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Deputy PM Prawit backtracks after denying existence of Bangkok gambling dens

Maya Taylor

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Deputy PM Prawit backtracks after denying existence of Bangkok gambling dens | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Chiang Rai Times
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Whoops. Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwon says his recent claim that there are no illegal gambling dens in Bangkok was all a misunderstanding. The nation’s favourite watch collector and Minister of Misunderstanding was forced to backtrack after the public scoffed and mocked his claims.

“I didn’t mean that gambling dens do not exist. We all know that there are gambling dens, but it is the duty of police to eradicate these illicit activities.”

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered an investigation into illegal gambling dens after a number of cases of Covid-19 were linked to such venues. 1 man, thought to have contracted the virus at a gambling establishment in the eastern province of Rayong, has died. The provincial police chief has since been transferred, as have 6 Bangkok police officers, following a raid on a gambling den in the capital.

Yesterday, Bangkok police carried out a significant number of arrests related to similar venues. Deputy Bangkok police chief Piya Tawichai says 94 people were arrested at a location in the Chaeng Watthana area, while another man, named as Amnuay Kiatdonmuang, was taken into custody in Don Muang and charged with organising gambling activities and employing illegal migrant workers.

In the first group of arrests, 13 people charged with being gambling hosts have been given 7 month prison sentences and fines of 15,000 baht, while 81 people were sentenced to 15 days’ imprisonment and also fined 15,000 baht. Meanwhile, Amnuay has been charged with organising gambling and hiring illegal migrant workers. Police are now trying to determine if he has been in contact with a group of 18 migrants, in which 7 have tested positive for Covid-19.

Police have also raided a gambling den in the Pinklao area after 2 employees tested positive for the virus while visiting Kanchanaburi, in western Thailand. Both have confessed to working at the illegal establishment.

Meanwhile, Bangkok’s deputy police chief, Piya, says officers have been busy raiding illegal gambling dens and arresting people for several months, but would not be drawn on how many venues are believed to still be operational in the capital.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Peter

    Thursday, January 7, 2021 at 11:01 am

    Brilliant photo Thaiger.
    Sums up the story and Thailand perfectly.
    Apparently, tourists are being asked to leave Koh Tao and ferries cancelled to Koh Samui etc.
    Someone tell these Thai inbreeds that this virus is here to stay. It will appear every winter, vaccine or no vaccine.
    Just so our readers know, the more effective the vaccination campaign, the more pressure is put on the virus to mutate.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Thursday, January 7, 2021 at 11:23 am

      … and the relevance of that to the article is what?

      Yet another example of comments that are nothing more than “hate speech” and “misinformation” that contribute nothing to this otherwise excellent site.

    • Avatar

      Timsahb

      Thursday, January 7, 2021 at 11:58 am

      No one has been asked to leave Koh Tao. Ferries have temp stopped and screening will be done when they start again. Koh Tao has a large ex pat population and no covid so its pretty pleasent here.

    • Avatar

      Jean-Pierre

      Friday, January 8, 2021 at 12:43 am

      Peter, I understand the first 2 sentences.
      And then … nothing.
      I expected some explanations, clarifying why you think it is a “brilliant photo” and why it “sums up the story and Thailand perfectly”.
      Your other points are out of context. It can be true, I don’t know, but I do know that what you say is not related to the article and I miss your point …

  2. Avatar

    Alte Ledertasche

    Thursday, January 7, 2021 at 11:02 am

    Whole Thailand is a missunderstanding.

  3. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Thursday, January 7, 2021 at 2:18 pm

    He is saying: Oh my Buddha I forgot to wind up my top of the range expensive watches and I will have to reset all the times now!
    Er, I mean my 50 top of the range expensive watches that were LENT to me . . .

