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Deal offered to mafia who mend their ways

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Deal offered to mafia who mend their ways | The Thaiger
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BANGKOK: Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan has offered to conditionally let off mafia-style figures with ‘dark influence’ in cases where evidence is weak. However, he warned that they will have to mend their ways.

Hundreds of police and military officers are on the lists of ‘dark’, influential figures who are being targeted in the government’s ongoing crackdown.

“If there is solid evidence for prosecution, they will face legal action,” Gen Prawit, who is also the defence minister, said yesterday.

He said that if the evidence was not good enough, the suspects would be asked to sign an undertaking to desist from illegal activities.

The government has launched a serious crackdown on figures engaging in 16 types of activities, including: illegal money lending; drug trafficking; bid collusion; collection of protection money from taxi motorcyclists; prostitution; trading in illegal arms; and running illegal entertainment and service business establishments.

National Police Commissioner Chakthip Chaijinda yesterday said that he had received a report that more than 200 policemen were associated with dark-influence activities.

“Among them are those with the rank of general. I have already talked to them,” Gen Chakthip said.

Gen Chakthip said that if further probes show these officers are guilty of illegal activities, they will face disciplinary and criminal actions.

Metropolitan Police Bureau Acting Chief Sanit Mahathavorn said that four accused policemen were reportedly affiliated with his agency.

“Two are reportedly involved in drugs, while two others are related to taxi motorcyclists,” Lt Gen Sanit said. “Three of them are still in active services”.

Lt Gen Sanit said that his agency would investigate further to determine if anyone else was involved.

National Police Office Deputy Spokesman Songphon Wattanachai assured that there would be no attempt to protect any policeman accused of being an underworld figure.

“The list of such figures will be forwarded to Deputy National Police Commissioner Srivara Ransibhramanakul for further action,” he said.

Gen Prawit said names of both police and military officers appeared on the lists of influential figures.

“Army Chief Teerachai Nakwanich, in his capacity as the NCPO secretary-general, is in charge of compiling the list of military officers involved,” he said.

Anti-Money Laundering Office Secretary-General Seehanat Prayoonrat said that if requested, his agency would probe the financial transactions and the financial routes of the alleged underworld figures.

“Ill-gotten gains can be seized so that their victims can get compensation,” he said.

Col Piyapong Klinphan, a spokesperson for the NCPO, said that the crackdown on the mafia-style figures would run for about two more years and would cover all provinces.

“We have gathered information from people’s complaints,” he said.

Gen Chakthip denied speculation that the ongoing crackdown on mafia-style figures was related to the NCPO efforts to rein in anti-NCPO movement.

“No, there is no such link,” he said.

— The Nation

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Thailand

Thailand News Today | Week In Review | February 26

The Thaiger

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Thailand News Today | Week In Review | February 26 | The Thaiger

Thailand News Today usually covers five days of the news week. This week only four days as today (Friday) is a public holiday. Now we have a weekend edition which goes over the biggest, or best stories, from the past week. Out every Saturday afternoon, catch up with Jett and Tim’s major Thai news stories. Welcome to the Thailand News Today Week in Review. Tim and Jett give you a quick recap of the main news stories.

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Thailand

45 new cases today, 37 local‐Covid‐19‐Update

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45 new cases today, 37 local‐Covid‐19‐Update | The Thaiger

Thailand reports 45 new cases of Covid-19cases today, with 37 infections being locally-transmitted. 8 of those infections were imported, raising the total amount of infections since the pandemic began to 25,809.

The Department of Disease Control reports that 32 cases were confirmed at hospitals with 5 confirmed through active case finding in communities.

Samut Sakhon province, the 2nd wave epicentre, reported over half of the new cases at 19. 14 of those cases were confirmed at hospitals and 5 were detected in Myanmar communities. Bangkok has reported 3 new cases, Nakhon Nayok reported 5, Chai Nat 3, Nakhon Pathom 3, Saraburi 2, Prachuap Khiri Khan 1, and Samut Prakan 1.

45 new cases today, 37 local‐Covid‐19‐Update | News by The Thaiger

The 8 imported cases were those under quarantine arriving from Pakistan, Bangladesh, the UK, Germany, France, The Netherlands, and Kuwait. The case from the UK was that of a 6 year old Thai schoolgirl.

Globally, Covid-19 cases rose by 444,466 over the past day to 113.54 million. The worldwide death toll increased by 10,552 to 2.52 million. The United States still has the most cases at 29.5 million, with the most deaths at 520,785.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Tourism

Surveys show Thailand still one of the top holiday choices post-pandemic

Maya Taylor

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Surveys show Thailand still one of the top holiday choices post-pandemic | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Jakob Owens on Unsplash

The Stockholm office of the Tourism Authority of Thailand has conducted a survey in which 62% of respondents say they want to spend winter in Thailand provided restrictions are lifted. The top destinations are Phuket, Krabi and Khao Lak, followed by Koh Samui, Koh Pha-ngan, Koh Tao, Bangkok, and Hua Hin.

68% say they would cancel bookings if the 14-day quarantine remains in place. 26% say they would still go ahead, and 13% said they’d be in favour of quarantine being cut to 10 days. 99% of participants say they would be worried about testing positive for Covid-19 after travel plans have been made.

Meanwhile, the TAT’s London office has also been busy, carrying out a survey in conjunction with market research firm, YouGov. The idea behind the survey was to get an idea of the future of tourism once the pandemic is over.

4,127 people took part, with 75% of them saying they’re prepared to be vaccinated if it’s required for travel. 41% are against mandatory quarantine, although 52% would accept a 5-day quarantine. 62% of those planning holidays are over the age of 50 and interested in countries with low infection rates.

According to a Nation Thailand report, Siripakorn Cheawsamoot from the TAT says the findings of the survey indicate that up to 6 million people are interested in travelling to Thailand at some point this year.

Meanwhile, a number of online travel agency platforms in France have also carried out a survey. The poll, conducted by companies such as Go Voy, Opodo, and eDreams, showed that the number of hits to tourism-related websites rose by 15% once the success of Covid-19 vaccines was announced. The top destinations searched for were Dubai at 49%, Marrakesh at 27%, and Bangkok at 25%.

Another travel survey in the Americas found that most holidaymakers have chosen to postpone their trips by 7 months to a year, rather than cancelling completely. Siripakorn says that booking flexibility is a priority for Americans.

“Flexibility to reschedule is the top priority for American tourists, followed by safety. These tourists are looking for safety, no quarantine, flexibility, and no deposit.”

Meanwhile, a report issued by Skift Research shows that travel will not recover until 2023 and will not return to pre-pandemic levels until 2025.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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