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Phuket Gazette Thailand News: 2 workers missing in quarry collapse; Luxury car crackdown; False bomb threat alerts

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Phuket Gazette Thailand News: 2 workers missing in quarry collapse; Luxury car crackdown; False bomb threat alerts | The Thaiger
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PHUKET MEDIA WATCH
– Thailand news compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Phetchaburi mine ‘may have been operating illegally’
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: Rescue workers continued to search for the bodies of victims in a fatal rockslide yesterday at a mine in Phetchaburi, south of Bangkok, which authorities say may have ignored an order to improve its work methods for months.

The rockslide instantly killed backhoe driver Suwichart Suwinya. Two Myanmar workers, known simply as Nai and Yoo, were missing after the accident and feared dead.

Four other miners received treatment at Phra Chomklao Hospital for serious injuries.

The rockslide also damaged three pickups, four 10-wheelers and three backhoes.

Phetchaburi Governor Montien Thongnit has declared the mine a disaster zone and neighbouring areas a risky zone.

The mine was ordered to suspend all operations until inspections confirm that it is safe to resume work at the site.

Khao Yoi district chief Wisa Poonsirirat was ordered to head a search to try to locate the bodies of the two missing victims.

“This is the urgent mission,” Montien said.

Phet Samut mine owner Wichai Laowanichwisit said he was sorry for the tragic incident. He said his company would pay the medical bills of victims and offer compensation to the families of those killed.

Montien said he had also assigned Phetchaburi’s disaster-prevention and mitigation office to see how to provide further assistance to the victims.

Meanwhile, the head of the Primary Industries and Mines Region 7 Office said the mine was instructed to improve its mining method several months ago.

“Its method is not the right one,” Somsak Huankrasin said.

He suspected the mine may have ignored the problem until the fatal accident yesterday.

“We will look into whether negligence led workers to work in unsafe circumstances,” Somsak said.

DSI probes luxury car scam
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) will look into cases of tax evasion involving nearly 7,000 luxury vehicles, with customs, excise, revenue, land-transport officials and politicians possibly linked to the illegal import and false registration of the cars.

“We suspect that 5,832 luxury cars have been registered illegitimately in a way that allows buyers to avoid paying taxes,” DSI chief Tarit Pengdith said yesterday.

The probe was sparked by last week’s mysterious fire that damaged four sportscars on a car transport trailer in Nakhon Ratchisima. No owners have stepped forward to claim ownership of the vehicles, which were on their way to Si Sa Ket province.

Even the owner of the trailer truck’s company told police she did not know who owned the cars or who paid for their transport.

The DSI has now taken over the case.

Tarit said the case implicates at least 18 suspects, including customs, revenue, excise and land-transport officials. The DSI had been monitoring cases of “suspicious” luxury cars for a few years already, he revealed.

Veteran politician Chaiya Sasomsap said yesterday a white Lamborghini gutted in last week’s fire had the same licence-plate number registered to a white Lamborghini owned by a nephew, who is a son of Labour Minister Phadermchai Sasomsap, an senior Pheu Thai MP.

Speaking in an interview with a cable news channel, the former public health minister said his unnamed nephew returned the plate to the Land Transport Department in 2006 after he got another plate number. “The change was registered and documented in the department’s documents, signed by the officials. I don’t know why this licence plate was found at the scene of the fire,” said Chaiya said.

His nephew was still driving his white Lamborghini. He invitede police to verify his statement, the registration details and the existence of the vehicle.

Phadermchai said the Lamborghini gutted in the fire was not his son’s, although it carried his son’s old licence plate number 2617. “Maybe the auto trade company that sold a white Lamborghini to my son has not changed registration details of him still owning it. It does not carry licence-plate number 2617 anymore,” he said.

Tarit said the white Lamborghini damaged in the fire had been on a DSI watchlist. It was among the more than

1,000 vehicles awaiting registration or registered after being imported as auto parts and re-assembled for the purpose of tax evasion.

Tarit identified Dhamma Motor Rich Co Ltd, operated by Pornpimon Kehathan, as the firm that registered the white Lamborghini. Its engine buyer was Sukanya Sombatdee, he said, while the importing firm was TAN Express.

Tarit said evidence did not yet lead to any specific politician.

However, a politician might be implicated given that luxury-car buyers in Thailand are usually politicians or wealthy businessmen, he said.

The intention of buyers would determine whether they would be |held responsible for tax-evasion, Tarit said.

“But most of the time, we have found that buyers usually know where the vehicles come from,” he said.

In Khon Kaen yesterday, police cracked down on a luxury-car smuggling gang, seizing five Mercedes-Benz cars, a BMW sedan, two Toyota Alphards, three Nissan Cubes, a Volkswagen Beetle and a Suzuki wagon.