  4. Avatar

    Richard

    Thursday, January 7, 2021 at 5:37 pm

    Hush money hides there existence

  5. Avatar

    Pedro

    Thursday, January 7, 2021 at 5:38 pm

    The main point in this article that stands out for me is the practice in Thailand of transferring police officers who are under-performing in their roles as Managers or Operational Commanders. This appears to be preferable to Senior Managers instead of demoting and re-training them (if they were ever trained for their roles in the first place) or maybe even firing them as they seem to be unable to fulfil a police management role, although endemic corrupt practices may be a part of that particular problem. When you transfer someone, you are simply passing your problem onto someone else, instead of taking proper remedial action to solve the problem.

  6. Avatar

    Issan John

    Thursday, January 7, 2021 at 6:49 pm

    In practice those “transferred” are moved to “inactive posts” or posts where they have next to no responsibility; it’s not just saving face for the individual but also for those who were responsible for putting them there.

    While it obviously doesn’t apply to the post of provincial police chief, rank here doesn’t always mean “Senior Manager”, etc. One of the Bib I knew told me he was doing the same admin job as a Police Special Colonel / Brigadier / Commander that he did as a Captain / Chief Inspector.

  7. Avatar

    Mr cynic

    Thursday, January 7, 2021 at 11:50 pm

    It also means they save there pension at the seniority level they have achieved.It goes on in the west also but it is a bit more transparent in asia that’s all.

    • Avatar

      Toby Andrews

      Friday, January 8, 2021 at 10:55 am

      Yes a Manchester police chief recently retired before he was fired to keep his pension.
      Manchester police were not recording crime reports.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

State Railway of Thailand furloughs 57 locals trains from Tuesday

The Thaiger

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State Railway of Thailand furloughs 57 locals trains from Tuesday | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Baolau

Thailand State Railway governor says that cancellations will affect 13 local services on the northern line, 18 on the northeastern routes, 12 in the southern region and 14 eastern trains.

“Most of the cancelled trains will start at Hua Lamphong station, including trains that are popular with tourists, including services to Kanchanaburi and Hua Hin.”

Niruj Maneepun says the move is to support the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration’s effort to curb the virus’ spread by maintaining travel restrictions.

“Already all sightseeing and most long-haul trains have been temporarily cancelled due to Covid-19.”

Thailand has logged 13,500 confirmed infections and 73 deaths since the start of the pandemic in January 2020. The current outbreak that began on December 20, with the epicentre centred around seafood markets in coastal Samut Sakhon, has spread to 63 Thai provinces.

Recently, Bangkok has allowed the reopening of 13 types of businesses as long as they follow strict guidelines surrounding safety measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Businesses allowed to reopen under these measures…

  • Banquet venues, which will need authorisation from BMA for events with over 300 participants
  • Beauty salons, tattoo and piercing shops
  • Fitness centers, but personal trainers and communal steam rooms are not allowed
  • Game Arcades; but all points of contact must be regularly disinfected and facemasks worn at all times.
  • Internet cafés
  • Senior nursing homes, but with limited activities
  • Sports venues, except for boxing rings and race tracks, but no audiences allowed
  • Spas, Thai massage shops, excluding massage parlours
  • Gymnasia and boxing venues for training only
  • Bowling alleys and ice skating rinks, but no competitions or audiences allowed
  • Dancing academies
  • Martial art schools, but no tournaments or audiences allowed
  • Amulet shops and markets

Other provinces in Thailand, such as Chonburi, are waiting for the green light to reopen businesses and travel. Chonburi has reported 0 cases of Covid for 3 days in a row, prompting locals to become frustrated with the strict measures that won’t ease up until at least the end of the month.

SOURCE:Bangkok Post

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Tourism

Phuket lifts mandatory quarantine restrictions for ‘high risk’ arrivals. But were they ever applied?

The Thaiger

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Phuket lifts mandatory quarantine restrictions for ‘high risk’ arrivals. But were they ever applied? | The Thaiger

Culminating 2 weeks of mass confusion over the apparent mandatory self-quarantine for arrivals to Phuket from Bangkok and other high risk provinces, Phuket’s provincial communicable disease committee has agreed to lift the mandatory 14 day quarantine “to help boost the local economy hit by the Covid-19 pandemic”.

