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Blast injures five at Bangkok Army depot

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PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– Thailand news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Blast injures five Bangkok Army depot
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Five civilian personnel were injured yesterday in an accident at the Army’s Ordnance Department in Kiakkai in Bangkok during routine maintenance and inspection of anti-tank rocket-propelled grenades and launchers, a deputy Army spokesman said.

Col Sirijan Nga-thong said five ordnance personnel were injured and that no civilians or residents living nearby were affected.

Initial news reports said the explosion occurred with an electrical transformer and that nine people were injured.

Department commander Lt Gen Tharee Wuthiphanich, speaking to reporters at the scene, said the incident was not an explosion but a burst of pressure triggered during maintenance work on an RPG launcher. A part of the launcher had popped out and hit a person on the head causing a cut that required six stitches, while four others suffered ringing ears from the loud bang.

The five personnel were taken to hospital but suffered no serious injuries, he said.

It was the second such incident in recent years, following an explosion in April 2013 during maintenance of M-72 anti-tank rockets by staff at an infantry battalion located in the same compound resulted in a rocket exploding, which seriously injured two soldiers and slightly hurt six others.

Army spokesman Col Winthai Suvari later gave further details of injuries – one of the four men who suffered ringing in the ears also sustained a cut and required stitches to his body, while the three others sustained a hit from the pressure, causing them body discomfort.

Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwan later said there were nine people injured, and that the incident was an accident. The department has been instructed to follow safety regulations, more strictly, as “accidents occur regularly”.

The largest explosion at this compound took place on November 16, 1980, when 4,800 rockets went off, killing 38 people while wounding 350 others and causing heavy property damage from tremors and shockwaves over an area spread over a 3km radius.

Recent dramas

Other major explosions and incidents involving the Army’s Ordnance Department:

October 25, 2001: A total of 29,370 items of unspecified explosive went off in a chain reaction during an operation at an armory in Nakhon Ratchasima to dispose of bombs due to expire. Nine people were killed, 94 wounded and 8 remain unaccounted for.

January 25, 2012: Explosions occurred at an armory in Nakhon Sawan, causing no casualties.

September 13, 2013: A chemical leak occurred at a storage facility located in Ayutthaya after heavy rain, which caused the foundation of one tank to collapse, resulting in the leak. No one was injured.

May 14, 2014: Two explosions occurred at an armory in an ordnance department compound in Nakhon Ratchasima’s Pak Chong district, causing huge noise but no injuries. This depot was relocated to a remote area in Si Khiew district.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Crime

188 new total of Bangkok clinics accused of defrauding healthcare system

Maya Taylor

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188 new total of Bangkok clinics accused of defrauding healthcare system | The Thaiger
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Officials say they have found evidence of fraudulent claims at an additional 106 hospitals and health clinics in Bangkok. This follows an initial investigation by the National Health Security Office that uncovered corruption at 18 Bangkok healthcare facilities, which was then increased to 64 upon further scrutiny. The latest discovery brings to 188 the number of clinics and hospitals accused of defrauding Thailand’s universal healthcare system.

The scandal, involving around 1 million fake services, and costing the state an estimated 195 million baht, is laid bare in a report in Nation Thailand today. The NHSO has already cancelled contracts with 64 healthcare facilities, accusing them of inventing patient details to defraud the government. It’s understood all 188 hospitals and clinics will be made to repay the money, with the NHSO lodging a civil case with the Department of Special Investigation, who will carry out an investigation into all medical records from the last 10 years.

The deputy secretary-general of the NHSO, Karoon Kuntiranont, says that of 800,000 claims from gold cardholders, around 70% have been found to be false. He says the 30% of patients whose cases are genuine will now be cared for by other facilities. These include HIV patients, patients awaiting surgery, those being treated for kidney disease, and those suffering from chronic illnesses.

Karoon says the corruption is limited to clinics and hospitals in the greater Bangkok area, with a loophole that allowed the fraud to take place now being closed.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Thailand

PM orders Thai police to collaborate with Interpol to bring Boss back to Thailand

Caitlin Ashworth

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PM orders Thai police to collaborate with Interpol to bring Boss back to Thailand | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO

The Thai PM is ordering Thai police to work with Interpol, the International Criminal Police Organisation, to find Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya and bring him back to Thailand for prosecution. The Red Bull heir has been on the run since 2017 and faces charges reckless driving causing death and using cocaine, charges which date back to the incident in 2012 in Bangkok.

In 2012, Boss allegedly sped his Ferrari down Sukhumvit Road in Thong Lor, running over and dragging a 47 year old police officer 100 metres down the road, killing him.

Prosecutors have now officially indicted Boss on the reckless driving causing death and drugs charges, the Office of the Attorney General announced last Friday. The recent indictment, more than 8 years after the fatal crash, follows public backlash after Boss’s cases were dropped altogether in July by the deputy attorney general.

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha made a post on his Facebook page saying he ordered police to work with international authorities to find Boss and bring him back to Thailand for trial. He says a Red Notice has been issued and he expects an update by next week.

“I ask every officer to handle this matter correctly and effectively.”

Boss, the son of the co-owner of the Red Bull energy drink empire, fled the country in 2017. His hearings were delayed 7 times. He reportedly packed up and fled to Singapore on his family’s private jet just 2 days before he was due to face charges. Since then, Boss has been seen and photographed at his family home in London as well as at Red Bull events.

The story has caused ongoing rage in Thai social media with people using the cases as proof Thailand’s warped justice system where wealth and power can help you bypass official investigations.

There has been no comment from the Yoovidhya family, Boss or his legal representation since last week’s official prosecution.

SOURCES: Nation Thailand | Thai PBS

ตามที่สำนักงานอัยการสูงสุดเห็นชอบสั่งฟ้อง “บอส” นายวรยุทธ อยู่วิทยา…

Posted by ประยุทธ์ จันทร์โอชา Prayut Chan-o-cha on Monday, September 21, 2020

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Bangkok

Bangkok nightclub busted for underage drinking

Caitlin Ashworth

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Bangkok nightclub busted for underage drinking | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thairath

A Bangkok nightclub was raided last night when police arrested numerous underage drinkers after city officials received a complaint about “unlawful assembly”. Police say many of the 50 people at the nightclub were under Thailand’s legal drinking age of 20 years old. They added that the patrons at the venue did not abide by Covid-19 prevention rules like wearing a mask, social distancing, and that the venue’s management didn’t limit the number of people at a social gathering.

The venue, known as “Peak” in Bangkok’s Lak Si district, north of the city centre, was ordered by police to close down because it served alcohol to underage customers and the venue did not abide by Covid-19 prevention measures.

Police raided the venue and were then waiting outside as partygoers tried to flee to provide free drug tests. Along with arresting the alleged underage drinkers, the police also arrested a young man for alleged drug use after a test for illicit drug use came up positive. Police did not specify what drugs they tested for. Reports also fail to say how many people were arrested, but Pattaya News says all the underage drinkers were arrested.

Palang Pracharath’s Bangkok MP Sira Jenjakha was reportedly also involved in the raid. He told Pattaya News that he is dedicated to eradicating social issues involving adolescents, and venues that serve alcohol to underage youth will face charges.

SOURCE: Pattaya News

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