The chief of the Land Transport Department in Si Sa Ket was transferred to an inactive post yesterday. No detailed reasons were given for the swift transfer order, which reportedly came as a result of the issue.

The official, Danai Khote-arsa, said he took the post just seven months ago, and that his office had registered just seven vehicles, all of which were |legally imported.

Speaking before learning of his transfer, Danai said there that 23 |luxury cars had been registered in Si Sa Ket since 2010. One of them was later re-registered in Bangkok. Another car, a brown Jaguar XR, was set to be registered in Si Sa Ket but he halted issuance of a licence-plate |number following reports from police that it might have been illegally imported.

The Industrial Works Department estimates that there are around 3,000 luxury cars imported illegally through the auto-parts scheme.

Only 10 of them are registered with the department, as required by their petrol tank exceeding 15 litres, said director-general Natthaphol Natthasomboon. He said he would visit Land Transport offices in the Northeast to check on registration details and seek relevant information from the officials and the police.

Bomb rumours prompt online watch
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: Police will keep a closer eye on frightening rumours on social-media websites following postings that falsely claimed government agencies were warning of bombings in Bangkok.

Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD) chief Pol Maj-General Pisit Pao-in said his agency would make structural changes in the next seven days in which it would increase the number of sub-divisions from seven to 12 and boost the number of officers and tools to monitor cyber threats. The TCSC currently has 120 officers.

The agency will set up a “war room” where 20 officers would each monitor one screen around the clock to keep an eye on social media. Currently, only two officers are assigned to this duty.

The TCSC’s moves are in response to national polic

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Thailand

Thailand News Today | German Embassy, More STV tourists, Thanathorn in trouble | October 27

The Thaiger

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Thailand News Today | German Embassy, More STV tourists, Thanathorn in trouble | October 27 | The Thaiger

Today’s latest Thai news from The Thaiger, hosted by Tim Newton with full, echoey sound! Sorry about the minor audio issues!

From Bangkok to Berlin – protesters deliver letter to German Embassy

Protesting students last night submitted a letter to the German Embassy, to be passed on to the German Government. The protest started around 4pm when the rally gathered at the Sam Yan intersection, near the Chulalongkorn University, and made its way along Rama IV Road to the German Embassy in Sathorn Road, some 1.5 kilometres.

After some 10,000+ students descended on the Embassy compound in Sathorn Road, the German embassy said it would be “ready to receive the petition and convey it to Berlin on condition it was conveyed in a peaceful manner”.

The rally disbanded peacefully at around 9pm. Here are a few lines from the letter… the full contents are published on thethaiger.com

Addressed to His Excellency German Ambassador to Thailand.

During the last few days, we believe that Your Excellency have had the occasion to observe numerous alarming human rights violations in The Kingdom, including the excessive use of force against peaceful protestors and the suppression of free speech.

The protestors. at the receiving end of these egregious violations, were advocating for nothing more than democracy and accountability from the Government.

One of the most significant and courageous demands from the protestors is the accountability of the monarchy as an institution under the constitution.

In this regard, we are certain that Your Excellency is well aware of the open secret that H.M. does not habitually reside in Thailand, but rather in Bavaria, Germany. Khana Ratsadon International profoundly believes that this violates International custom, law, as well as Article I of the German Constitution.

We sincerely hope that Your Excellency would convey our grievances to the German Government.

Yesterday’s Germany’s Foreign Minister responded directly to the situation out side the German Embassy in the German parliament….

“Of course we are following developments taking place in Thailand, and know there are demonstrations and people taking to the streets for their rights. And, of course, I am also watching what the Thai King gets up to in Germany.”

Earlier yesterday a group of some 500 supporters of the government and royalists dressed in yellow shirts also demonstrated outside the gates of the German Embassy voicing their support for His Majesty and a continuation of the current system.

Both rallies outside German Embassy broke the law – deputy police chief

Meanwhile both of the rallies outside the German Embassy in Bangkok – the royalists and government supporters earlier yesterday afternoon and the pro-democracy protesters in the evening – have been deemed illegal by Thai police.

Deputy Metropolitan Police Chief says both rallies held outside the embassy on Sathorn Road did not have the permit required to hold a gathering and demonstrators violated Covid-19 prevention measures under the emergency order (presumably the Covid 19 emergency decree as the State of Emergency was rescinded last Thursday by the Thai PM).

Around 500 royalists got to the embassy first in the afternoon to show support for the Thai Monarch. Most were dressed in yellow, the colour representing the Thai Monarchy, and many waved the Thai flag and held up photos of the Royal family.

