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Phuket Gazette Thailand News: Bank security boost; Floods unabated; Granny kratom grower gets 3 years in jail

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Phuket Gazette Thailand News: Bank security boost; Floods unabated; Granny kratom grower gets 3 years in jail | The Thaiger
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PHUKET MEDIA WATCH
– Thailand news compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Banks to up security in wake of robberies
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: The Royal Thai Police has held a meeting with 16 banks and six security-truck firms to discuss the recent spate of bank, gold-shop and convenience-store robberies (story here), deputy police spokesman Thana Chuwong said yesterday.

Bank executives at the meeting agreed to implement a number of the security measures put forward, including higher counters – making it more difficult for criminals to reach bank employees.

They also agreed to increase the number of security cameras overlooking parking lots and angled to capture the faces of customers.

Bank entrances will also have two doors in order to slow down escaping robbers, Thana said.

Another deputy spokesman, Anucha Romyanant, reported that 30 bank and 156 convenience-store robberies had occurred this year. Arrests and arrest warrants had also risen by 70 per cent, he added.

In addition, 20 gold-shop robberies had been carried out this year compared with 49 cases last year. Police had so far made arrests in 16 cases connected with the robberies, he said.

Anucha praised gold-shop owners for their cooperation in increasing the number of grille and alarm installations.

He urged people to report suspicious behaviour to the 191 or 1599 police 24-hour hotlines.

24 provinces under grip of floods
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: The Royal Irrigation Department is keeping a close eye on the impact of the upcoming tropical depression from Vietnam, which might affect several provinces in Thailand’s Northeast and Eastern regions

Ubon Ratchatani, Si Sa Ket, Surin and Prachin Buri would likely be affected by the upcoming depression. These areas are already severely hit by floods, the department’s deputy director-general Suthep Noipairoj said yesterday.

He expressed concerns about the flood situation in Prachin Buri as the Pasak Chonlasit Dam is now nearly full and needed to discharge some volume of water before the new tropical depression arrived.

To date, the volume of water in Pasak Chonlasit Dam was 785 million cubic metres while the full capacity of the dam was 960 million cubic metres.

“We have to discharge about 8.9 million cubic metres per day from the dam to prepare for the upcoming depression,” he said.

Meanwhile, Chao Phraya River should drain water at 2,300 cubic metres per second, which exceeds its capacity of 2,195 cubic metres per second.

Suthep explained that the department would drain the excess amount of water into the fields on the western and eastern banks of Chao Phraya River.

However, he explained that most of the flood-affected areas were located along the river and waterway and that is why they were at risk from the adverse impact of the flooding.

Floods have already affected more than 2.1 million people this month and ravaged more than 1.14 million rai of farmland.

Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department director-general Chatchai Phromlert said yesterday that floodwater had also damaged 2,310 roads, 6,900 houses and 145 bridges. “Of the 29 flood-hit provinces, the situation in just five has returned to normal as of today,” he said.

Still under water are Surin, Si Sa Ket, Ubon Ratchathani, Buri Ram, Amnat Charoen, Chaiyaphum, Yasothon, Mukdahan, Phitsanulok, Phichit, Kamphaeng Phet, Phetchabun, Nakhon Sawan, Uthai Thani, Lop Buri, Saraburi, Chainat, Prachin Buri, Sa Kaew, Nakhon Nayok, Chachoengsao, Ayutthaya, Angthong and Suphan Buri.

Many of these provinces are heavily flooded. The worst-hit spots in Chaiyaphum are about 2.8 metres under water.

In Buri Ram, floodwater levels have soared above three metres in Krasang district, marooning more than 200 families. Officials are making desperate efforts to get relief items to these victims.

Working alongside local administrative bodies, the department has mobilised thousands of volunteers to deliver assistance. More than 1,500 boats have been dispatched to reach the victims. Not all, however, are happy with the authorities’ response.

Anong Thongsri, a 46-year-old resident in Prachin Buri’s flooded Kabin Buri district, lamented that assistance efforts had failed to reach all those affected. “The floodwater level is also rising,” she said.

Department of Religious Affairs chief Preecha Gunteeya said, meanwhile, that 295 temples in 12 provinces were flooded, affecting 2,014 monks.

The Government Housing Bank has offered a debt moratorium for flood-hit customers, whose loan repayments will be suspended for up to nine months depending on the severity of their situation. During that period, no interest will be charged on the loans.

Should flooding damage the whole house of a loan recipient, the bank will write off all outstanding debt on the house, leaving just the debt from the land purchase to pay.

Flood-hit loan recipients can contact the bank for help at (02) 645 9000.

Kratom-grower’s jail term upheld in electrocution case
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: The Court of Appeals has meted out a three-year jail term to an elderly woman for causing the death of an intruder who was killed by an electric fence she had put up to protect her home-grown kratom (Mitragyna speciosa), which is on the narcotics list, in 2011.

Thongdee Jamsri, 73, accepted the ruling but said she planned to ask for a royal pardon.

Her daughter cried upon hearing the verdict, saying the convict has many chronic diseases.

The case against Thongdee started in 2011. Last year, the lower court sentenced her to three years and four months in jail. She appealed.

