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Bangkok taxi driver dies after flipping his car on toll road

Jack Burton

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Bangkok taxi driver dies after flipping his car on toll road | The Thaiger
PHOTO: The taxi comes to rest upside-down at a toll booth on the Din Daeng Tollway
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A taxi driver has died after passing out on Bangkok’s Din Daeng tollway, crashing his taxi into concrete barriers and flipping the car over. Police and rescue workers arrived to find the driver, 59 year old Manas Mapradit, already deceased in the car, with his female passenger trapped inside. They managed to rescue the woman and take her to hospital.

The unidentified woman told police that the taxi driver mentioned his health problems shortly before passing out.

Elswhere in Bangkok, investigations continue into the mystery a gunmen that fired shots into the white Lexus of former tourist police chief Surachat Hakparn, aka. “Big Joke’s” on Monday night.

Surachat was at a “business meeting” (his own words, but later revealed to be a massage establishment) at the time of the incident, his white Lexus SUV parked outside. All eight bullet holes were found in the doors on the left side, according to The Bangkok Post.

Surachat, who’s now an adviser to the Thai PM’s office, was certain the shots were meant to kill him, but said he had no idea why and had no conflict with anyone.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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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.

Bangkok

Thai couple arrested in Bangkok for allegedly trafficking 1 million methamphetamine pills

Caitlin Ashworth

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Thai couple arrested in Bangkok for allegedly trafficking 1 million methamphetamine pills | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thairath

Police in Bangkok arrested a Thai couple for allegedly smuggling 1 million methamphetamine pills. Police say 28 year old Weerasak Jedhun and 29 year old Jutharat Daengnoi planned to deliver and distribute the drugs to clients in the South.

The arrests stem from an earlier bust in Nonthaburi, a suburb outside Bangkok, where police seized 1 million methamphetamine pills and 15 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, according to police. The Patrol and Special Operation Division say that after the bust, they got a tip about a drug trafficking operation from a similar network.

Police stopped and arrested the couple at a petrol station in Bangkok. Along with seizing 1 million methamphetamine pills, police confiscated 3 mobile phones and a car.

Weerasak and Jutharat allegedly told police that they were paid about 50,000 baht to drive from the southern province Phatthalung up to Bangkok, pick up the drugs and drive back to the South to distribute the pills. The couple allegedly told police they were hired for a 3 month stint.

Police say Weerasak is also allegedly involved in 4 other drug cases. In one case, a methamphetamine pill was allegedly found in his pocket, but he claims a police officer set him up.

SOURCE: Pattaya News

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Bangkok

Court acquits PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, allowing him to stay on at military residence

Caitlin Ashworth

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Court acquits PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, allowing him to stay on at military residence | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai PBS World

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha will be staying in office and at his military residence. Bangkok’s Constitutional Court ruled today that the prime minister and former Thai general and commander of the Thai Army has not violated the charter by occupying a military-owned residence. The court says under military regulations, former officers can remain at their Army residence after their retirement at the discretion of the Thai Army commander.

Pro-democracy protesters have been pushing on Prayut to resign since July, along with calling for a rewrite of the 2017 Constitution together with reform of the government and role of the monarchy. Recently, Prayut was accused of violating the Constitution by staying at an official Army residence, rent-free, after his ‘retirement’ as General Prayut in 2014. Some say the tenancy represents a conflict of interest and the prime minister was abusing his power. A guilty ruling would’ve potentially put an end to his premiership.

Sections 184 and 186 of the Thai Constitution forbid a government minister from “receiving any special money or benefit from a government agency, state agency or state enterprise apart from that given by the government agency, state agency or state enterprise to other persons in the ordinary course of business.”

Prayut told the court that he was staying at the residence at the First Infantry Battalion of Royal Guards because his home in Baan Phitsanulok was being renovated and that his security team suggested he live at the Army residence for safety, a source told Nation Thailand.

Similar housing has been provided to former Army chiefs who are now members of the Cabinet, Privy Council and Parliament, according to the Royal Thai Army. They add that the residence was provided to Prayut because the prime minister “deserves the honour and security it provides.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Thai Airways to resume flights from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and Phuket

Caitlin Ashworth

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Thai Airways to resume flights from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and Phuket | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai Airways

After nearly 9 months on the ground due to the coronavirus pandemic, along with problems balancing their accounts, Thai Airways will resume flights between Bangkok and Chiang Mai as well as Bangkok and Phuket later this month. The flights will start back up on Christmas day.

Flights from Bangkok to the 2 key tourist provinces have been grounded since April 1. Starting December 25, the airline will run 3 flights a week on both routes. A source told the Bangkok Post that the new schedules will run until at least February 28.

Thai Lion Air, Thai Air Asia, Nok Air, Thai Smile, VietJet Air and Bangkok Airways have returned to the domestic skies since July and slowly adding frequency to their routes.

In addition to resuming the domestic flights, the Thai Airways is relaunching some international flights from January 1 to March 27 including weekly flights to Frankfurt, London, Copenhagen, Sydney, Seoul, Manila, Taipei and Osaka. Flights from Bangkok to Tokyo will be available 3 times a week and flights from Bangkok to Hong Kong will be available every day.

Thai Airways has been tackling bankruptcy throughout the lockdown and trying to make up for more than 300 billion baht in losses. Since many flights were suspended due to travel restrictions, Thai Airways has tried to make money by business ventures on the ground, like a pop-up restaurant serving in-flight meals and selling off unwanted equipment from their warehouse. There also disposing of much of their older fleet, including all of their Boring 747-400s.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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