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Human trafficking and drugs suspects nabbed using airport biometrics

Jack Burton

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Human trafficking and drugs suspects nabbed using airport biometrics | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO

2 suspects have recently been arrested using the biometric security system recently installed in international airports across Thailand. In the first case, a suspected human trafficker was apprehended after returning to Thailand during the Covid-19 crisis. Immigration officers received information from Chiang Mai police about a person travelling into Thailand from Japan.

On July 14, a Thai citizen returned to the Kingdom on flight JL031. At immigration the biometric system revealed that the person had an arrest warrant issued by the Chiang Mai Court on charges related to human trafficking. Immigration officers had no power to arrest the suspect as the case was under the jurisdiction of Chiang Mai police. Officials detained the man while he was in state quarantine for 14 days. Chiang Mai police arrested him as he left quarantine.

In the second case, immigration officers arrested a suspect for drug distribution at Bbangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport. A detective notified authorities of a plan to move narcotics from Bangkok to Udon Thani province. Officials kept an eye out for someone matching the suspect’s description, and a man was spotted.

Officials verified his identity using the biometric system and demanded to search his belongings. His suitcase was X-rayed and a suspicious box was seen inside. The suspect opened the suitcase and inside were 37 methamphetamine pills hidden in a cigarette packet.

SOURCE: Thai Residents | INN

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Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Chiang Mai. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

No room at the inn – Bangkok hospitals turning away people seeking Covid tests

Tim Newton

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No room at the inn – Bangkok hospitals turning away people seeking Covid tests | Thaiger

Today’s drop in newly reported infections by the CCSA has dampened Thai’s desire for a Covid test in and around Bangkok. Now, many hospitals around the city are restricting the numbers of patients tested. And if you want to be tested, Thai or foreigner, you better be ready to pay for it.

Thai Enquirer is reporting that at least 3 private hospitals are not accepting new Covid patients, including BNH Hospital, Praram 9 Hospital and Paolo Hospital in Phaholyotin. But even the latter, who had received a new batch of test kits, said they will take walk-ins but only from 0800 – 1700. The cost at Paolo Hospital is 4,500 baht.

According to Thai Enquirer, the city’s public hospitals are also limiting the number of new Covid tests. Thammasat University Hospital and King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital are doing tests but only on who they consider ‘at-risk’ communities, and only 100 tests per day. Taksin Hospital, on the west side of the Chao Phraya, is providing free Covid testing but, again, only people they consider ‘at-risk’ patients. None of them are providing the popular drive-through services. For the majority of the hospitals charging, costs for the tests are between 4,000 – 6,000 baht, depending on the patients and their perceived risk levels.

293 new infections were detected in Bangkok over the past 24 reporting period. 210 more cases were reported from provinces directly adjacent to Bangkok. Around the country there were 1,390 new cases reported this morning, down on yesterday and Saturday’s numbers but still well in excess of the numbers being reported in Thailand’s first and second waves.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thailand provincial figures for Monday’s Covid cases

Tim Newton

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Thailand provincial figures for Monday’s Covid cases | Thaiger

The NBT has published an infographic including all the provincial data on new Covid infections over the past 24 hours in Thailand. Note that some of the data is released by the provinces one day but not reported by the CCSA as a national tally until the following day.

Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Chon Buri, again, lead the way with the latest report. The provinces around Bangkok also feature heavily with today’s numbers. 63 of the country’s 77 provinces have all reported additional cases in the past 24 hours.

The CCSA earlier reported a total of 1,390 new Covid infections today. The tally is a welcome drop in new case reports after the last 5 days’ record levels of new infections. Yesterday there were 1,767 new infections reported.

3 more people have died of Covid-related illnesses, 14,851 people remain under state supervision.

Thailand provincial figures for Monday's Covid cases | News by Thaiger

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Website, self-quarantine for post-Songkran Bangkok travellers

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Website, self-quarantine for post-Songkran Bangkok travellers | Thaiger
PHOTO: bkkcovid19.bangkok.go.th website to register people returning to Bangkok.

Bangkok is taking proactive steps to deal with the likely surge of Covid-19 cases after the Songkran holiday, asking those returning to Bangkok to submit their timelines online and self-quarantine 14 days. Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwanmuang is urging all people entering Bangkok to visit a website where they can perform a self-evaluation to assess their Covid-19 risk.

The website, bkkcovid19.bangkok.go.th, allows travellers returning to Bangkok to input their travel timelines and their personal information after scanning a QR code. The system will help with contact tracing, aggregating all the travel information to make following any threads of Covid-19 spread much more efficient. Health officials will be able to access and contact anyone thought to have come in contact with a Covid-19 infected person.

Songkran is usually one of the busiest travel periods of the year with millions of people going on holiday or visiting relatives. The government launches road safety campaigns to combat the swell in traffic and accidents. And even with Covid-19 cancelling most Songkran celebrations, Bangkok still saw nearly 8 million vehicles coming and going this festival period. A swell in Coronavirus infections spread throughout the country is likely as people travelled all over Thailand and back to celebrate the Thai New Year’s holiday.

Governor Aswin explained the platform is hoped to help contain possible outbreaks by providing crucial information to health officials to trace Covid-19 spread. The system will analyze infection risk for each person who registers and give them instructions on how to proceed. People deemed to be at risk will receive a free Covid-19 swab test from Bangkok health officials, while low-risk cases will be instructed to self-quarantine for 2 weeks.

SOURCE: The Pattaya Mail

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