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Phuket Gazette Thailand News: Stolen Austrian passport used by Iranian teenage migrant

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Gazette Thailand News: Stolen Austrian passport used by Iranian teenage migrant | The Thaiger

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

PHUKET: One of the two passengers who boarded the missing Malaysia Airlines plane Flight MH370 on stolen passports was an Iranian man seeking to relocate to Germany, Malaysian police said Tuesday.

Pouria Nour Mohammad Mehrdad, 19, was travelling on an Austrian passport earlier declared stolen in Thailand, police Inspector General Khalid Abu Bakar said.

Based on consultation with foreign intelligence counterparts, he did not appear to be a member of any terrorist organisation, and was apparently trying to migrate to Germany, Khalid said.

Interpol confirmed on Sunday that at least two passengers on the flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing used passports stolen in Thailand within the last two years leading to speculation that the plane had been attacked, reported Reuters.

Thai police and foreign police investigators have been questioning two travel agents in the resort city of Pattaya, where the tickets were bought for the two men who boarded the flight using the stolen passports.

“We haven’t ruled it out but the weight of evidence we’re getting swings against the idea that these men are or were involved in terrorism,” Pattaya chief of police Supachai Puikaewcome told Reuters on Tuesday.

Both of the tickets, bought for the travellers by two Iranians, were for travel on from Beijing to Europe at the cheapest price, Supachai said.

“Judging by the ticket booking alone, if it was terrorism they would have specified the route and the plane they wanted to take. Instead, they asked for the most cost-effective ticket and did not specify the route or the airline.”

Police were hoping to question one of the Iranians who had paid for the tickets in cash. Supachai identified him only as Hasem and said he was known to be in Pattaya.

A second Iranian, who Supachai identified as Kazem Ali, had booked the tickets by telephone with a Pattaya travel agent. Ali was believed to be in Iran.

“We’re looking into all angles including the possibility that these men were involved in human smuggling as Mr Ali had a relationship with the travel agency and had booked through them previously, very possibly for Iranian nationals,” Supachai said.

Police on the Thai holiday island of Phuket said both of the passports had been stolen there. An Italian man reported his passport stolen last year while the other passport, which belonged to an Austrian man, was reported stolen in 2012, an immigration police officer said

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Pattaya

Torrential rains again wash away parts of Pattaya Beach, more on the way

Greeley Pulitzer

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Torrential rains again wash away parts of Pattaya Beach, more on the way | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: The Pattaya News

Heavy rains have caused flooding and beach erosion on Pattaya’s recently reclaimed beach yesterday afternoon. The torrential rain continued for many hours around Central Pattaya. Heavy rains are also expected again today (forecast below).

Many areas ended up flooded causing local traffic hazards and delays. Water flooded down storm drains and onto Pattaya’s beaches and into the sea, literally washing the beach away in some locations.

Tourists and swimmers avoided the water as they saw “an unidentified white substance on the water’s surface”. The white scum appeared to look like some sort of detergent or foam which had washed down the city’s drains.

Last year some 400 million baht was spent re-building some of Pattaya’s beaches which end up damaged and washed out to sea any time there are heavy rains.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

Torrential rains again wash away parts of Pattaya Beach, more on the way | News by The Thaiger Torrential rains again wash away parts of Pattaya Beach, more on the way | News by The Thaiger

Torrential rains again wash away parts of Pattaya Beach, more on the way | News by The Thaiger

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Bangkok

Thai High Speed Railway linking airports now to be signed off on October 25

The Thaiger

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Thai High Speed Railway linking airports now to be signed off on October 25 | The Thaiger

The State Railway of Thailand and the Charoen Pokphand Group-led consortium are putting pen to paper and signing the contract for the high-speed train project on October 25.

The much-discussed high speed railway will link Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang and U-Tapao international airports. The new SRT board was approved by the Thai cabinet today.

Deputy PM Anutin Charnvirakul says he is confident the contract will now be signed, adding that he has already met with Supachai Chearavanont, CEO of the CP group, and assured him of the government’s full cooperation and support.

The Charoen Pokphand-led consortium won the bid to develop the 224-billion baht high-speed train infrastructure as a signature project for the government’s flagship Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) high-tech investment hub. The train service is scheduled to be operational in 2024 (The Thaiger is taking bets now).

Recently, however, the CP-led consortium raised concerns over land expropriation and eviction problems and asked for the government to share the risk on this issue. The Transport Ministry has already rejected the request putting the onus on CP as part of the proposal.

Mr. Anutin explained that, in any large infrastructure project involving expropriation of land, it is usual for the government or state agency not to be able to hand over the land to the contractor all at once. In such cases, the contracted completion date can be moved back.

He said the CP-led consortium should proceed with the high-speed train project without further delay because 70% of the land is ready to be handed over.

Meanwhile, the deputy PM admits that he didn’t know why the entire SRT board resigned en masse, delaying the signing of the contract, and denied that he had put pressure on the board to quit. He also denied that Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob, also of the Bhumjaithai party, objected to the SRT board’s mass resignation because the latter wanted the contract to be signed quickly.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

Thai High Speed Railway linking airports now to be signed off on October 25 | News by The Thaiger

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Pattaya

Toilet break goes wrong when trucks collide in Pattaya, injuring two

May Taylor

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Toilet break goes wrong when trucks collide in Pattaya, injuring two | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Pattaya Update News

The driver of a ten-wheeler truck got more than he bargained for after stopping for a toilet break at the side of the road in Pattaya.

Pattaya Update News reports that 57 year old Jirawat parked his truck on the Krathing Rai-Rayong road at about 1.30am over the weekend. While he was away from his vehicle, attending to business, a six-wheeler truck ploughed into the back of his truck.

The driver of the six-wheeler, 42 year old Suthin, suffered head injuries, while his 45 year old wife passenger, Netchanok, sustained a leg injury. Both occupants of the truck had to be cut free by rescue workers before being rushed to hospital.

Meanwhile, Jirawat says the sound of the crash startled him, causing him to fall over and urinate on himself. Returning to his vehicle, he alerted the authorities. It’s unclear what, if any, action will be taken by police against either of the drivers.

SOURCE: Pattaya Update News | ThaiVisa

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