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Motorbike taxi driver arrested after robbing Australian tourist

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Motorbike taxi driver arrested after robbing Australian tourist | The Thaiger
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A reenactment was held at Rawai Palm Beach Resort, opposite the Rawai Municipality yesterday (May 9) led by Chalong Police Chief Col Pakayot Tanongsak together with Rawai Mayor Aroon Solos.

The suspect in the re-enacment was 48 year old Tanapon Sukjam, a motorbike taxi driver from Surat Thani who’s stationed at Rawai Beach.

On May 8, around 3:30am, Tanapon robbed 39 year old Australian Stephen Kennedy, who was also at the re-enactment, presenting himself as the victim.

Col Pakayot says, “Tanadon took Mr Kennedy from a night club in Rawai to the Palm Beach Resort. When they arrived Mr Kennedy gave the motorbike taxi driver an Australian 100 dollar banknote, worth about 2,600 baht. Mr Kennedy asked for change, but Tanapon refused.”

“Tanapon snatched an iPhone 6 and a bag which contained 100 Australian dollars, 250 baht cash and credit cards from Mr Kennedy. Tanapon told police that he doesn’t get enough money in his motorbike taxi work. He thought that Mr Kennedy wouldn’t remember anything because he was drunk,” he explained.

Tanapon told police that he already sold the mobile phone and spent all the money. Tanapon’s been charged with robbery.

Motorbike taxi driver arrested after robbing Australian tourist | News by The ThaigerMotorbike taxi driver arrested after robbing Australian tourist | News by The ThaigerMotorbike taxi driver arrested after robbing Australian tourist | News by The Thaiger

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Politics

Outgoing army chief says no plans for US base on Thai soil

Jack Burton

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Outgoing army chief says no plans for US base on Thai soil | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Outgoing army chief chief Apirat Kongsompong - Bloomberg

Outgoing army chief Apirat Kongsompong, is denying that the US is seeking to establish a military base on Thai soil. At a press briefing, Apirat said that Thai and US troops have only carried out joint military drills, code-named Cobra Gold, and nothing more. The drills are a multinational exercise held annually in Thailand.

Apirat insisted the US did not ask to use Thailand as a stage for a base but admitted that US troops left behind some of their military equipment deployed during the drills, but says reporters not to read too much into this. However, Singapore has a longstanding agreement with Thailand, giving it access to a military area in Sai Yok district in the western Kanchanaburi province, in order to reportedly conduct military training. That agreement is renewed every 3 years.

Apirat also defended the 2 day visit by the US Army Chief of Staff James McConville and his delegation after an activist criticised the government for not sending the visitors into the mandatory quarantine that was imposed for all visitors. He says the delegation will be tested for Covid-19 before and upon arrival to Thailand. Tests will be performed by doctors from the Public Health Ministry, Phramongkutklao Hospital, and Thai Airways International staff. These procedures will become a model for future visits by foreign delegations.

“Don’t stir up issues that might create conflict in the region.”

The US delegation will be the first group of foreigners to officially visit Thailand since the country began lifting Covid-19 restrictions. McConville will meet Apirat and PM Prayut Chan-o-cha today and tomorrow.

In a related development, General Narongpan Jitkaewthae is widely expected to replace Apirat as army chief during the annual military reshuffle at the end of September. A military source told Bangkok Post that the reshuffle dominated a pre-session discussion shortly before a meeting between top military officials and the Royal Thai Police yesterday.

The source said this time around the reshuffle will involve high ranking personnel whose names were brought up during the pre-session discussion. The source said a list of high ranking officers up for promotion will likely be presented to the chief of the defence forces next week before it’s forwarded to PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, who also serves as defence minister.

Apirat said yesterday he will retire at the end of September, adding he will no longer be active in handling government affairs after that month. He denies he will seek to extend his tenure as army chief.

”I will pass the baton to the next army chief on Sept 30 when my duties will come to an end. There is absolutely no need to prolong my tenure.”

SOURCES; Bangkok Post | Bangkok Post

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Pattaya

Mother and son rescued as car swept away in Pattaya’s flash floods – VIDEO

Maya Taylor

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Mother and son rescued as car swept away in Pattaya’s flash floods – VIDEO | The Thaiger
PHOTO: The Pattaya News

A woman and her son had a lucky escape after the vehicle, in which they were travelling, was carried away by floodwater in Pattaya. The city reported extensive flash flooding as a result of heavy downpours, with the worst of it around Soi Khao Noi, Pattaya Beach Road, and Pattaya Third Road.

The heavy rains lasted for up to 2 hours, with the car Sukanya Rueangsawat and her son were travelling in carried away by floods as Sukanya tried in vain to open the door. The incident reportedly took place near the railway road and Soi Khao Talo, with the car rapidly filling with water.

An employee from a nearby wastewater treatment plant spotted the vehicle and was able to smash the window and pull Sukanya and her son to safety.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Student activists gather in Bangkok to oppose emergency decree

Maya Taylor

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Student activists gather in Bangkok to oppose emergency decree | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

Members of the Student Union of Thailand have come together to protest the government’s emergency decree, gathering outside Pathumwan police station in Bangkok. Officials have extended the decree by another month after it was originally set to expire at the end of June. Human rights activists and critics of the government have slammed the extension as politically motivated.

The latest protest comes after some students tore up a summons handed down to them for allegedly violating the decree on June 5. At that time, they were drawing attention to the disappearance of Wanchalearm Satsaksit, a Thai activist kidnapped in Cambodia, where he was living in exile.

The activists were later criminally charged for tying white bows around various monuments in Bangkok to draw attention to the plight of the missing activist, as they demanded answers from the Thai and Cambodian governments.

The students also received a summons for unlawful assembly on June 24, when they came together to commemorate the 88th anniversary of democracy in Thailand.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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