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Second man charged in train rape-murder

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Second man charged in train rape-murder | Thaiger

PHUKET: Police have charged a second State Railway of Thailand employee over his alleged involvement in the rape and murder of a 13-year-old girl on an overnight train to Bangkok.

After the interrogation of a 19-year-old train worker by Prachuap Khiri Khan police chief Maj Gen Thanes Sunthornsuk, an informed source reported that the teenager confessed that he was drinking with Wanchai Saengkhao, 22, when he learned of his plan to attack the girl.

Train cleaner Wanchai earlier confessed to raping and killing the girl. It is expected that forensic and DNA test results will be available in two days to determine whether Wanchai acted alone.

Police charged the 19 year old with aiding an offender who raped a minor aged under 15 and with giving false testimony to police in a bid to help another person escape punishment. He was sent to Prachuap Khiri Khan Prison yesterday.

This is contrary to a previous report that stated that the man had provided useful information during his initial police interrogation and would be a witness.

Police will re-interview other cleaners who worked on the train the day of the murder.

Thanongsak Pongprasert, head of SRT’s routes and schedules division, said that the second-class women-only sleeper carriage was for accompanying children as well. The carriages will be re-implemented on all overnight trains within 15 days.

A 2001 “Lady Car” project to operate women-only sleeper carriages from Bangkok to Chiang Mai was launched. However, it was quickly scrapped on the grounds it was not popular with passengers.

Mr Thanongsak said a ban of alcohol sales at stations and on trains came into effect yesterday.

Mr Thanongsak said that other long-term measures to be implemented included having railway police guards on all overnight trains, getting recruitment companies to ensure SRT workers were qualified and making workers submit to a drug test every three months.

The SRT will also require new employees to undergo a mental-health examination along with a physical.

Signs at Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong Train Station announcing the alcohol ban were posted around the station and on all trains.

— The Nation

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Family sues prime minister, CCSA after Covid-infected relative dies

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo from Kunlasub Wattnaphon's Facebook.

The family of a man who died while infected with Covid-19 is demanding the prime minister, as well as other government officials, pay millions of baht in compensation, citing “negligence” after calls to Covid-19 hotlines went unanswered or were not of help.

35 year old Kunlasub Watthanaphon died on April 23. Kunlasub is said to have contracted the virus from a cluster in Bangkok. Many of the clusters of infections early in the recent outbreak were concentrated in nightlife districts in Bangkok including Thong Lor and Ekkamai.

When Kunlasub developed Covid-19 symptoms, he called the hotline numbers for those who think they make have contracted the virus. If he had received proper treatment quicker, the family says he might still be alive.

“The CCSA announced telephone helplines – 1330, 1422, 1668, 1669 and 1323 – for people who suspected they had contracted Covid-19. When my brother developed Covid-like symptoms he called these numbers. However, they were either busy or someone picked up but did not send help right away.”

Kunlasub had documented his illness on Facebook, posting updates, as well as photos and videos, up until the day of his death.

The death of the 35 year old man, who is well known in the esport, or video competition industry, sparked controversy. One person wrote on Facebook after Kunlasub’s death “My friend didn’t die because of a congenital disease. He died because he wasn’t treated in the early days.”

The case was filed at the Administrative Court today. It demands compensation of 4.53 million baht from the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration as well as PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, his secretary and the prime minister’s office.

The family is also suing Thong Lor entertainment venues, where the first clusters were reported in the recent outbreak, for negligence.

β€œHad the CCSA imposed a strict lockdown on entertainment venues and banned travel during the Songkran holiday, the latest wave of Covid-19 with over 2,000 new infections daily would never have happened.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

 

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Thailand

Thailand News Today | 8 clusters in Bangkok, Phuket party organisers charged | May 14

Tanutam Thawan

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Foreigners may face a slight delay in receiving their Covid-19 vaccines, The BMA has now confirmed 8 clusters of Covid infection in the capital, Thai Private Hospital Association is now working to offer a variety of Covid-19 vaccine brands to Thais and Patong police have announced that the managers of the Phuket venues that hosted the Kolour entertainment event swill be charged under Thailand’s Emergency Decree provisions.

 

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Economy

Market down as good US economy drives interest rate fears

Neill Fronde

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FILE PHOTO: The Thai stock market followed the rest of the world down yesterday, but long-term prospects may be looking up.

After US inflation exceeded targets and increased 4%, global stock markets including Thailand plummeted yesterday with fears of rising interest rates. Almost 144 billion baht was traded yesterday with the market at one point diving down 70 points in the late afternoon before recovering to a 23.72 point loss, closing at 1548.13.

2% is a high rate of inflation so the big numbers sparked fears that the US Federal Reserve will reduce quantitative easing and increase interest rate which decreases the market’s liquidity. The US economy is surging with the Consumer Price Index up 4.2% over last year.

The balancing out of the economy will likely push risky prospects like the stock market down while driving up commodity prices like energy and oil. This may hurt the Stock Exchange of Thailand in the short run, but will likely have long-term positive effects as the SET has a large number of energy stocks that will benefit from the market’s change.

Some long-term investors in Thailand fear quantitative easing and the market’s tightening because it drives away foreign investors which in the past made up 30% of the Thai market. But now foreigners only account for 20% so the negative effect should be much less. However, in the normal inflation range of 1 to 3%, the stock market should have a price-to-earnings ratio of 20 and some experts have downgraded it to 18 now.

Eyeing the US, some experts predict that even accelerated quantitative easing won’t come into effect until the end of the year and interest rates probably won’t rise significantly within the next 2 years. Watching the continued effect of the Covid-19 pandemic and US unemployment figures will be key indicators driving the global market up or down.

Even with the stock market down in Thailand, there’s still some good news as Thai corporations listed on the SET expected to cross the 200 billion baht profit threshold this week, after reporting 180 billion baht in the first quarter of the year, with 55% of the market recording a profit.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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