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Surachate has nothing to say to media in his first public appearance

The Thaiger

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Surachate has nothing to say to media in his first public appearance | The Thaiger
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Former Immigration Bureau chief Surachate Hakparn, and confidant of Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan, said nothing yesterday about his abrupt transfer to an inactive post at the RTP HQ in Bangkok.

In his first public appearance following the transfer order from the national police chief Pol General Chakthip Chaijinda back to ‘inactive duties”, Surachate reported to work at the Royal Thai Police headquarters just before lunchtime yesterday. He smiled for the media throng but had little to say.

But he answered a phone call from a journalist who wanted to know about the transfer.

“It’s inappropriate for me to talk about it. Let the boss provide the explanation. I don’t feel it’s right for me to talk,” Surachate responded. When asked if he was all right, the officer said there was no problem at all.

Last Friday, the Thai police chief quietly issued an order transferring Surachate out of the top job at the Immigration Bureau to an inactive position at the police operation centre.

Whilst there’s been plenty of speculation, no more details are yet forthcoming.

Surachate’s social media accounts, including Facebook and Instagram, are still offline and have been unavailable since Friday evening. His Facebook account has more than 200,000 followers. Surachate was an active social media user with almost daily posts including photos with him as he criss-crossed the country arresting ‘baddies’ with the daily pack of media and his growing uniformed team in tow.

According to an unconfirmed source, The Nation reports that the national police chief had assigned one of his deputies to investigate Surachate over six counts of wrongdoing.

Meanwhile, deputy national police chief Pol General Srivara Ransibhramanakul is denying media reports that he had been tasked with investigating Surachate’s alleged six counts of wrongdoing.

“This report is untrue,” he said.

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Bangkok

Chatuchak market is in worst crisis in 5 decades due to Covid-19, vendors say

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Chatuchak market is in worst crisis in 5 decades due to Covid-19, vendors say | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Bucketlistly

Chatuchak Weekend Market, Bangkok’s biggest market and a popular tourist destination, is hit hard by the new wave of Covid-19. With the lack of foreign tourists due to travel restrictions over the past year, as well as more locals staying at home despite the market’s strict disease control measures, the number of visitors at the market has dropped by 90%.

Vendors at the market say this is the worst situation in 50 years. Most of them report no sales at all. With little to no income, many shops at the market have shut down. Although the BMA is trying to relieve the situation by lowering the rental fees by half, that seems not enough to help the business. Some of the vendors have tried online trading, but sales are still low.

SOURCE: Thai Visa

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Bangkok

Eating out until 11pm in Bangkok is waiting for approval

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Eating out until 11pm in Bangkok is waiting for approval | The Thaiger
PHOTO: GQ Thailand

Bangkok restaurants may soon be allowed to stay open a little later. Health officials are considering easing up Covid-19 prevention measures by extending restaurant dine-in closing times to 11pm. If the proposal by the Thai Restaurant Association is given a green light, it may lead to the lifting ban of alcohol drinking.

After the order of shutting entertainment venues and banning alcohol sales in Bangkok, Samut Prakan, and Chonburi, the revenues in the alcohol beverage business plummeted. Under disease control measures, restaurants in Bangkok are ordered to stop dine-in services at 9pm and all alcohol sales are banned at restaurants to limit gatherings.

According to the president of the Thai Alcohol Business Association, the current ban on alcohol is estimated to cost about 90 billion baht in revenue. The lifting of the ban is then believed to stimulate the economy.

The Thai Chamber of Commerce says the Cabinet might review the proposal on closing hours tomorrow and act immediately to provide relief to restaurant operators as well as those in the alcohol beverage business.

SOURCE: Coconuts Bangkok

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

At least 19 Covid-19 cases linked to 2 parties, including celebrity’s birthday

Caitlin Ashworth

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At least 19 Covid-19 cases linked to 2 parties, including celebrity’s birthday | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Twitter: @matoom_efm

At least 19 Covid-19 cases are related to 2 parties – a 5-day New Years celebration in Chiang Mai and a birthday party in Bangkok for a famous TV and radio host Techin Ployphet, aka DJ Matoom, on January 9.

A senior police officer in Bangkok is the latest case possibly linked to the Bangkok “party cluster.” The officer tested positive for Covid-19 after coming in contact with someone who attended the celebrity’s birthday at the Vertigo restaurant and bar at the Banyan Tree Hotel.

After the party, the actor, as well as other attendees, later tested positive for Covid-19. DJ Matoom also attended a New Year’s celebration in Chiang Mai from January 1 to 5, which is also linked to a number of cases.

Department of Disease Control director general Opas Karnkawinpong says a man who attended the Chiang Mai probably carried the virus to Bangkok and spread it at DJ Matoom’s birthday party.

Since the police officer’s positive test result, the Criminal Records Division at the Royal Thai Police headquarters is temporarily closed for cleaning after a senior police officer tested positive for Covid-19.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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