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Officials on the hunt for corrupt border guards blamed for Covid spread

Maya Taylor

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Officials on the hunt for corrupt border guards blamed for Covid spread | The Thaiger
PHOTO: DIY Travel HQ
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The Thai PM, Prayut Chan-o-cha, has put the Deputy Defence Minister in charge of hunting down crooked border officials whose corruption is thought to be behind the latest Covid-19 outbreak. With most of the new infections detected in Burmese migrant workers in the central province of Samut Sakhon, it’s believed many have been smuggled into Thailand illegally, bypassing mandatory quarantine.

Now, Deputy Defence Minister Chaichan Changmongkol is hunting down corrupt officials who may have turned a blind eye to such people trafficking operations. National Police Chief Suwat Jangyodsuk says officials have received information about a people smuggling gang, which is being investigated further. Thailand has a total of 6 immigration offices and 93 checkpoints to screen those using legitimate crossings from Myanmar. However, the border is extremely porous, with many unguarded natural crossings. Officials are particularly concerned about 2 areas in the northern province of Chiang Rai, as well as the district of Mae Sot in Tak province, and 3 other points in the southern province of Ranong.

Chaowalit Sangkarit from the Royal Thai Army says the military has been cleared of any involvement in people smuggling, as the traffickers normally use boats to cross the marine border in Ranong. Meanwhile, the Royal Thai Navy says all immigrants found crossing by sea have been checked and are legal.

Speculation continues however, that people smugglers use normal border crossings, but bribe officials to allow undocumented migrants to enter. It’s thought that the PM has been provided with the names of those involved and is waiting for additional evidence before their identities are revealed.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Avatar

    disgusted `

    Thursday, December 24, 2020 at 10:04 am

    corruption starts at top and goes all the way to the bottom and is rife in Thailand.
    nothing will change as long as corruption is allowed to go on.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Thursday, December 24, 2020 at 10:16 am

      Sadly all too true.

      A few minnows will be “caught”, while the sharks will carry on unchallenged.

      • Avatar

        James Pate

        Thursday, December 24, 2020 at 1:41 pm

        They’re not sharks.? They’re “influential people”.???

  2. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Thursday, December 24, 2020 at 10:51 am

    “ hunting down crooked border officials ” – just drop the border part and get going!

  3. Avatar

    lootarzoon

    Thursday, December 24, 2020 at 11:31 am

    Brassing air, big talkings then no actual deep enforcement actions needed since not enough space in courts & prisons for the all corrupt lines from bottom to top ! !! The cancer already won, no hope for an healthier life on earth

    • Avatar

      TS

      Thursday, December 24, 2020 at 3:43 pm

      no worries- PM PCOC will hunt them down??

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thai DJ Celebrity party is likely to be “super spreader” event

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Thai DJ Celebrity party is likely to be “super spreader” event | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thairath Online

The birthday party of Techin Ploypetch, better known as “DJ Matoom”, is now considered a super-spreader source of Covid-19, with 19 people already found infected after attending the event. According the CCSA spokesperson during the daily briefing today, “Transmissions in Bangkok should be highlighted. They show the possibility of a person becoming a super-spreader”.

The birth of the super spreader birthday party started with a guest to the DJ’s party who had visited a well-known entertainment venue in Chiang Mai between January 1 and 4. He sought a Covid-19 test on January 5 following news that infected people had visited the pub, but tested negative. He should have self quarantined for 14 days, but he still flew to Bangkok and then attended the DJ celebrity’s birthday party on January 9.

DJ Matoom says he met the guest, one of his friend, on January 9, but that friend didn’t know he was infected until January 19 in which he told Matoom.

According to Dr Tanarak Plipat, now acting inspector-general of the Public Health Ministry, an infected person can transmit disease to two others on average, while a “super spreader” will transmit to multiple people.

DJ Matoom and the party’s guest were criticised of violating the disease control measures.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Thailand

Thailand’s tourism targets film production to gain revenue during Covid-19 crisis

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Thailand’s tourism targets film production to gain revenue during Covid-19 crisis | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Herrera & Partners

Thailand’s tourism officials have a new idea to draw in visitors: film production. The Tourism and Sports Ministry is aiming to generate around 3 billion baht from foreign film crews and is targeting projects with an investment over 100 million baht, hoping to compensate for the loss of revenue due to the lack of international tourists during the coronavirus pandemic.

Foreign tourism revenue drastically dropped nearly 83% in 2020, going from nearly 40 million tourists in 2019 to only 6.7 million tourists in 2020.

The tourism department’s director-general Anant Wongbenjarat says that Thailand welcomed 176 international film productions to the country last year, generating 1.73 billion baht for the local economy. But this is a sharp decrease compared to the previous year where the 740 foreign film crews generated 4.86 billion baht.

In August, the CCSA decided to grant special entry permission to film productions. 53 film production projects were based in Thailand during August and December, contributing 1.14 billion baht to the economy. Those entering Thailand must still undergo a 14 day quarantine.

“International productions can proceed and generate income for locals despite the tourism slowdown.”

Anant also says there are 4 more film production projects underway, and it is forecasted to generate 186 million baht, bringing the total to 57 projects. In the first half of this year, there will be nine more productions expected to come in and help create at least 800 jobs for locals.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Moderna vaccine is proved ‘protective’ against Covid-19 variants

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Moderna vaccine is proved ‘protective’ against Covid-19 variants | The Thaiger
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As fear over new variants of Covid-19 had prompted the travel restrictions to tighten worldwide, the United States biotech firm Moderna announced that its vaccine should protect against the variants identified in the United Kingdom and South Africa.

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“We are encouraged by these new data, which reinforce our confidence that the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine should be protective against these newly detected variants.”

Last month, a private hospital in Bangkok advertised pre-orders for the Moderna vaccine, which still needs approval from Thailand’s FDA. Thailand’s Department of Health Service Support demanded that the hospital remove the advertisements.

In the ads, the hospital was charging 4,000 baht for a booking of the vaccine. In the post the hospital said the vaccine would arrive in Thailand in October 2021. They also announced that the vaccine would cost 6,000-10,000 baht.

Health officials say private hospitals will be allowed to administer vaccines that are approved by the FDA. So far, the Thai government has only approved the AstraZeneca vaccine for emergency use. The first batch of 50,000 doses are expected to arrive next month. Frontline health care workers and vulnerable groups in high risk areas will be first to receive the vaccine.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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