But for the vast majority of arrivals from Bangkok (DMK and BKK) to Phuket there wasn’t even any mention of quarantine. Over the past 2 weeks, since Phuket’s Governor released a 3 page announcement about new restrictions for the island, people have mostly been coming and going as usual. The only additional impediments were all arrivees having to download and fill in the Mor Chana app and registering with gophuget.com.

In 2 weeks not a single person has reported to The Thaiger that they had been forced to self-quarantine. Last night, when checking in at Suvarnabhumi airport for a Thai VietJet flight to Phuket, the person at the Check-In counter told the passenger (we’ll call them Mic to protect their identity) they would have to serve 14 days in state quarantine upon arrival in Phuket. Mic, surprised, asked for some sort of confirmation of this from airline management or information from the Phuket Provisional officials. None was forthcoming. Nothing more was said or communicated to the passengers.

When the plane landed in Phuket officials checked that passengers had completed the Mor Chana app and scanned their phones after they’d completed the gophuget.com registration. And that was it. No mention of quarantine.

The situation has been repeated by other Thaiger staff over the past 2 weeks as well, but without any mention of quarantine during the check-in or boarding procedures with various airlines. In all cases they flew from Suvarnabhumi or Don Mueang airports.

Phuket’s Governor Narong Woonciew says the decision to ease the Covid-19 restrictions for visitors followed calls from the business community seeking to lure visitors to Phuket. (The Thaiger wonders if any of these officials had actually travelled over the past 2 weeks)

Local businesses met with provincial authorities on Friday proposing an end to the mandatory quarantine period “for people travelling from certain high-risk areas” in the hope of “stimulating the tourism industry”. The proposal was less about stimulating and more about raising the industry from its current flatline.

But whatever mandatory quarantine they were asking to be lifted appears to be have been, at best, loosely applied anyway.

Phuket has has a triple hit. The first when the borders were closed in April and the international airport closed. The second was when December arrived, the start of the busy tourist high-season. The third was the new restrictions added 2 weeks ago in response to the 2nd wave of clusters that started on December 20, tripling the total number of Covid infections in the country in just over a month.

According to Bangkok Post, Sarayuth Mallum, president of the Phuket travel industry council, says… “strict disease control measures remain necessary to protect local people and tourists from contracting the virus”.

Somehow, the mandatory quarantine requirement instructions never reached the airport officials. But, for now anyway, the “restrictions” have been lifted anyway. What was you experience arriving in Phuket over the past week? Were you asked to conduct a mandatory 14 day self-quarantine?

In the meantime the struggling domestic airlines have been forced to massively cancel or reschedule flights. Over the past 2 days most airlines only had 1 or 2 flights to and from Phuket and Bangkok, down from the 4 – 10 daily flights some airlines were offering.

More about the Mor Chana App here…

More about the direct effects on the island of Phuket…

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Bangkok

Courteous thief apologises to Bangkok convenience store: Sorry I’ve a kid

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Courteous thief apologises to Bangkok convenience store: Sorry I’ve a kid | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Sanook

A young man armed with a knife allegedly robbed a convenience store in Ladprao district of Bangkok, stealing 1,800 baht. Before fleeing on a motorcycle, he apologised to the staff, saying “Sorry. I’ve a kid”.

It’s really hard to find a thief with good manners these days.

The female staff who was in the store when the man came in told the reporter that she saw the man in a cream shirt with short sleeves, walking in the store and carrying a bag. He suddenly pointed the knife to threaten the staff for money. The terrified staff walked to the cashier counter and gave him money.

After checking CCTV cameras, police say the thief is between 25-30 of his age, and was not wearing a face mask. He was seen parking his motorcycle in front of the store before entering. He appeared to be carrying what looked like a fruit packing knife. The police are now tracking him down.

SOURCE: Thai Visa| Sanook

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