The Court of Appeals, however, yesterday upheld the guilty verdict and jail term, though with a reduced imprisonment period. The woman was denied a suspended jail term because she had earlier been prosecuted for possessing kratom.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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News of American sued over bad Koh Chang hotel review has everyone talking

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News of American sued over bad Koh Chang hotel review has everyone talking | The Thaiger

After news hit of an American being arrested and sued for defamation over leaving a bad review about a Koh Chang hotel on TripAdvisor, many are taking to the internet to voice their opinions on the issue. The Sea View Resort owners say it tried in vain to negotiated with Wesley Barnes after he posted the reviews, but he continued to post completely untrue comments.

The owners released a five-page statement after the news of it suing the American gained widespread attention. You can read their response HERE. Then, Barnes submitted his own response detailing the situation which was also published online.

News of American sued over bad Koh Chang hotel review has everyone talking | News by The ThaigerNews of American sued over bad Koh Chang hotel review has everyone talking | News by The Thaiger

Now, the story has gained even more attention as netizens have begun posting their opinions on the controversial issue of Thailand’s defamation laws. Below, are some of those posts on The Thaiger’s Facebook page.

“Can someone clarify for me Thailand’s position on people leaving honest bad reviews as my girlfriend says it’s fine to leave a bad review of a business and it’s not defamation if honest of course? I have heard people say that you simply can’t leave bad honest reviews at all here but that sounds ridiculous. The thing about many Thais is that they think they’re beyond reproach. They can’t accept criticism because it’s not aligned with their grandiose self-image. Many also have a torrid time when it comes to ownership of their own actions and decision making.”

“OMG! He is arrested for a review.?! I know of an expat in Malaysia that wrote a bad review about a Thai-owned resort in Penang and he was sued as well. Be careful with what you share in that neck of the woods.”

“It’s one thing to leave a bad review but to throw in “modern slavery” remarks escalates to thai defamation law. He shouldn’t be arrested for his comments but you need to respect the country laws no matter how crazy they seem compared to your own country. This press is going to negatively affect the business way more than that review would have done though.”

“The owner should have settled with the review platforms privately and move on. I would hardly hold up Trip Advisor as a beacon of truth, however some people write extremely personal and vindictive comments that go beyond a review, in an attempt to gain product or refunds in return, this is an absolute fact, and hopefully this might make people think before they start writing reviews that are not exactly honest, I have read stories critical of the General Managers because they didn’t contact the guests, some really petty reviews by rather petty people.”

If Barnes is indeed found to be guilty of defamation, he could spend up to 2 years in prison and pay up to a 200,000 baht fine.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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Phuket police arrest 6 after finding large amounts of methamphetamine in raid

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Phuket police arrest 6 after finding large amounts of methamphetamine in raid | The Thaiger

Phuket Provincial Police have arrested 6 people after finding large amounts of methamphetamine and other drugs during a raid. One suspect alone allegedly had 7.6 kilograms of crystal meth (ya ice) and over 12,500 methamphetamine pills (ya bah). 29 year old Surasak ‘Bank’ Wijit and 27 year old Panida ‘Mei’ Saeyang were arrested at an apartment car park in Soi Lookkaew, Moo 6, Rassada, in eastern Phuket, after they were found in possession of the drugs.

Police also found 2 mobile phones and a red Honda PCX, registered in Phuket, as evidence. Both suspects have been charged with posessing a Category 1 drug with the intent to sell.

Other suspects arrested at the same time include 36 year old from Chiang Rai, 42 year old Sarawut ‘An’ Srichanon, from Ranong and 31 year old Pornthep ‘Iew’ Thepchampa, who were charged with the same crimes in Chalong after police found more drugs in their possession. 33 year old Kamon ‘Kung’ Sae-ngow, was arrested as well after police found kratom juice and leaves at a house in Rassada. He was taken to Phuket City Police station and was charged with a Category 5 drug possession.

SOURCE:The Phuket News

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Phuket Muay Thai fighter is the first Thai national to compete in UFC

The Thaiger

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Phuket Muay Thai fighter is the first Thai national to compete in UFC | The Thaiger

The upcoming Ultimate Fighting Championship Fight Night event in Abu Dhabi will feature Thailand’s only national marking her third fight with the UFC, the world’s largest mixed martial arts competition. 24 year old Loma Lookboonme, from Burirram in northeastern Thailand, will fight in the event on October 3, 2020.

Loma is a Muay Thai fighter who has adapted her MMA skills to fight in the UFC where she currently trains at the Tiger Muay Thai gym in Phuket. Loma qualified for the national team at the age of 19 and has fought in over 12 nations worldwide. She currently trains 6 days a week starting daily at 6:30am with a 3 kilometre run. In the UFC, she will be competing against China’s Angela Lee who is the undisputed champion of the 52 kilogram fist weight category.

Phuket Muay Thai fighter is the first Thai national to compete in UFC | News by The Thaiger

Loma’s parents are former Muay Thai fighters and her 2 sisters currently compete as well. She reportedly started training at 8 years old after being inspired by her father, whom she describes as her “hero.”

Like most Thais in such fighting sports, Muay Thai offers a way to rise out of poverty-and fighting for the UFC can be financially lucrative. But Loma says her only Thai sponsor is the gym where she trains, with the rest of her sponsors being from foreign brands. She says she is trying to get more Thai sponsors but feels that maybe she needs to win the UFC first before Thai brands notice her.

Loma lost her last fight and says her new opponent gives her nothing to lose. She says her goal is to get into the Top 10, but is not sure when it will happen. Loma says for now, it would be good to fight against someone in the Top 10 to help her prepare for her future.

FULL INTERVIEW: Thisrupt.co

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