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Prawit apologises after insensitive comments about Chinese boat disaster

The Thaiger

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“They build their own ships, don’t follow our rules.”

Thailand’s #2, deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan is again in hot water, this time for making comments about the Chinese that died in last Thursday’s boat disaster in Phuket, the second worst maritime disaster in Thailand (after the 2004 tsunami).

He suggested that Chinese people are to be blamed for the tourist ferry incident that killed at least 46 people when they drowned following the sinking of ‘Phoenix’.

In his Monday remarks, sparking anger on Chinese social media, Prawit made claims that ‘Phoenix’ was operated by an illegal Chinese business. He also said that ‘they’ ignored the forecasts on the day. Police said the incident remains under investigation.

“The Chinese did it to the Chinese. So what can I do about it? They build their own ships, don’t follow our rules.”

The controversial deputy PM was referring to current investigations that the company who owned and operated ‘Phoenix’ was a Thai shelf-company which was, on paper, Thai but in reality just used as a smokescreen to disguise the Chinese funding and operation of the boat in the waters off Phuket. The operators and some staff have also been revealed to be part of the Tranlee Travel Company that had its assets seized last year in a zero-dollar tour crackdown on Phuket.

Read more about the investigation HERE.

In a later interview with reporters the 72 year old deputy apologised saying he was only speaking based on what he was told.

“If I said anything that upsets people, I apologise.”

Thailand’s defence ministry spokesperson , Kongcheep Tantravanich, also jumped to the deputy PMs defence later re-affirming the apology. He said Thai officials are continuing to assist survivors and have been co-ordinating with Chinese officials at all times.

Read more about zero-dollar tourism HERE.

A Thai Facebook page following Chinese social media said Prawit’s comment drew widespread condemnation from Chinese netizens.

Investigators have so far called into question the design of the ‘Phoenix’, the quality and manufacture of the buoyancy vests, the Thai officials who may have issued registration paperwork and the bonfires of the actual company running the tour operation.

The Chinese tourism ministry in Beijing has already issued a statement urging Chinese travelers to closely monitor weather and sea conditions and obey all warnings.

- The Thaiger

If you have story ideas, a restaurant to review, an event to cover or an issue to discuss, contact The Thaiger editorial staff.

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Bangkok

Officials seize decorative corals in Chatuchak, Bangkok

The Thaiger

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Thai PBS are reporting that police and officials in Bangkok have swooped on shops in Chatuchak, in Bangkok’s northern suburbs, and seized a substantial haul of decorative corals and coralline algae.

A member of the Yiew Dong (forest hawk) task force of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, said the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment received lots of complaints from the public about several shops in the Chatuchak area selling banned marine products such as corals and coralline algae as well as protected wildlife species.

With search warrants issued by the Criminal Court, members of the task force, police and officials launched a coordinated raid, targeting three shops suspected of harboring the illegal items.

At one shop, reportedly owned by 24 year old Ms Supatra Saengkham, officials found nine packs of hard corals and 15 soft coral packs.  Police say the shop does not have a permit to possess or trade in these items.

At the second shop, Khun Nuwat, from the Yiew Dong task force, said the shopowner shuttered the shop and escaped before the arrival of the raiding party.  Nevertheless officials used a bolt cutter to cut the lock and entered the shop where they found 29 hard coral packs.

Three more soft coral packs were found in the third shop and its owner, Mr Sikharin Siriboon admitted he owned the corals but could not produce any official permit.

Khun Nuwat said that most of the corals would be sold to aquarium tropical fish enthusiasts at between 20-500 baht for a small pack.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

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Bangkok

Bangkok driver threatens woman with machete

The Thaiger & The Nation

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“The clip shows a man at the wheel of a black Toyota Camry, repeatedly trying to cut in front of a car whose dashboard cam is recording the incident, by driving against the traffic.”

Netizens are condemning a male driver caught on video threatening a female driver with a machete after he drove against the traffic to cut in front of her car.

According to the date stamped on the clip by the woman’s dashboard camera, the incident took place yesterday (Tuesday) at 10am on a Bangkok road with two lanes on each side.

The clip was first posted on YouTube by a woman, who has withheld her identity, explaining only that the woman driver was a friend of her mother’s and that she had filed a complaint with police.

The clip went viral after it was later shared by popular Facebook page Hia Kub Rot. By 8am on Wednesday, 12 hours after the clip was shared on the page, it had been viewed more than 178,000 times and shared more than 37,000 times. It received over 4,600 reactions and 1,300 comments, most condemning the man.

