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‘Phoenix’ fails to attract any bidders at auction. Sits rotting in Phuket boatyard.

The Thaiger

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‘Phoenix’ fails to attract any bidders at auction. Sits rotting in Phuket boatyard. | The Thaiger
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Last month’s auction to sell Phoenix, the tour boat that capsized causing the drowning of 47 Chinese tourists on July 5 last year, has failed to secure a buyer. Meanwhile the cursed vessel sits gathering dust and accumulating storage fees of 100,000 baht per month at the Rassada boat yard in Phuket.

The boat went up for auction last month at a starting price of 900,000 baht but, not surprisingly, the offer didn’t attract any interest. Investigations into the vessel’s sea-worthiness have already declared that major modification will have to be made for it to gain a certificate for operation.

The Thaiger also notes that Asian cultures have an aversion to ghosts, and with 47 lost souls on Phoenix after the boat sank, any buyer will have to cope with a major refit as well as the more difficult PR exercise before anyone would ever step foot on her decks again.

Authorities believe the boat may be sold to a foreign company and used as a private boat rather than for tour operations in the future. They also speculate it could be harvested for spare parts on another boat in the future.

So far the Anti Money Laundering Office has spent a reported 700,000 baht storing Phoenix at the Rattanachai Boatyard, east of Phuket’s main business hub of Phuket Town.

Phoenix was seized during the investigation into the vessel’s sinking when it was found that a Thai shelf company had been used as a legal ‘shop-front’ for Chinese owners who had funded the boat’s construction.

Another tour boat, the Serenita, also capsized on the same night during the freak storm off the south west coast of Phuket, but the 42 passengers were rescued.

'Phoenix' fails to attract any bidders at auction. Sits rotting in Phuket boatyard. | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Visa

100+ foreigners ripped off in education visa scam on Koh Pha Ngan

The Thaiger

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100+ foreigners ripped off in education visa scam on Koh Pha Ngan | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Manager Online

A language school in Koh Pha Ngan has ripped off more than 100 tourists claiming that they were able to issue them with a 1 year education visa.

A group of the victims have made an official report with the local police over the scam. The tourists were from the US, UK, Germany, France and Russia. Manager Online report that more than 100 people had been allegedly conned by the school in the Sri Thanu area of the island. The report explained that the people had originally heard about the school being able to get them a 1 year education visa from teachers working there.

The group have now made an official report, sending documentation to Koh Phangan district chief Poonsak Sophonpathumrak and the island’s chief of police Pol Col Phisit Wisetwong and Immigration police.

They allege that they had been asked for 40,000 baht each for courses at the school on the understanding that the school would issue visas for them, changing their Non-B into an ED-Visa, as a way of extending their time in Thailand.

They told police that they had put down a 50% down payment tot eh school. Their visas were promised five weeks ago. But when no paperwork turned up they headed to the mainland Surat Thani immigration office where they were told it wasn’t possible to change a Non-B into an education (ED) visa. When they confronted the school they were told there would be no refunds.

This isn’t the only case of institutions and bogus visa agents taking advantage of the current confusion on visa amnesties and extensions. Immigration police are sorting through a range of similar cases.

Police assure the victims that they are investigation the case.

SOURCE: Manager | Thai Visa

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Thailand

Man arrested for allegedly driving with monitor lizards tied to his motorbike

Caitlin Ashworth

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Man arrested for allegedly driving with monitor lizards tied to his motorbike | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Line Today

A man was arrested on animal abuse charges for allegedly catching water monitor lizards, tying them to his motorbike and driving around Prachuap Khri Khan, south of Phetchaburi province.

The man, who is identified as Chaowalit, posted photos on Facebook of lizards tied up to the back of his motorbike. One photo shows a large monitor lizard tied up to the back of the bike, hanging upside-down. Apparently, Chaowalit has been posting photos for about 4 months now on Facebook page on wildlife hunting.

Officials from the Kui Buri National Park were notified about the photos and a team of special unit officers were sent to Chaowalit’s house to arrest him. He was charged with catching and harming protected wildlife as well as violating the Wild Animal Reservation Protection Act. If found guilty, he could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine up to 1 million baht.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Phuket

Man arrested after allegedly slicing a man’s face with sickle

Caitlin Ashworth

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Man arrested after allegedly slicing a man’s face with sickle | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO

A man was arrested on charges of grievous bodily harm after he allegedly sliced his friend’s face with a sickle, causing a gash about 25 centimetres long.

3 men, identified as Saeng, Ta and Rop, had been drinking at a shanty in Phuket’s Rassada district where Rop lived. An argument broke out over money. A bank transfer was apparently made, but no one received any money, according to Rop as he related the story to police.

The men didn’t come to an agreement and ended up going to bed. Ta stayed awake and slapped Saeng twice while he was falling asleep, Rop says. Saeng then got up, grabbed the sickle and swung the hooked blade across Ta’s cheek, Rop says.

Reports don’t go into detail about Ta’s condition, but photos of the scene by the Phuket News show a significant amount of blood on the concrete floor.

SOURCE: Phuket News

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