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Bangkok to move all motorcycle taxi ranks off sidewalks

Maya Taylor

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Bangkok to move all motorcycle taxi ranks off sidewalks | The Thaiger
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PHOTO: Win Drivers in Bangkok awaiting their next fare – Yahoo News

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration says they will move all motorcycle taxis ranks (also known as “Wins”) off the city’s pavements by the end of this year. The awaiting motorcycle taxis, with their colour-coded high-viz jackets, are ubiquitous around the capital

Naew Na reports that 495 ranks currently use the pavements in 50 districts around Bangkok, to wait for customers. In recent years their ‘come-to-us’ business model has been challenged with Apps like Grab Bike where the motorcycle rider will come to where they are, along with the security of driver profiles and guarantee of costs before they book the ride.

It’s reported that the take over of the city’s sidewalks has been the norm since 2014, when permission was granted, provided bikes were wheeled up on to the pavements before touting for business. Not all drivers complied with this condition.

The BMA has recently started fining motorbike drivers who ride their bikes on the pavements, and it’s understood the decision to move the ranks is an extension of this policy, with 100 having already been relocated.

Bangkok’s deputy governor, Sakonthee Patthiyakun, says he hopes they will all be moved by the end of the year although no official deadline has been confirmed. The city currently has 88,578 registered “Win” drivers, using over 5,000 ranks.

The ‘gang’ culture of the Win riders, along with the key-money they have to pay to get into a Win gang, has been criticised in the past.

SOURCE: Na Naew

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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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Air Pollution

Bangkok enveloped in bad smog Friday

The Thaiger

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Bangkok enveloped in bad smog Friday | The Thaiger

Get out the anti-pollution masks and turn on the air purifier, air pollution in Bangkok is at unhealthy levels. 64 locations in Bangkok were reported with high levels of the air pollutant PM2.5, according to the Pollution Control Department.

As a cold weather front in China weakens, air circulation is also slowing down, causing dust to accumulate and drop to a lower altitude, according to the director-general of the Pollution Control Department. A north east monsoonal airflow blows a lot of the smoke from burn-offs and agricultural activity in Thailand’s north, south and south westerly.

Bangkok is just in the flow of the winds from up north. Drivers are advised not to keep the vehicle’s engines running while parked. Farmers are also asked not to burn farm wastes in open fields.

Everyone should reduce outdoor activities, he says. 64 areas in Bangkok recorded the dust particles reaching unhealthy levels. The highest PM 2.5 levels were reported in Amphoe Muang of Samut Sakhon and were classified as “very unhealthy.”

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