The clip shows a man at the wheel of a black Toyota Camry, repeatedly trying to cut in front of a car whose dashboard cam is recording the incident, by driving against the traffic.

The man finally managed to complete the illegal overtaking manoeuvre after they drove through an intersection. He then stopped his car, exited, opened the trunk and pulled out the large knife. The dash board video shows him walking towards the woman’s car before he disappears from shot. The person who posted the YouTube clip said he then tried to open the door before giving up, walking back to his car and driving off.

เหี้ยพกดาบ

เอ้าาา คนเก่งกับผู้หญิงซะด้วย ถือว่ามีดาบมีมีด มึงไม่พอใจใคร มึงจะไปกระชากประตูรถคนอื่นจะฟันจะแทงเค้าดื้อๆ คือมึงย้อนศรเลนคนอื่นเค้า แล้วจะมาแทรกคนอื่นแบบหน้าด้านๆ พอเจอปิดทางไม่ให้เข้าเสือกหัวร้อน อยากเด่น อยากดัง พ่อคนเก่งกล้าห้าวหาญ กูจัดให้งามๆเลย ปักหมุดไว้ด้วยยาวๆเลย หน้าชัดๆ ทะเบียนชัดๆ กล้องชัดๆแบบนี้ กูหล่ะชอบมากกกกกกกกก อยากรู้จริงๆ ตอนโดนตำรวจลากคอ ออกหมายศาล โดนประกาศจับข้อหาใช้อาวุธข่มขู่ หรือพยายามฆ่า มึงจะเก่งสักแค่ไหน เดี๊ยวก็ออกมาหงายการ์ด "รู้เท่าไม่ถึงบึงกาญ" หงอเป็นตัวเหี้ยน้อย คลิปนี้กูหมั่นไส้แม่งเป็นการส่วนตัวเลย กราบพวกมึงหล่ะ แชร์ออกไปเยอะๆเลย——————————วันนี้คุณ​แม่เพื่อนขับรถไปส่งหลาน เจอผู้ชายคนนี้มาแทรกค่ะ ไม่ให้เข้า พอเค้าแซงได้จอดรถลงมาเอามีด แล้วเดินมากระชากประตูรถคุณแม่ นี่ลงบันทึกไว้แล้วฝากแชร์หน่อยนะคะ ขอบคุณ​มากค่ะCr : เจ้าของคลิปไม่ขอเอ่ยนาม

Posted by เฮียขับรถ on Tuesday, July 17, 2018

STORY: The Nation

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Bangkok

Ex-insurance broker arrested for alleged 10 million baht credit card scam

The Thaiger & The Nation

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A 27 year old former insurance broker has been arrested along with information on approximately 20,500 credit-card accounts, some of which Police allege he used to make online purchases. Police estimate the amounts involve more than 10 million baht over recent years.

Officers from the Metropolitan Police’s Intelligence Analysis and Special Tools Sub-Division cooperated with Bank of Ayudhya’s investigation and anti-fraud division to conduct a probe that led to the arrest of 27 year old Piraeus Krutthaphan.

Police say Pirayut had been arrested at his apartment on Soi Inthamara 44 in Bankgok’s Din Daeng district early Monday. He was arrested under a warrant issued by the Criminal Court on June 13 on charges of using other people’s electronic cards to cause economic damage.

Police say Pirayut had acquired credit-card numbers, ID card numbers, mobile phone numbers and creditcard expiry dates from a friend, who used to work as an insurance broker for Bank of Ayudhya. Pirayut also used to work as an insurance broker and knew all the tactics for deceiving owners for credit cards into providing him with the three digits on the back their cards – crucial data required for completing online purchases.

“Piryaut had disguised himself as a bank or insurance official and telephoned the owners of credit cards, whose data he had purchased from his friend, to deceive them into giving up the three digits. He mainly told his targets that he needed the three digits in order to extend their insurance policies.”

The police commander explained that Pirayut had recently used the stolen credit-card data to make online purchases worth 3 million baht, but it was believed that he had caused damage of more than 10 million baht through his scam during the past several years.

Pirayut was arrested back in April and had been released on bail pending his trial, but he had allegedly committed the same crime again, he added. Police have yet to arrest the friend who sold the credit-card data to him.

SOURCE: The Nation

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