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Hunt for Bangkok bombers begins

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Hunt for Bangkok bombers begins | The Thaiger

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

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

Hunt for Bangkok bombers begins
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Security will be heightened across the country following double explosions in Bangkok’s shopping district on Sunday night as police hunt for at least two culprits believed to have been recorded on surveillance cameras.

Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha and Deputy Premier and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwan implied yesterday that martial law would need to be retained following the incident – the first case of blasts in the capital since the coup last May.

“I have ordered security to be tightened because this case involves the well-being of the people,” the prime minister told reporters before leaving for Nakhon Ratchasima province yesterday. “There are still bad people disrupting the peace. We must find ways to severely punish them.”

Prawit, meanwhile, warned of stepped up security across the country. “We will strictly enforce security across the country. We need to have high security checks in some areas,” he said.

“We can’t say for now who is behind this. It could be people who have bad intentions, or are linked to politics or people who think differently,” the defence minister said.

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said yesterday that the government would still need martial law to maintain peace even if the Sunday’s blasts did not happen.

The business sector, meanwhile, voiced concern yesterday over possible impacts on investor confidence and tourism. They called for an explanation from the authorities as to why such an incident took place at a time the country was under martial law.

Police investigators did not rule out politics or terrorism as possible motives for the incident, national police chief Pol General Somyot Poompanmoung said yesterday.

The two bombs exploded on an elevated walkway connecting the BTS Siam station and the upscale Siam Paragon shopping mall. Two people were slightly hurt.

The two devices, detonated with a digital wristwatch, were timed to explode about 30 seconds apart, Somyot said.

Security-camera footage showed two possible suspects near where the pipe bombs exploded but police have not identified them.

Deputy national police chief Pol General Jakthip Chaichinda said investigators believed at least two people were responsible for planting the bombs, adding that they expected to cause injuries or even deaths.

Orange bag left before blast

CCTV footage showed the suspects left an orange bag at a spot before an explosion, he said.

Jakthip said he expected police to issue arrest warrants for the two suspects this week. He added that about 90 per cent of bomb attacks in Bangkok were politically motivated although it remained unclear if that was the case for the latest incident.

Both police and the military yesterday condemned the attack, deemed to be aimed at innocent people.

An academic warned of increased violence and described the incident on Sunday as a move to test the junta’s power following the recent verdict by the National Legislative Assembly to impeach former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

Thitinan Pongsudhirak, a political science lecturer at Chulalongkorn University, yesterday expressed his concerns over the incident.

“The bomb is in defiance of martial law and military rule. It is the first event to break the post-coup calm and stability,” he told The Nation.

“It coincides with the consequent tension from Yingluck’s impeachment. It is likely to exacerbate the situation,” he said.

Panitan Wattanayagorn, an adviser to Prawit, said he expected martial law to still be in place following the incident.

“According to the deputy premier, there will be no changes in the use of martial law at the moment,” he said in an interview.

As for Prayut’s reaction, Panitan said the premier had been informed about the drama since very beginning and had ordered authorities in charge to investigate.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Bangkok

Royal Barge Procession on Bangkok’s Chao Phraya postponed to December 12

The Thaiger

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Royal Barge Procession on Bangkok’s Chao Phraya postponed to December 12 | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: AFP

His Majesty the King has ordered the Royal Barge Procession to be postponed to December 12, originally scheduled for October 24, as recommended by the organising committee chaired by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha. Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngarm told Parliament yesterday about the official postponement.

After ten rehearsals and one dress rehearsal, he said the organising committee agreed that, if the procession were to proceed on October 24, the water conditions in the Chao Phraya River, currents and weather conditions would not be optimal. The committee then reported its concerns to HM the King, who subsequently agreed that the event be postponed until December 12, the beginning of the winter in Bangkok and the most settled weather of the year, according to Thai PBS World.

The committee will meet again on October 21 and a formal announcement will be made about the new schedule, said Wissanu, adding that December would be perfect timing for the event as there will be little chance of rain.

The Royal Barge Procession is the official finale of the King’s Coronation ceremony held in May this year. Their Majesties the King and Queen will ride on one of the 52 barges in the procession.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

Here’s an example of what it will look like…

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Bangkok

BTS thief and credit card skimmers arrested in Bangkok

May Taylor

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BTS thief and credit card skimmers arrested in Bangkok | The Thaiger

Tourist police in Bangkok have arrested a thief accused of pick-pocketing tourists on the city’s BTS Skytrain, along with an Indonesian couple charged with credit card fraud and card skimming.

Kasem Masan Jantaro, a 44 year old food vendor in the Huay Kwang market, says he started pick-pocketing when business became too slow for him to adequately support his family. The Skytrain security team alerted the police after several reports of tourists being pick-pocketed on the trains. Victims described the thief as middle-aged, with pale skin.

Kasem was arrested while trying to flee the scene at the Asok BTS station on Wednesday and was found to have 4,600 baht in cash and four stolen credit cards in his possession. Thai Residents reports that Kasem was previously prosecuted for drugs offences in 2015 and for robbery in 2016.

In a separate arrest, Bangkok police detained 32 year old Alexander Eddilias and 33 year old Estie Rusdiana, an Indonesian couple charged with being in possession of fake credit cards, stolen credit cards, and skimming devices used to steal credit card information.

The arrest comes after several banks notified police of transactions made using fake cards and the couple were tracked to a room in the Pratunam area of Bangkok. Officers also seized a computer, a skimming device, twenty two fake credit cards, two stolen credit cards, and twenty four credit card receipts.

The suspects say they bought the information on the Dark Web. The information was then recorded in the magnetic strip of the fake cards, which were used to make purchases worth approximately 2 million baht.

SOURCE: Thai Residents

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ASEAN

Bangkok and Nonthaburi to get 2 extra holidays during ASEAN summit

May Taylor

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Bangkok and Nonthaburi to get 2 extra holidays during ASEAN summit | The Thaiger

November 4 and 5 have been approved as official holidays for Bangkok and Nonthaburi as a result of the 35th Asean Summit and Related Summits being held at Impact Arena Muang Thong Thani in Bangkok.

Deputy government spokeswoman Traisulee Traisoranakul confirmed yesterday that the measure was being taken in an effort to alleviate traffic problems in both areas during the summit, adding that other state enterprises and the Bank of Thailand could implement the holidays for their subsidiaries at their own discretion and on a case-by-case basis.

“Government agencies in Bangkok and Nonthaburi will stop working on these dates. Meanwhile, state enterprises and the Bank of Thailand will consider announcing November 4 and 5 as holidays for their subsidiaries on case-by-case basis.”

“However, government agencies which have a necessity to provide urgent or previously scheduled services to their clients that cannot be postponed may stay open on November 4 and 5, depending on the decision by the heads of these departments.”

Some other public or regional holidays coming up…

Bangkok and Nonthaburi to get 2 extra holidays during ASEAN summit | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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