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Is the Kathu Temple involved in a zero dollar Chinese tour scam?

Tim Newton

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Is the Kathu Temple involved in a zero dollar Chinese tour scam? | The Thaiger

Hundreds of Chinese tour buses are clogging the tiny streets around ‘old Kathu’ on the northern side of Phra Phuket Kaew Road every day to drop the tourists off at the Kathu Temple. The temple now has a full commercial operation offering religious amulets, some of them selling for 20,000 baht and more.

Tourists are guided around some of the temple’s displays and artefacts, and told stories about the displays, real or otherwise.

Spotlight Phuket, who went public with the story of police corruption in Patong last October, has described the commercial enterprise as a ‘scam’.

Speaking to two people involved in the daily operations of the tours on site, they admitted that the temple was working in conjunction with a Chinese tour company.

The tourists are being told that the amulets will ‘give them good luck’. We weren’t able to get any proof of these claims.

Is the Kathu Temple involved in a zero dollar Chinese tour scam? | News by The Thaiger

The temple’s commercial activities are another example of innocent Chinese tourists being dropped off at various activities, not included in their original agenda, where they are ‘encouraged’ to purchase over-priced, gems, latex (rubber products), herbs and herbal products, dried fruits and, in this case, religious amulets.

The issue of a Buddhist community temple being involved in questionable commercial activities is now being investigated by concerned local officials and police. A translator who works with one of the Chinese tour companies visiting the temple, says that the bus companies are being offered around 50% of the sales made to their tour groups as an incentive to bring the bus groups to the temple.

In the meantime the buses are causing traffic problems with the small streets of the adjacent village completely unsuited to the large buses meandering through the roads to get to the Kathu Temple.

 

Is the Kathu Temple involved in a zero dollar Chinese tour scam? | News by The Thaiger

 

 



Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Phuket. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2012. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for nearly 40 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program, presented 3,200 radio news bulletins in Thailand alone, hosted 360 daily TV news programs, produced 1,800 videos, TV commercials and documentaries and now produces digital media for The Thaiger - Website, Radio, TV, Instagram and Facebook.

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Phuket

Police hunting for driver in hit and run – Patong

The Thaiger

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Police hunting for driver in hit and run – Patong | The Thaiger

WARNING: Extreme graphic content

Patong Friday, January 18, 2.06am – Police are trying to locate the driver of this hit and run silver sedan in Patong. If you have any information please contact the Tourist Police or Patong Police – 1155 or 191 (Thai)

VIDEO: Newshawk Phuket

PHUKETWARNING: Extreme graphic contentPatong Friday, January 18, 2.06am – Police are trying to locate the driver of this hit and run silver sedan in Patong. If you have any information please contact the Tourist Police or Patong Police – 1155 or 191 (Thai)VIDEO: Newshawk Phuket

Posted by The Thaiger on Saturday, January 19, 2019

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South

UPDATE: Narathiwat temple murders – Security increased while PM condemns shooting

The Thaiger & The Nation

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UPDATE: Narathiwat temple murders – Security increased while PM condemns shooting | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Slain Abbot Phra Khru Prachote Rattanarak

The national police chief is ordering police regional units in Narathiwat to ramp up security in the province to hunt down the culprits behind last night’s deadly attack at a temple.

Police spokesman Pol Lt General Piya Uthayoh says the motive behind the attack on monks at Rattananuparb Temple in Sungai Padi district is unclear. The Army’s Fourth Army Region is investigating, he said.

A group of about 10 attackers armed with assault rifles opened fire inside the temple, killing Phra Khru Prachote Rattanarak, the abbot and chief monk of the district, as well as another monk.

The national police chief also ordered increased security in the province and other areas to improve safety.

Meanwhile, Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha has condemned the latest violence in Narathiwat in which two monks were gunned down and some others injured on Friday night.

The Nation reports that Government spokesman, Puttipong Bunnakun, says the PM pleaded for residents in the South to continue pursuing a peaceful solution to the conflict.

“The premier deplores the ambush at Rattananuparb temple which resulted in deaths and injuries of monks. He ordered officials to urgently investigate the incident and bring those involved to justice. He asked the public to have confidence in the government’s commitment to restore peace in the country.”

UPDATE: Narathiwat temple murders - Security increased while PM condemns shooting | News by The Thaiger

SOURCES: The Nation

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Phuket

UPDATE: Response to Rabies zone in Chalong

The Thaiger

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UPDATE: Response to Rabies zone in Chalong | The Thaiger

‘Following the earlier reported rabies incident in Chalong, the Soi Dog Foundation yesterday (Friday, January 18) teamed up with The DLD and Chalong OBT to carry out vaccinations in the area the infected dog was discovered.

Jointly, the team was successful in vaccinating 128 dogs in a swift response to what is hoped to be an isolated case.

Working alongside the Chalong OBT and DLD, they carried out a door-to-door exercise, alerting local residents of the specific area in order to perform precautionary vaccinations of their pets, as well as street dogs in the vicinity.

Soi Dog Foundation, along with the Chalong Public Health Representative and DLD Representative, Dr.Suthat, are keen to urge the public that this is not an outbreak and are hopeful that it is an isolated incident.

However, as a further measure to ensure this remains as such, the team will continue with the rabies vaccination program on Monday, January 21.’

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