6 face extortion charges after allegedly posing Thai immigration police officers

Police have arrested 3 people and issued arrest warrants for 3 others on extortion charges after they allegedly posed immigration police officers in Rayong and visited business owners with migrant staff, asking them for money.

Police say 6 men wearing immigration police uniforms visited business owners in Rayong on September 15. They allegedly asked for money from the businesses with migrant labourers.

Investigators where able to track down 3 of the suspects and found the immigration police uniforms they allegedly used.

145 more on Special Tourist Visa arrive in Bangkok

145 people on the new Special Tourist Visa arrived in Bangkok yesterday from Guangzhou, China, the second group after Thailand’s 7 month ban on international tourists.

39 people on the new long stay visa arrived last week, a small, yet significant step forward for Thailand as it pries open the borders for tourists, albeit with a lot of paperwork, restrictions AND the 14 day quarantine.

In 2019, nearly 40 million tourists visited Thailand.

3 Chinese casino workers arrested with 8 million baht after illegal crossing from Myanmar

Officers from the Thai police and military have arrested 3 Chinese nationals after they crossed illegally into Thailand from the Burmese town of Myawaddy.

The 2 women and 1 man were workers at a casino in Myanmar and were arrested in possession of 8 million baht in Mae Sot, Northern Thailand. Officers detained them as they were getting into 2 cars allegedly arranged for them by 2 Thai men .

Thanathorn, other former Future Forward Party officials, are facing criminal charges

16 people from the dissolved Future Forward Party, including the former leader Thanathorn , could face criminal charges pressed by the Election Commission.

The charges are over a large donation that allegedly exceeds the maximum allowed under the Political Parties Act. The timing of the politically-charged legal action coincides with a peak of anti-government protest activity.

The 191 million baht loan, which exceeds the limit of 10 million baht per donor per year, led the Constitutional Court to dissolve the Future Forward Party back in February. The Court also ordered the party’s executive MPs be stripped of their parliamentary status and banned from politics for 10 years.

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Don’t forget to extend your visa! Thai Immigration warns about fines for late applicants

Caitlin Ashworth

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Don’t forget to extend your visa! Thai Immigration warns about fines for late applicants | The Thaiger

Still need to extend your visa? You have until Halloween, October 31. With the visa amnesty deadline approaching, Thai Immigration Bureau is reminding foreigners to get their visa in order by the end of this month. Late applicants will be fined, they say.

No matter when the visa is extended, as long as it’s before the deadline, it will go into effect on November 1 and allow a 60 day stay. The immigration bureau says foreigners should file an application with their local immigration office.

Since the recent amnesty period was put in place a few days after the initial September 26 deadline, those who paid 1,900 baht for 30 day visa extensions last month are now allowed to stay until November 30, but they need to go to immigration to get a stamp with the new expiration date.

The amnesty was first put in place in April due to travel restrictions and the global spread of the coronavirus. The grace period was set to end in July, then extended to late-September, and then extended again after many were unable to leave the country or get their visa in order before the deadline.

SOURCE: Thai Immigration

Don't forget to extend your visa! Thai Immigration warns about fines for late applicants | News by The Thaiger

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Thailand

145 more on Special Tourist Visa arrive in Bangkok

Caitlin Ashworth

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145 more on Special Tourist Visa arrive in Bangkok | The Thaiger
PHOTO: 77 kaoded

145 people on the new Special Tourist Visa arrived in Bangkok yesterday from Guangzhou, China, the second group after Thailand’s 7 month ban on international tourists. 39 people on the new long stay visa arrived last week, a small, yet significant step forward for Thailand as it pries open the borders for tourists, albeit with a lot of paperwork, restrictions AND the 14 day quarantine.

The country went from welcoming millions of tourists each month before the pandemic to zero from late-March until a few weeks ago. In 2019, nearly 40 million tourists visited Thailand.

All the tourists passed the Covid-19 screening upon arrival at the Suvarnabhumi Airport. They are now required to go through a 14 day quarantine at an approved hotel or facility before travelling the country.

The tourists were on the same China Southern Airlines flight as 118 foreigners with Thai work permits who were entering Thailand for business purposes, according to the airport’s deputy director Kittipong Kittikachon. 16 Thais were also on the flight, travelling back home from China.

While some have been concerned that opening the borders to foreign tourists could cause another outbreak (even though the tourists are also required to quarantine), Kittipong says there is “no chance” that the coronavirus will spread from the tourists. He says strict health measures are in place and the tourists are coming from areas that are considered a “very low risk” with no recent local transmissions of the virus.

SOURCE: Pattaya News

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