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British man arrested on Koh Phangan over local drug charges

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PHOTO: Chiang Rai Times

A UK national is now in custody in Koh Phangan following an arrest for for drug possession with intent to sell. The arrest followed a tip-off that a foreigner, riding a Harley Davidson around the island, was selling drugs to tourists on the island.

Police say that 36 year old Matthew Beresford was stopped after “acting suspiciously”. He was riding his Harley Davidson at the time. Police searched his room found 0.4 grams of heroin, 0.2 grams of MDMA, 51 grams of morphine and 185 grams of marijuana. None of the amounts of drugs seized were trafficable quantities.

The police charged Beresford with possessing illegal drugs. They also seized his two motorbikes, a car and 15,000 baht in cash.

Meanwhile, last Friday a 31 year old British man was arrested in Pattaya, wanted for extradition on drug charges. He was caught by Crime Suppression police in Pattaya. Crime Suppression Division police arrested British citizen, Mark Rumble, in Pattaya.

Police claim the British Embassy had asked the Thai Foreign Ministry to help track down Mr Rumble. He is alleged to have committed a string of drug offences in the UK. He is alleged to have fled the UK to Thailand to avoid charges. CSD investigators found Rumble had entered Thailand on October 11 on a 30 day visa. They tracked him down to the house in Pattaya.

During interrogation, the British suspect denied the charges. He accused his former Thai wife of filing the drug charges against him.

SOURE: Chiang Rai Times

British man arrested on Koh Phangan over local drug charges | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Mark Rumble being questioned by police in Pattaya

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Thailand

Around 9,000 people to face charges for allegedly defrauding travel subsidy scheme

Caitlin Ashworth

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Around 9,000 people to face charges for allegedly defrauding travel subsidy scheme | The Thaiger
PHOTO: MGR Online

Around 9,000 people will face criminal charges for allegedly defrauding the “We Travel Together” subsidy scheme which was launched to stimulate the economy and to help hotels and restaurants that were struggling after the lack of travel due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The national police chief Suwat Jangyodsuk says the police plan to prosecute around 9,000 people for conspiring with hotel operators and shop owners to cheat the government subsidy scheme. The scheme, launched by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, covered 40% of room rates and issued 600 baht and 900 baht food vouchers for food and travel.

Lower rates on rooms were intended to draw in more travellers, but a number of hoteliers allegedly raised their prices to get more subsidies. Some even created fake hotel bookings. Last month, TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn filed a complaint against 312 hotels and 202 shops for allegedly cheating the scheme, saying legal action needed to be taken before the launching the second phase of the scheme.

Yesterday, police arrested 50 people in raids in Chiayaphum and Phuket for allegedly cheating the scheme. Police say some suspects faked shopping receipts and inflated room rates.

Natchaya Resort in Chaiyaphum was raided by police after it made excessive room reservations and subsidy claims for unusually high spending at local shops.

Deputy commander for the Crime Suppression Division, Anek Taosupap, says Natchaya Resort has only 10 rooms, but since July, records show 9,263 people had checked in for a total of 92,028 room reservations. He says that amounts to 1,000 to 3,000 fake room reservations per day.

Police say the losses linked to the resort amount to around 14 million baht and the embezzlements linked to 101 local shops add up to 87 million baht.

Police arrested the hotel owner and 22 shop owners as well as people who allegedly controlled the beneficiaries’ accounts and people who allegedly opened bank accounts to embezzle money. Another person who recorded room reservations for the hotel was also arrested.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand

Hotels and restaurants raided, 50 arrested for allegedly cheating “We Travel Together” subsidy scheme

Caitlin Ashworth

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Hotels and restaurants raided, 50 arrested for allegedly cheating “We Travel Together” subsidy scheme | The Thaiger
PHOTO: MGR Online

Several hotels and restaurants in Phuket and Chaiyaphum were raided this morning and 50 people were arrested for allegedly stealing from the government subsidy scheme “We Travel Together.” The scheme was launched to help businesses that were financially hit by the lack of tourists during the Covid-19 pandemic and to stimulate the battered economy.

Last month, the Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Yuthasak Supasorn filed a criminal complaint against 312 hotels and 202 shops for allegedly cheating the scheme which covered 40% of room rates and offered e-vouchers. Instead of lowering prices to draw in more travellers, some hoteliers and restaurateurs allegedly raised their prices to get more subsidies.

This morning, police arrested 38 people in Chaiyaphum and 12 people in Phuket suspected of cheating the subsidy scheme. Suspects, including hotel and restaurant operators, face charges ranging from fraud and false identification to misusing electronic cards and adding fraudulent information to the computer system.

Nation Thailand says the verification system for the scheme was not stringent and people were able to register fake hotels and list fake bookings. Some hotel operators recorded higher prices for rooms to get a bigger payoff from the government.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Thailand

16 Thai Navy officials investigated for alleged involvement in drug trafficking

Caitlin Ashworth

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16 Thai Navy officials investigated for alleged involvement in drug trafficking | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

The Royal Thai Navy is investigating 16 of its officials for alleged involvement in a drug trafficking operation earlier this month in the Isaan province Nong Khai which borders Laos. If the officials are found guilty, the Navy will immediately take both disciplinary and legal action, according to a spokesperson.

Local officials reportedly seized 2 million amphetamine tablets and 116 kilograms of methamphetamine from a suspect who allegedly smuggled the drugs across the Mekong River, which borders the province. The suspect allegedly fled the scene.

2 Navy officers took the drugs from local officials, saying they would secure the evidence and hold a press conference, which never happened, according to a complaint filed with the Anti-Corruption Police by the Crime Victims Assistance Club chairperson.

“About 20 minutes after the drug seizure, two men who claimed that they were officials from Navy’s Mekong Patrol Operation Command took the drugs from Nong Khai officials, saying that they would secure the evidence and later hold a press conference on the drug seizure… However, the press event was later cancelled.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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