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Thailand News Today | Cheap flights continue, local tourism surge, fake notes | November 4

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Thai cabinet approves extension of jet fuel levy holiday

Good news for flyers, at least the ones here in Thailand. Whilst the current cheapest domestic air fares have been around the same prices they were before local airlines were grounded, there is a possibility of some more drops in your seat prices.

Thailand’s low-cost carriers have been slowly adding new routes and frequency since taking back to the Thai skies at the start of July. The excise tax on jet fuel was dropped to just 0.2 baht per litre from the earlier 4.726 baht in February this year to try and mitigate the early impacts of the pandemic on domestic operators. That reduction expired at the end of September. The extended excise reduction will now run until April 9, 2021.
Thailand’s Sports and Tourism Minister, at yesterday’s remote Cabinet meeting in Phuket, acknowledged the importance of keeping the domestic air-fares competitive whilst the country had to rely on a mostly domestic-only tourism model until the borders could be safely re-opened, or when tourists were ready to start returning to Thailand.

Tourism Minister optimistic high season will see 10 million domestic trips a month

The same minister is now projecting that domestic tourists will go on 10 million trips a month during the forthcoming high season… that’s 15% of the whole Thai population going on one trip per month.

The Minister is hopeful the stimulus measures approved by Cabinet will boost tourism numbers and help off-set some of the economic devastation caused by the ongoing restrictions of Thailand’s borders.

Domestic tourism first began to pick up in May, while the country was still in partial lockdown, with over 500,000 trips taken that month. In June, that figure jumped to over 3 million, then 7.4 million in July and 8.4 million in August.

Norwegian expat in Pattaya arrested over explicit child video

An elderly Norwegian man has been arrested in Pattaya on charges of downloading, collecting, and possessing underage explicit video. The 87 year old expat was arrested yesterday in the Jomtien area, after authorities identified his computer IP address as being the source of illegal downloads of inappropriate child abuse material.

Officials seized computer paraphernalia and a mobile phone during the arrest. The unnamed suspect is now in custody facing a maximum jail term of 5 years if convicted.

Monk detained after allegedly sending explicit video to 20 children

Meanwhile a monk in Udon Thani is also facing charges after he allegedly sent an explicit video of himself to 20 children, inviting them to engage in inappropriate activities in exchange for money.

The 49 year old monk officials defrocked and charged with publishing explicit material and attempting to abuse minors.

The monk came to police attention after a villager filed a complaint reporting that the abbot allegedly sent an the video clips of himself to her 12 year old daughter. He allegedly offered the girl 2,000 baht in exchange.
He’d already sent the videos to more than 20 children, boys and girls around 11 to 13 years old, on Facebook.

Fake 100 baht bank notes are reportedly being exchanged in the Isaan province Surin

2 local merchants say they were each handed what appears to be a counterfeit bill from a customer.

A noodle vendor at the Surin Municipal Market says she noticed a 100 baht bill she got from a customer felt strange, more like photocopy paper, she said. She wrote down the bill’s serial number and said would contact the bank.
Another merchant noticed a 100 baht bill had lost some of its colour after getting wet and took the bill to Bangkok Bank’s Surin branch.
Both notes indeed turned out to be fake.

A local merchant who says he knows how to spot the fake bills is warning other merchants in the area.

 

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