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Phuket Gazette Thailand News: Businessman murdered; Drug dealer wanted by FBI arrested; F1 in Phuket; Size not important

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Phuket Gazette Thailand News: Businessman murdered; Drug dealer wanted by FBI arrested; F1 in Phuket; Size not important | The Thaiger
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– Thailand news compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Driver admits killing Ekkayuth, police say
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: The chauffeur of missing businessman Ekkayuth Anchanbutr admitted to his murder last night, former police spokesman Pol Lt General Prawut Thavornsiri said on his Twitter account.

Two other suspects who allegedly helped Santiparb Pengduang are on the run, the sources said, without providing details on each person’s role or how the murder took place. The known motive so far – as per Santiparb’s confession – is that Ekkayuth fired his girlfriend. The suspect also allegedly cashed in a 5-million-baht cheque that was signed by the tycoon.

An unidentified source said that Santiparb was flown to Phatthalung province on a helicopter so he could show the police where he allegedly dumped the businessman’s body. Another report said that a search team from a Border Patrol police unit – the 434th Company – had located the body and was trying to retrieve it.

Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung spoke out for the first time on the case last night, saying: “The government and state officials had nothing to do with his disappearance.”

“His existence or nonexistence is of no [interest] to the government. I am giving weight to murder, with money as a motive. I conclude he has been murdered already,” said Chalerm, without offering any proof.

At a press conference earlier in the day, Santiparb had told a different story. He said that on June 6, he dropped Ekkayuth to have dinner with friends in Saphan Kwai till 11pm and drove him back to his home in town. He said his boss ordered him to wait as he wanted him to take him to the South.

He said Ekkayuth ordered him to disconnect the security cameras at his residence and Ekkayuth kept the hard disk himself. Santiparb said Ekkayuth spent the night at his sister’s house in Lat Krabang district. The next morning Ekkayuth told him to drive him to Suvarnabhumi airport where a man would bring him some cheques. He said he saw Ekkayuth sign the cheques.

He also picked up more documents from a woman. Supaporn Waenlor, Ekkayuth’s sister said she did not believe Santiparb’s storybecause she did not trust him. She did not believe her brother would want to go to Burma by car as he hated sitting for too long.

Drugs suspect sought by FBI arrested in Din Daeng
The Nation /Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: Immigration Police yesterday arrested a 32-year-old US citizen, wanted in Florida on suspicion of dealing drugs, at an apartment in Bangkok’s Din Daeng district.

Immigration police chief Panu Kerdlarppol said Ryan Steven Miller was apprehended after US authorities and the FBI requested his arrest.

Miller, who fled to Thailand from Vietnam last October, first came to the FBI’s attention in 2007 when he allegedly sold around 300,000 Ecstasy pills over six months, before being hired by a Vietnamese narcotics ring to transport drugs.

The FBI says Miller then smuggled heroin with the True Asian Pride gang, earning as much as US$600,000 (18.6 million baht) per week.

Miller has not worked since fleeing to Thailand, but has received 40,000 baht a month from “a friend”, say police. Miller was initially charged with an unauthorised stay in the Kingdom.

In a separate case, Immigration Police yesterday arrested 45-year-old Myanmar fugitive Shwe Nu for his alleged involvement in a drugs bust in Myanmar last August that yielded 171,000 yaba tablets. Nu was arrested at Soi Charoen Krung 76 after he entered Thailand on Monday.

Police have revoked his visa and are keeping him under custody pending extradition.

After Rattanakosin ban, search for F1 site widens
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: Rattanakosin Island will not be used to host a Formula One race, and organisers will have to search elsewhere for a site to host the country’s first F1 race in 2015, with Phuket being considered.

Tourism Minister Somsak Phurisisak said that the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration issued a law on May 16 which prohibits car racing in historic Rattanakosin, where organisers had wanted to locate the Formula One circuit.

He added that efforts to launch a Thailand Formula One Grand Prix would not cease as the committee would look for a new site, focusing their search in the Chaengwattana Government Office Complex and Muang Thong Thani areas of the capital. “In fact many cities have shown an interest in hosting the race. We have no plans to build a stadium, as the circuit is expected to run through cultural sites,” Somsak said.

