG: Bancha Noppawong, 34, from Songkhla, was arrested yesterday evening on a charge of murdering environmental activist Jurin Rachapol in Pa Khlok on January 30. K. Jurin died after being shot three times while searching for cashew leaves in a forest near to the Wachara Prawn Farm in Pa Khlok. Contrary to earlier assertions by an official that Bancha had…

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  • Phuket NewsAnother fishing port murder | Thaiger

    Another fishing port murder

    PHUKET TOWN: A man was found murdered in the fishing port in Mu 7, Tambon Rassada, early yesterday morning. Pol Maj Thanet Phuangmanee of Phuket Town Police Station told the Gazette, “A crewman from a fishing boat told me that as he was moving fish from the boat to the dock he saw the body floating in the water. He…

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  • Phuket NewsUnpaid fornication hits “sex workers’ | Thaiger

    Unpaid fornication hits “sex workers’

    BANGKOK (AFP): The advent of casual sex is bad news for Thailand’s prostitutes who are going idle as their customers increasingly engage in pre-marital sexual relationships, according to a government report. The Ministry of Public Health said a study of 10,000 sex workers revealed each woman had on average only one customer a night, compared to an average of 1.5…

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  • Phuket NewsDengue fever arrives early | Thaiger

    Dengue fever arrives early

    PHUKET: The Phuket Provincial Health Office (PHO) has warned that there is an increased risk of dengue fever infection this year. From January 1 to 26, 11 cases of dengue fever were reported in Phuket, all in the Muang and Thalang districts. The highest number of patients was reported in Tambon Rassada, followed by Tambon Wichit and Tambon Mai Khao.…

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  • Phuket NewsPrawn farm boss out on bail | Thaiger

    Prawn farm boss out on bail

    PHUKET TOWN: The owner of the Wachara Prawn Farm in Pa Khlok, Somsak Wongsawanond, was today released on bail of 500,000 baht. Somsak was initially denied bail when arrested two days ago on charges of illegal possession of a weapon and discharging a weapon in a public area. He denied both charges. Meanwhile, the Thalang District Chief, Kanthee Silapa, told…

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  • Phuket NewsPrawn farm owner arrested | Thaiger

    Prawn farm owner arrested

    PHUKET TOWN: The owner of the Wachara Prawn Farm in Pa Khlok, Somsak Wongsawanond, 36, from Songkhla, reported to police in Phuket Town Police Station last night after a warrant was issued for his arrest on one charge of illegal possession of a weapon and another of discharging a weapon in a public area. The warrant was issued last week…

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  • Phuket NewsFrightened villagers meet Minister | Thaiger

    Frightened villagers meet Minister

    PHUKET AIRPORT: Interior Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Banyat Banthadtan was today scheduled to meet with villagers from Pa Khlok to listen to their views about the recent assassination of environmental activist Jurin Rachapol. The meeting was arranged to allow the villagers to make an official request to K. Banyat – whose ministry is in charge of Thailand’s police –…

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  • Phuket NewsGovernor goes into cyberspace | Thaiger

    Governor goes into cyberspace

    PHUKET: The Governor of Phuket, Pongpayome Vasaputi, now has his own email address for people who wish to make suggestions to him. He has also launched the provincial government’s new website at, in line with a Ministry of Interior policy to have every province set up a presence on the Internet. The website, which is currently in Thai only…

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  • Phuket NewsDry season for Phuket Island Lager | Thaiger

    Dry season for Phuket Island Lager

    PHUKET: Lovers of Phuket Island Lager will have to exercise some restraint over the coming week; distributors are being rationed after an unforeseen surge in sales resulted in demand outstripping supply. “We’re not completely out of stock, but we can’t match demand,” said Ekaraj Intravisit, general manager of Phuket Island Trading Co. “If a customer wants 10 boxes of beer,…

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  • Phuket NewsGunman kills motorbike taxi driver | Thaiger

    Gunman kills motorbike taxi driver

    TUNG TONG: Somyot Saekoey, 36, a motorbike taxi driver based in Patong, was shot dead late on Tuesday after visiting a friend. Pol Capt Kittipong Klaykaew of Tungtong Police Station said that K. Somyot went to visit his friend, Jamroen Soonthon, near the entrance to the Bang Wat Dam near Kathu, at around 10.30 pm. They chatted about their work…

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  • Pattaya NewsPattaya firm takes over Phuket radio station | Thaiger

    Pattaya firm takes over Phuket radio station

    PHUKET: The end of a four-year contract has seen Pattaya-based Sunshine Radio win the rights to run the local government radio station, 101.5 FM Phuket. Sunshine Radio won the contract direct from the Phuket branch of the Mass Communications Organization of Thailand (MCOT) in Bangkok. The amount of the winning bid was not announced. “Previously, the contracts were won on…

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