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I am not racist – Surachete Hakparn

The Thaiger & The Nation

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I am not racist – Surachete Hakparn | The Thaiger

by Kornkamon Aksorndech

The acting Immigration Police chief Pol Maj-General Surachate Hakparn, who recently was promoted to the job because of his relentless crackdowns on foreigners, is vowing to continue with his mission of removing overstaying or illegal foreigners.

But netizens are raising questions of racism, as a large proportion of the foreigners nabbed in recent months were of African descent. Surachate insists this is all part of his job to weed out overstayers and foreign criminals.

He cites the most recent case of two South African men – 33 year old Dladla Prince Nkosinathi and 35 year old Benjamin Moloi – who were arrested for drug offences and visa overstays.

Nkosinathi was nabbed on Sunday at Central Bang Na with 4.1 grams of cocaine that he was about to deliver to a local buyer. Police investigators learned that the cocaine supplier was an African man living in the Sukhumvit area. When police searched Nkosinathi’s rented room, they came upon Moloi, who had overstayed his visa by 359 days and claimed to have been looking for a job as a football player.

Football was also used in another recent case. A 27 year old Ghanaian was caught with forged documents that showed him to be a player of Ayuthaya City Football Club. Wilson Zack Kofi would got away if his other document had not displayed the name of another club – Sa Kaew FC. It was this mismatch that caught the attention of Immigration officials, who launched a probe and discovered the alleged forgery.

Since both clubs denied knowledge of the man, Kofi’s visa was revoked on grounds of being a “danger to society”. The suspect confessed to falsely using the clubs’ names, Surachate said.

In another case, Surachate said a Chinese man identified as ‘Ma Pho’ and his five Thai associates were arrested over allegations of the former using the five locals as nominees to open and operate a para-rubber bedding business in Bangkok’s Huai Khwang district.

The Thai suspects were identified as Parinee Saetae, Thaweesak Madnoh, Pakhamon Madnoh, Savitree Saengsattra and Siew Chen.

Surachate said initial investigation showed that Ma Pho had provided all the capital for the business, hence this was a “business nominee” case, which violated the 1999 Foreign Business Act. This offence is punishable by a maximum three-year jail term and/or a fine of 100,000 to 1 million baht. He added that police were also hunting for two other Thai suspects Thanwit Binsa-lae and Tukta Eiumsai in relation to the case.

Meanwhile, in a move to lure more foreign visitors Surachate is working on securing waiver of visa fees for travellers from 22 nations, including Taiwan, for a 60 day stamp from November 15 onwards. He is set to put his proposal forward to the Cabinet today.

The top cop also checked on officers at Suvarnabhumi Airport yesterday morning to ensure their preparedness and ordered an improvement in Immigration queues to accommodate the many visitors.

STORY: The Nation



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Thailand

Woman badly injured in Rayong car accident

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Woman badly injured in Rayong car accident | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: สื่อสาร 01 / Siam Rayong Rescue Foundation

Rescue workers took two hours to free a woman from a car following a road incident in Rayong south east of Bangkok.

The Siam Rayong Rescue Foundation has reported that they were notified of the incident in Rayong city at 7am this morning.

Rescue workers arrived to find a car overturned after colliding at speed with a tree on the side of the road.

Rescue workers used four set of hydraulic cutters to free the injured passengers from the car. One woman suffered two broken legs and was rushed to a nearby hospital.

Looking at the wreckage it is a wonder no one was killed.

Woman badly injured in Rayong car accident | News by The Thaiger Woman badly injured in Rayong car accident | News by The Thaiger Woman badly injured in Rayong car accident | News by The Thaiger Woman badly injured in Rayong car accident | News by The Thaiger Woman badly injured in Rayong car accident | News by The Thaiger Woman badly injured in Rayong car accident | News by The Thaiger Woman badly injured in Rayong car accident | News by The Thaiger

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Thailand

Thai Airways charges British passenger 80,000 baht for extra luggage

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Thai Airways charges British passenger 80,000 baht for extra luggage | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Thai Airways

A British expat has been charged a whopping 79,825.13 baht by Thai Airways for extra luggage on a flight to London from Bangkok.

The report was posted by Thai Visa.

The incident occurred when the man in question (who is not named) was on the Thai Airways website purchasing 20kg extra luggage each way, and was quoted 975.90 Thai baht, a reasonable price. But when the automatic receipt was generated and the man was shocked to find out that the transaction had been processed by Thai Airways in British pounds, not Thai Baht.

The cost of the original ticket was of 544 Pounds ( 22,234.08 baht) and now he had been charged 1,951.80 POUNDS (79,825.13 baht) for the luggage.

The ‘victim’ logged into his Barclays mobile banking App to find that the transaction was there and still pending. The situation was made worse when the man called customer service at Thai Airways, who he says ‘did nothing to help him’.

On the phone with the airline, he says that they were ‘absolutely awful’, rude, dismissive, and even told him ‘you have to pay’. When he asked the airline for a refund they weren’t willing to acknowledge the problem or even investigate. He tried to explain to them that there must be a glitch in their system as the currency has changed without the price being adjusted.

With no help from Thai Airways it was the man’s bank who were more rational and could see that this was a suspicious charge. Barclay’s flagged the transaction as fraudulent, which triggered an instant insurance claim, and had the man refunded the full amount back to this account.

The insurance company will now pursue claims against Thai Airways to recover the amount.

“They’ve made it completely clear that they don’t give a sh*t about their customers. 80,000 baht for one bag is just madness! A grain of common sense was all that was needed to resolve this amicably, but Thai Airways would rather steal from returning customers than help them. I will never use Thai Airways again, and I will warn everyone of their unethical practices and lack of integrity.”

Over to you Thai Airways…

SOURCE: Thai Visa 

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So long, farewell – Yingluck says goodbye to Thai politics

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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So long, farewell – Yingluck says goodbye to Thai politics | The Thaiger

Former Thai PM, and fugitive, Yingluck Shinawatra is saying she has “washed her hands of Thai politics” because she has suffered enough from her political role in the past.

In a Twitter post she denied a report in Thai newspapers that she had personally nominated a former minister to become Pheu Thai party’s candidate for PM in the forthcoming election, saying that the nomination process is an internal matter for the party.

Ms Yingluck says that for the time being she has had a lot of work and responsibilities to take care of.

Former PM Yingluck has been living in self-exile with her elder brother, former Thai PM Thaksin Shinawatra.  She ‘did a runner’ and secretly escaped Thai borders in the days before the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Offices handed down a five year sentence on her for her failure to stop massive corruption in the controversial rice pledging scheme of her government in September 2017.

International media reported last week stated that Ms Yingluck used a Cambodian passport to register a company in Hong Kong, lending weight to reports she used the neighbouring kingdom to make her dramatic escape from her homeland.

The former PM was also recently named chair of a Chinese port operator in Guangdong province as her family’s political dynasty grow their business presence in southern China.

Yingluck and her billionaire brother Thaksin Shinawatra were both elected prime minister but were toppled in military coups – Thaksin in 2006 and Yingluck in 2014.

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