Cleverley awaiting Manchester United’s first Thai player
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley will boost young Thai players’ hopes with a message that being “clever” on the pitch matters more than size when he makes a brief visit for a promotional event with Nike.

In Thailand to promote Nike’s street football tournament, the 23-year-old England international is also scheduled to conduct a clinic for local youth today.

Standing just 1.75 metres (5 ‘ 7″), the Manchester United star is no taller than most Thai players, and he dismisses the idea that size is a requirement for success in the sport.

“A lot of footballers these days are small [Leo] Messi, [Andres] Iniesta, [Cesc] Fabregas, [Paul] Scholes. Some of the best players are small. I don’t think size matters,” Cleverley said in an interview with the popular TV news talk programme “Rueng Lao Chao Nee”.

Asked whether he had any advice for young Thai players aiming to follow in his footsteps, Cleverley replied: “Just three things: always work hard, enjoy what you do and listen to your coaches.”

He also saw no reason why Thai players could not make the grade at Manchester United.

“We’ve got players from all over the world. Shinji [Kagawa] from Japan and Antonio [Valencia] from Ecuador and all over the Europe. So why not?”

Having joined Manchester United academy as a 12-year-old, Cleverley, who has made nine appearances for England, revealed the lessons he had learned at Old Trafford were not confined to the pitch.

“Being at the United Academy, you learn to play football in the right way – passing and moving. Again, size doesn’t matter as long as you are clever on the pitch and also off it. They teach you how to be a nice person and a good professional.”

The England midfielder believes his success in coming through the youth ranks to become a member of United’s first-team squad was down to self-confidence.

“As a young player growing up there, you have to [avoid] being nervous, [you’ve] got to be confident. You play with the reserves and then you go up and train with players like [Ryan] Giggs and Scholes. Just [don’t] be nervous, be yourself and enjoy it.

Cleverley recently became a new father when his girlfriend Georgina Dorsett gave b

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Burmese child contracted Covid-19 while crossing the border, report says

Caitlin Ashworth



Burmese child contracted Covid-19 while crossing the border, report says | The Thaiger

The 2 year old Burmese child, who tested positive for Covid-19 after leaving Thailand, may have contracted the virus while travelling from Thailand to Myanmar, according to a report from Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health Disease Control Department.

The department says they suspect the child was exposed to the virus while crossing the border from the Mae Sot border district in Tak to Myanmar’s Myawaddy town. The child’s parents worked in Ayutthaya and quit their jobs last month. The department says the toddler probably contracted the virus around September 4 to September 10 while the family was travelling.

The family crossed natural, unofficial passageways into Myanmar. The news website Xinhua says it was an “apparent intent to evade anti-pandemic measures at the Mae Sot border checkpoint.”

Those in Thailand who came in close contact with the family tested negative for the virus. 146 people who worked with the family at Ayutthaya migrant worker camps all tested negative for Covid-19. Those in close contact with the family in the Nakhon Ratchasima province, where the parents worked prior to Ayutthaya, tested negative as well. 2,635 people in Mae Sot tested negative for Covid-19.

Health officials are still investigating 2 apparent local transmissions of Covid-19. Earlier this month, a Bangkok DJ tested positive for Covid-19, breaking Thailand’s 100 day streak without a local transmission. The DJ tested positive for G strain of the virus, a more infectious strain that is typically found in imported cases detected during state quarantine rather than local transmissions. Health officials do not know where the DJ contracted the virus.

A Uzbek football player for the Buriram United team recently tested positive for Covid-19. He was asymptomatic and tested negative for the virus multiple times during quarantine after he arrived to Thailand. Although it seems like a local transmission, some health officials speculate the virus has a longer incubation period than 14 days.


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Video & Podcasts

Thailand News Today | Amnesty finishes, protest round-up | September 21, 2020

The Thaiger



Thailand News Today | Amnesty finishes, protest round-up | September 21, 2020 | The Thaiger

Daily video news about Thailand with Tim Newton

Get a visa or go to jail.

Thai Immigration Tourists, and anyone else with a lapsed visa, ha ve only 5 days to renew their visa or they could get arrested. The current visa amnesty ends on September 26 and there isn’t going to be another sudden announcement for another grace period, according to immigration officials. Those who overstay will face arrest and be deported back to their home countries. Immigration officials estimate there are more than 150,000 foreign nationals who need to have their tourist visas renewed. Immigration officials said today that people without a valid visa after September 26 could face jail.

