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Surrender and fight for justice, police tell Nopporn

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

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

Surrender and fight for justice, police tell Nopporn
The Nation/ Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Royal Thai Police spokesman Lt Gen Prawut Thawornsiri has called on fugitive billionaire Nopporn Suppipat to turn himself in, and fight what the businessman claims are unfair allegations and distortions of the facts made against him.

Responding to an interview Nopporn gave AFP, Gen Prawut yesterday highlighted a number of what he called irregularities and inconsistencies in the Wind Energy Holding president’s comments.

Gen Prawut questioned why Nopporn did not fight Bunthit Chotewitthayakul in court if his claim that he had repaid the money he owed Bunthit were true.

Nopporn has denied police accusations that he helped orchestrate the kidnapping of Bunthit over a debt he owed Bunthit.

Gen Prawut described as unconvincing Nopporn’s claim that he had agreed to pay 5 million baht to Navy commander Parinya Rakwathin – despite saying he did not know Cdr Parinya well enough – so that an influential military figure could help hasten the repayment of the loan to Bunthit.

It has been rumoured that Nopporn fled to Cambodia since the story broke last week.

But a senior Cambodian immigration officer, Teb Yadee, dismissed the rumor and said Cambodian authorities would hand him over to Thailand if they arrested him. Teb added that searches at several casinos across the border from Sa Kaew did not find fugitive Pattani-based businessman Sahachai Jiansermsin, another suspect associated with the alleged debt-collecting racket supervised by crimebuster Lt Gen Pongpat Chayaphan.

In Nopporn’s interview, he denied police accusations that he had helped orchestrate the kidnapping of Bunthit, saying he fled to Cambodia on November 30 after discovering he would be charged with lese majeste.

“I knew Article 112 [the section of the Criminal Code relating to lese majeste] would mean I wouldn’t get bail … I couldn’t take that risk,” the 43-year-old told AFP in a phone interview from an undisclosed location early yesterday.

He said the media was his only hope for justice by reporting the truth.

Nopporn said he did not owe Bunthit money but had obtained a 17mn-baht loan from a company owned by three people, which included Bunthit and a lecturer at Krirk University who has a PhD.

“All three people did not deem it to be a loan and filed an embezzlement complaint against me before I had repaid the whole amount,” he said.

“Bundit is the only person who hasn’t withdrawn the complaint against me, despite him receiving his share of the 17mn baht. I don’t owe Bunthit any money since April 2012, when I fully repaid it.”

Nopporn said he had never heard of the three men with the surname Akarapongpreecha before June 23 – the date Parinya allegedly hired three men to force Bunthit to agree to receive only 20mn baht of the 120mn baht reportedly owed to him. “On my mother’s and father’s and everyone I love life [sic], I had never met or heard of them until this happened,” he said.

More than 20 people have been arrested so far in the probe.

Nopporn said he believed he was being targeted because he was perceived as being close to former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, although he insisted he was not a supporter of the ousted leader, who lives abroad in self-exile. “People said the police believed I was close to Thaksin, and with that I knew I had to run,” Nopporn said.

He said he had no intention of returning to Thailand any time soon because he believed he would be unable to get a fair hearing under the junta-led nation.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

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Phuket

Thailand News Today | Pfizer vaccines on the way, Phuket’s July re-opening | May 7

Thaiger

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Disease Control Department back-peddled saying that that foreigners living in Thailand WILL also be vaccinated, governor of Chiang Mai is calling for the ban on dining in at restaurants in the northern city to be lifted and for eateries to be allowed to serve food on-site until 9pm, Tourism and Sports Minister insists the southern island of Phuket must record zero Covid-19 cases if a planned July re-opening is to go ahead, and 150 million baht worth of methamphetamine pills were impounded in Nakhon Phanom yesterday

 

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Economy

Stimulus package gives more back the more you spend

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: A new stimulus package aims to get the middle class spending. (via Flickr - Marco Verch)

A new stimulus package targeting middle and high-income people aims at increasing spending by offering more e-voucher the more you spend. Ying Chai Ying Dai, which translates to “the more you spend the more you get”, will reward those who spend between 46,000 and 70,000 baht with a 7,000 baht e-voucher. This part of the government’s 225 billion baht stimulus package hopes to encourage 4 million qualifying middle- to upper-class people to spend more money by refunding 10-15% back, according to the Finance Ministry’s Fiscal Policy Office.

People wishing to participate must register and make their purchases through a government e-wallet system. The system works by refunding 10 to 15% of purchases with a maximum of 7,000 baht. So at 15%, a person who spent 46,000 baht would receive back the full 7,000. On the 10% scheme, 70,000 baht in spending would be necessary to reach 7,000 cashback. No details were available on what determines the percentage level.

An additional 2,000 baht will be available for people participating in the “Section 33 Rao Rak Kan” and “Rao Chana” scheme. The plans are expected to push 85.5 billion Baht back into the economy as recipients must spend the cash by the end of June.

The 50/50 stimulus program that has been popular with the government covering half of what people spend for half for food, drink, and other items up to 150 baht per person per day will also be expanded. That plan began on October 23, and ended at the end of 2020, covering 10 million people with each receiving 3000 baht. The second phase of the popular program added 5 million more people and raised the limit to 3,500 baht per person.

A third phase of the “Khon La Khrueng” stimulus plan is expected to begin in July with participants getting a maximum of 3,500 baht each to spend, and opening the program to 16 million new people. This massive expansion though will stipulate that anyone participating in this program cannot also participate in the Ying Chai Ying Dai scheme.

All of these cash and voucher benefits aimed at supporting vulnerable groups, along with cash handouts for people who have state welfare cards, are part of 245 billion baht the government is spending in an attempt to keep the economy from collapsing. This falls under an emergency loan decree allocating the government 1 trillion baht total to cope with Covid-19.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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Thailand

Covid UPDATE: 2,044 new cases and 27 deaths, provincial totals

Thaiger

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Deputy spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Natapanu Nopakun / Photo courtesy of the Royal Thai Government

2,044 new Covid-19 cases and 27 coronavirus-related deaths were reported today in the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration’s daily briefing. There are now 29,320 active Covid-19 cases. 1,170 Covid patients are in critical condition including 367 on ventilators.

Since the start of the pandemic last year, the CCSA has reported a total of 78,855 Covid-19 infections and 363 virus-related deaths.

Out of 27 new fatalities, patients were ages 30 to 90. Most of the deaths were in Bangkok and surrounding provinces. Several contacted the virus from family members.

Provinces with the highest number of new confirmed cases…

Province New cases Total cases since April 1
Bangkok 869 16,917
Nonthaburi 201 3,032
Samut Prakan 165 2,902
Chon Buri 89 3,128
Samut Sakhon 69 1,299
Surat Thani 60 1,035
Pathum Thani 39 1,099
Chiang Mai 33 3,180
Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 32 607
Nakhon Pathom 29 746
Ranong 29 329

 

Districts in Bangkok with the highest number of confirmed cases…

District New cases
Khlong Toei 46
Pathum Wan 24
Bang Khae 24
Lat Phrao 13
Ratchathewi 10
Pom Prap Sattru Phai 9
Bueng Kum 9
Phasi Charoen 8
Bang Khun Thian 8
Din Daeng 8

Covid UPDATE: 2,044 new cases and 27 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger

 

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