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At least 33 police officers, officials, implicated in migrant smuggling operation

Maya Taylor

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At least 33 police officers, officials, implicated in migrant smuggling operation | The Thaiger
PHOTO: AP
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At least 33 police officers and other government officials are being investigated for their role in the illegal smuggling of migrant workers into Thailand. The people smuggling operation is thought to be at the root of Thailand’s second wave of Covid-19, with countless migrants helped across the border without undergoing mandatory quarantine or any form of health checks.

The Bangkok Post reports that, according to deputy national police chief, Damrongsak Kittiprapas, at least 33 people are thought to have been involved in smuggling migrant workers over the Thai-Burmese border, in the Sangkhla Buri district of Kanchanaburi. This includes over 20 police officers, with the remainder being state officials. The level of involvement varies, with some turning a blind eye to the people smuggling and others more actively involved.

Thailand’s national police chief, Suwat Jangyodsuk, is to set up an investigative panel to consider criminal prosecution and disciplinary action against all involved. It’s understood arrest warrants are also being sought for 8 Thai civilians suspected of smuggling Burmese workers across the border to work in the central province of Samut Sakhon, where the latest outbreak of the virus began.

The government has declared an amnesty for all illegal migrant workers, in the hope it will encourage them to come forward for Covid-19 tests. Those given amnesty must register and will be allowed to stay in the Kingdom for 2 years. Registration opens today and runs until February 13.

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha has also set up 2 committees to tackle the issues of people smuggling and illegal gambling. Both issues are seen as major contributors to the resurgence of Covid-19. The PM says the government needs everyone’s cooperation to shut down illegal gambling activity.

Meanwhile, the Public Health Ministry is calling on all food outlets to adhere to Covid-19 safety measures. Suwannachai Wattanayingcharoenchai from the Department of Health says many migrant workers are employed at food and drink outlets, either cooking or serving customers. He says food establishments must ensure meat is thoroughly cooked and couriers delivering food should always wear face masks, wash their hands, and keep a distance of at least 1 metre between them and customers.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Friday, January 15, 2021 at 10:47 am

    They have set up a panel to consider criminal prosecution.
    What is there to consider. They broke the law, slap the cuffs on them.
    But they won’t . . .

  2. Avatar

    Kim

    Friday, January 15, 2021 at 10:54 am

    Corruption starts at the top. Look at other banana republics incl but not limited to US.

  3. Avatar

    Maestro

    Friday, January 15, 2021 at 12:50 pm

    Only 33? I think two 00s are missing. They will be sent to inactive posts which means absolutely nothing, and when the heat is off they will be back to their original posts.

    It would be great if the final reports of panels and committees were made public but that is a big ask for obvious reasons.

    • Avatar

      Slugger

      Friday, January 15, 2021 at 2:29 pm

      Name these 3300 that you think are involved? You cant because its just suspicion. Pointless.

  4. Avatar

    Mahalong

    Friday, January 15, 2021 at 1:25 pm

    There won’t be any charges and facts in the open because it goes too far up to the top ! Thailand basket case corrupt sewer !

  5. Avatar

    Ben

    Friday, January 15, 2021 at 11:48 pm

    Crooked police in Thailand are like crooked police anywhere including the USA. Very difficult to hold them accountable. 99% get away with crimes you and I would be sent away for.

    The whole crackdown on migrant smuggling, illegal gambling dens, etc. is due to COVID. The government seems very motivated to keep COVID out and once it’s under control and managed in the future these illegal activities will resume.

    Things will change if people in power want it bad enough. This stuff doesn’t qualify.

  6. Avatar

    Surprise

    Saturday, January 16, 2021 at 7:24 am

    Noo!!!! it is impossible that the Thai police and officials are involved in this ….it must be a fake news …

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

International travellers allowed to transit Thailand from Monday

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International travellers allowed to transit Thailand from Monday | The Thaiger

International travellers will now be allowed to transit Thailand from Monday after the Civil Aviation Authority relaxed Covid‐19measures. The lifting of stringent travel regulations comes after Thailand reports a drop in Covid infections to double digits since February 20.

CAAT also says regulations are being relaxed on domestic travel as well. The authority says operators of domestic flights can resume serving in-flight meals and drinks starting from Thursday.

Transport Minister, Sasksayam Chidchob, says the move is part of a resolution by the Centre for Covid‐19 Situation Administration to relax measures. Flight attendants and passengers, however, are still mandated to follow Covid control measures that include wearing face masks during the length of the flight except when eating or drinking.

In-flight meals and drinks were banned on December 30 under the government’s 4th announcement, but was cancelled when CAAT director general made a fifth announcement nullifying the regulation.

International passengers have been under strict regulations for a while, including being unable to transit at Thai airports or to transfer to other flights through Thai airports.