“Overstaying the tourist visa is punishable by both a jail term and fine under the Immigration Act.”

Some foreigners who arrived on tourist visas earlier in the year have been in Thailand since late March when the Thai borders closed and many international flights were cancelled due to the world coronavirus pandemic. The visa amnesty was renewed twice since many people were unable to their home countries, but now the amnesty is coming to an end this Saturday.

There were hopes that the end of the visa amnesty could co-incide with the introduction of the new Special Tourist Visa so that those either unable to leave, due to lack of flights or problems returning to their home countries, could ‘roll over’ onto the new 90 day visas. But that has not been announced at this stage and remains just wishful thinking. The best thing you can do, if you don’t currently have a valid visa to stay in Thailand, is urgently contact your embassy, make an appointment online at your nearest Immigration office, or speak to a professional visa agent. But, be warned, there are plenty of scammers posting official looking urgent posts in social media offering to issue you with a visa so you can stay in Thailand. Do your homework before spending money with any visa agent.

Weekend protest rallies draw 30,000 people but no formal response

Protesters gathered from early Saturday morning at the Thammasat Tha Prachan campus. Although officially denied permission to hold their protest on the Campus grounds, the demonstrators stormed the campus’s gates, without resistance from onlooking police or security officials. By the afternoon the crowd had reached some 30,000 people, less than the 50,000 expected but a lot more than the 15,000 expected by government officials in the lead up to the Saturday rally. Largely peaceful the protesters sat in the wet season drizzle to listen to speeches and performances before marching together to the adjacent royal parade grounds of Sanam Luang. Here the protest continued under the watchful eye of police, all unarmed, who barricaded off sensitive areas of the historic parade grounds and access to the Grand Palace.

The protest continued into the night and punctuated the themes of political freedom, new Democratic elections, the dissolution of the Thai parliament and, controversially, reforms to the country’s revered monarchy. On Sunday morning there was a symbolic placement of a brass plaque to commemorate the event, seen as a replacement to a similar plaque that commemorated the Siam Revolution in 1932 that mysteriously vanished in 2017. The protesters then marched to the Privy Council to officially hand over a copy of their 10 point manifesto.

Meanwhile, 45,000 books – a collection of speeches and poems by some of the protest leaders – were seized in a nearby Bangkok house. The books were to be handed out to protesters. 5 people were arrested at the time.

Alcohol banned at national parks after complaints of trash and drunk tourists Alcohol is now banned at national parks after tourists allegedly got drunk at a waterfall and others left a load of trash by their campsite. Just last week, trash left at a campsite at Khao Yai National Park was boxed up in a parcel and sent back to the campers. Other tourists were allegedly drunk and making a lot of noise at the Namtok Samlan National Park, Varawut says. He says both groups of tourists face charges for their actions.

• Alcohol is banned at national parks for the time being

• Loud noise is not allowed after 9pm and noise must be stopped at 10pm

• When renting a tent, tourists must provide identification, address and phone number

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MP files complaint against 3 opposition MPs for allegedly joining the protest

Caitlin Ashworth



MP files complaint against 3 opposition MPs for allegedly joining the protest | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Line Today

A member of parliament filed a complaint against 3 opposition MPs for allegedly joining the weekend’s pro-democracy protest where activists demanded reform of the Thai Monarchy. He’s also putting together a legal team aimed at dissolving the members’ 3 opposition parties.

Palang Pracharat MP Sira Jenjakha says he has a photo of the 3 members raising their hands in a 3 finger salute, a symbol of resistance against the military run government. He says the protest was illegal, and the location, the Royal Field next to the Grand Palace, is off limits to unauthorised people.

He filed the complaint with the Chanasongkhram police against Mongkolkit Suksintharanont, of the Thai Civilized Party, Peerawit Ruangluedolapark, of the Thai Rak Thai Party and Nattha Boonchai-insawat of the Kao Klai Party.

A legal team assigned by Sira will collect evidence and file a petition with the Constitutional Court calling on the dissolution of the 3 opposition parties: Thai Civilized Party, Thai Rak Thai Party and Kao Klai Party.

He says he also plans to ask the House Speaker to investigate the 3 members to determine if they breached the parliament’s ethical conduct.


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