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What does the extension of the Emergency Decree mean?

The Thaiger

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What does the extension of the Emergency Decree mean? | The Thaiger
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The Covid-19 Centre for Situation Administration announced today that the Emergency Decree for Thailand will be extended, although it technically will not be official until announced in official channels. The announcement has caused many to believe the extension means that nearly all businesses must remain closed and all current restrictions, such as closures of public spaces and beaches, will not be lifted for another month. This is not the case

The Emergency Decree mainly allows PM Prayut Chan-o-cha and the CCSA to control and manage the national situation, and help stop the spread, or even a second wave, of Covid-19. But restrictions in place can, and in some cases have, already been eased or strengthened, as the order allows for fluidity based on the overall situation. Many orders and restrictions, like the sale of alcohol, are at the discretion of provincial governors. Without the Emergency Decree, restrictions can’t be applied (or removed) quickly and easily on a national level.

Dr. Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman for the CCSA, told the Thai press this afternoon that that the national curfew will very likely remain. Bans on international flights, except for repatriated Thai citizens and a few other exceptions, have now been extended to the end of May. Some domestic travel restrictions will remain. Social and mass gatherings will still be banned.

But Tawesilp says the administration will be looking in depth at reopening businesses and easing restrictions, based on a colour coded scale of guidelines, gradually throughout May. Businesses will have to adhere to new health rules and guidelines once opened. These could include the compulsory wearing of face masks in stores, limits to the numbers of people in stores and no special incentives that may create too many customers at one time.

Provincial governors also have significant freedom in making decisions about openings for their districts and areas, as much of easing local business measures will be “guidelines” and open to local interpretations. In Chon Buri, for instance, based on the Governor’s discretion, hair salons (a red item on the national chart for opening) have been re-opened for with no problems reported.

Orders such as beach and park closures, alcohol bans etc. will be based on the decisions of provincial governors and will likely be announced this week.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Crime

Arrest warrants sought for 8 civilians suspected of smuggling migrant workers

Maya Taylor

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Arrest warrants sought for 8 civilians suspected of smuggling migrant workers | The Thaiger
PHOTO: AP

Deputy national police chief Damrongsak Kittiprapas has confirmed that arrest warrants are being sought for 8 civilians implicated in the illegal smuggling of migrant workers. The Bangkok Post reports that the 8 face charges of aiding and abetting illegal immigration. The workers were trafficked from Myanmar to the central Thai province of Samut Sakhon, where the latest outbreak of Covid-19 began last month. 20 police officers are also being investigated for their role in the smuggling operation. They have been suspended from duty pending a full investigation. It’s thought there are up to 25 police officers suspected of involvement.

“After tracing the migrant workers’ route into Samut Sakhon and then jobs at its shrimp market, we found that most received direct assistance from more than 20 police officials and eight civilians. They smuggled the workers across the border in Sangkhla Buri district of Kanchanaburi and then provided transport to get them to Samut Sakhon.”

Damrongsak says an investigative committee is being set up prior to criminal prosecution and disciplinary action being taken against the police officers involved.

“A formal fact-finding procedure will be carried out before both disciplinary and legal action is pursued against them.”

The committee, which is being chaired by the assistant national police chief, will work with a separate panel set up by the government to investigate the role of police officers in people smuggling. The committee is mostly made up of police officers. Damrongsak says PM Prayut Chan-o-cha insists that investigating officers carry out their duties in an honest and transparent manner.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

40 arrested in a suspected gambling house in Nonthaburi

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40 arrested in a suspected gambling house in Nonthaburi | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

Last night, police raided a house in Nonthaburi and arrested 40 people for allegedly gambling.

According to the deputy chief of the Central Investigation Bureau, 33 are Thais and 7 are migrant workers of the casino. The officials also confiscated decks of cards of the Dragon-Tiger game, plastic chips and some cash as evidence.

During the raid, the migrant workers allegedly revealed that the gambling operations at the home had only been going on for 2 days and that the owner planned to move it to other locations.

Police have been cracking down on gambling after the Covid-19 outbreak at a Rayong gambling den in line with the PM’s order made last week to shut down the illegal venues and tracking down “influential figures.”

SOURCE: National Thailand

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Thailand

Former finance minister proposes legalisation of gambling

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Former finance minister proposes legalisation of gambling | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai Tabloid

With Covid-19 cases linked to some illegal gambling dens, causing a headache for health officials trying to track down elusive gamblers to contain the virus, the former Finance Minister floated the idea to legalise gambling.

The former Finance Minister and current leader of the Kla Party, Korn Chaitkavanich, claims legalising gambling will help contain the spread of Covid-19. He also hinted that it will gain more tax revenue. If it’s legalised, gamblers will spend their money in legal casinos that pay taxes, drawing in more money the government can use for public improvements, he says.

The Royal Thai Police spokesperson insists police are pursuing legal action against owners of the illegal gambling dens. Interior Minister Anuphong Paojinda has also told provincial governors to suppress illegal gambling dens and take responsibility if more gambling dens are found.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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