Samut Sakhon province, the epicentre of the second wave of Covidin Thailand, has reportedly been successful at disease control in high‐risk areas, including the Central Shrimp Market, which has been closed for over two months.

But that may change as rumour has it that the market may reopen from Monday, but an official announcement has yet to be made by the CCSA. Deputy governor Teerapat Kutchamath visited the market, assuring that it was, indeed, ready to open by Monday, while plans are already being set to make merit, in light of its expected reopening.

Meanwhile, The CCSA reports 72 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the Kingdom today. 63 of those cases were domestically‐transmitted while 9 were imported.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand

PM Prayut postponing Covid‐19 vaccination citing paperwork issues

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PM Prayut postponing Covid‐19 vaccination citing paperwork issues | The Thaiger

Thailand’s PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is postponing his inaugural Covid‐19 vaccination citing paperwork issues with the AstraZeneca vaccine shipment. According to Khaosod English, the vaccine shipment was sent to Thailand last Wednesday from South Korea, but was missing the additional required paperwork.

Prayut was supposed to receive the vaccine tomorrow, but the highly‐publicised event will not be happening. According to Khaosod English, an official at the Secretariat of the Prime Minister has also confirmed the news of the postponement without citing a reason.

Although the Sinovac vaccine is also being administered in Thailand, healthcare officials say Prayut is too old to receive it as its age limit is 60. Prayut is 66 years old, which is well over the oldest age that can receive the vaccine.

The Sinovac vaccine drive is set to commence on Monday, 2 weeks behind schedule. Those frontline health workers, hospitality workers and vulnerable groups will receive the vaccines first.

Meanwhile, Phuket is waiting for the green lightto start administering vaccines and has already held a vaccine administration rehearsal overseen by Phuket Vice Governor Pichet Panapong along with other health officials.

Pichet says the first vaccine round of 4,000 doses should arrive early in March, with the 2nd and 3rd set of doses, 16,000 and 48,000 respectively, to arrive in April and May.

The government pandemic center reported 72 new confirmed infections on Friday, after first only reporting 45 new cases. 37 of those cases were locally-transmitted, and one 6 year old Thai girl returning from the UK was found to have tested positive for the virus. Samut Sakhon, again, reported over half of the new cases yesterday, as it remains the epicentre of Thailand’s second wave of the coronavirus outbreak.

The total virus tally in Thailand sits at 25,764, with 83 fatalities. The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration has not yet announced the amount of new cases for today.

There is no word yet on when PM Prayut will be rescheduled to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine.

SOURCE: Khaosod English

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket holds vaccine administration rehearsal as it waits for green light

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Phuket holds vaccine administration rehearsal as it waits for green light | The Thaiger

Phuket is rehearsing procedures to ready themselves for the Covid‐19 vaccine administration green light. A rehearsal at Vachira Hospital’s Lan Muang Khao open area was held late yesterday to iron out any kinks in the administration process. Phuket Vice Governor Pichet Panapong watched over the procedures along with other health officials.

Pichet says the first vaccine round of 4,000 doses should arrive early in March, with the 2nd and 3rd set of doses, 16,000 and 48,000 respectively, to arrive in April and May.

“The government recognises the importance of the affected areas of the economy where the epidemic situation of COVID-19 must be stopped and has allocated the COVID-19 vaccine to Phuket Province to build herd immunity, restore the economy, return a smile to Thailand.”

“We are preparing to COVID-19 mass vaccination to build confidence among the people that they will receive a quality, safe vaccine and to receive follow-up care after it has been administered.”

Pichet says Phuket’s first target groups to receive the vaccine include medical and public health personnel, with others on the frontlines to come next.

Then, workers aged 18-59 years old, people with underlying diseases including chronic respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, cerebrovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity will follow.

“People with severe neurological conditions and pregnant women should be wary of taking the vaccine, as well as women who are breastfeeding and people with immunodeficiency.”

The procedure to get vaccinated starts by recipients undergoing screening by having their temperatures taken, and then sanitising their hands before entering the administration area. Then, they will move their way through a series of steps, detailed below:

Step 1: Register

Step 2: Record weight and blood pressure

Step 3: Pass the screening process by have their medical history and risk assessment recorded and then signing a consent to receive the vaccine

Step 4: Wait for vaccination

Step 5: Vaccination

Step 6: Rest for 30 minutes, while being observed for symptoms. Then scan the official Line account “หมอพร้อม” (“Doctor Ready”)

Step 7: Pass a final check before receiving a document confirming vaccination

Pichet says health workers will follow up with vaccine recipients after 1,7, and 30 days from being vaccinated to monitor any adverse reactions.

Those who are set to receive their second jab will have appointments made for them. Those who receive the Sinovac vaccine will be scheduled to have their second doses 2 to 4 weeks after the first. AstraZeneca vaccine receivers will be scheduled for their second doses 10 to 12 weeks after the first.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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