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Thailand News Today | “Joe Ferrari’s” lawyer fights back

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Police on Koh Samui says the body of Australian cricket player, Shane Warne, will be flown home for a state funeral once the autopsy is completed.

The 52-year-old was found dead at a villa on the island on Friday, a day after he arrived. The player is thought to have died of a heart attack.
According to a report, his body has been transferred from Thai International Hospital Samui to Surat Thani Hospital, where an autopsy will be carried out.

Yuttana Sirisombat, superintendent of Bophut police, says the body was transported by the Seatran Ferry company, supervised by Allan McKinnon, Australian Ambassador to Thailand.

According to the report, Warne suffered from asthma and heart disease and reportedly experienced chest tightness while still in Australia. Officials plan to speak with everyone who was travelling with the cricket legend, as well as questioning 4 massage staff and 2 hotel workers.

Warne’s family are coordinating with the Australian embassy in order to have his body flown home. He had arrived at Samujana Villas in บ่อผุด on Thursday and, after receiving a negative PCR test result in the following day, had visited a suit store at around 1 pm and then called a masseur to his villa at around 3 pm.

When his friends called him to meet for dinner at 5 pm, he was found unconscious. He was rushed to the hospital but could not be revived, according to his manager.

Investigating officers say there were no indications of a struggle in his room, nor did they find any narcotic substances.

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Resorts and hotels are no longer accepting credit cards from Russian guests. The decision comes after 7 Russian banks were excluded from the SWIFT financial system, leaving many Russians overseas unable to use their credit cards.

Card providers Mastercard and Visa have also announced a suspension of services in Russia, although Russian banks have downplayed the effect of the move. However, the Russian Central Bank has advised its citizens to carry other forms of payment while travelling. One resort on the island of Phi Phi, in Krabi province, says it’s now only accepting cash payments from Russian guests.

In Thailand, the Melia Hotel group says a number of Phuket properties have been consulting with the Bank of Thailand about the issue facing Russian tourists, as they attempt to find a way to accept payments from their guests.

According to the Thai PBS World report, around 15% of advance bookings from Russian tourists have been cancelled since the US and the EU introduced harsh sanctions against Russia, following Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Until recently, Thailand was welcoming around 700 Russian visitors a day under the Test & Go entry scheme. Since the start of March, this has dropped to fewer than 400 a day. Russians traditionally favour the beach destinations of Phuket, Krabi, and Koh Samui, during the months of March and April, with most staying for between 7 and 21 days. Since Thailand’s re-opening on November 1, over 63,000 Russian visitors have arrived in the kingdom, generating around 1.4 billion baht in tourist revenue.

Former police chief Thitisan Utthanaphon, aka Joe Ferrari, is calling for human rights observers to be blocked from attending his trial for torture and murder.

Thitisan, who has been nicknamed “Joe Ferrari” because of the lavish lifestyle he lived and the luxury cars he accumulated while on a policeman’s salary, has asked the Criminal Court to stop the rights observers from attending his trial.

Thitisan and several other officers are on trial accused of killing a drug suspect during questioning by suffocating him with plastic bags. The incident took place in the northern province of Nakhon Sawan last April and came to light when CCTV footage was leaked, causing a storm of protest among the general public.

Thitisan made his first appearance over the weekend, with hearings expected to continue at the Central Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases this Saturday and Sunday. Thitisan and his lawyer have demanded to know why human rights observers, which they call “unrelated individuals” should be admitted by the court.

The lawyer for the former chief of Nakhon Sawan police has also attempted to tone down the seriousness of the accusations faced by his client, describing the alleged death-by-torture of Jeerapong Thanapat as “general” physical assault. Yes, vey general suffocation by very ordinary plastic bags. The lawyer has also suggested that the case could tarnish the…pristine…reputation of the Royal Thai Police.

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Thailand’s national police chief says the death of actress Tangmo seems to have been an accident based on gathered evidence.

An autopsy report shows the actress died from drowning. Her body also had a large cut on her leg, possibly from the speedboat’s propeller. More results from a forensic examination will be released in a few days.

The actress’s body was found on February 26, nearly two days after she fell into the Chao Phraya River while on a speedboat. She was on the boat with five other people who have claimed that the actress fell off the boat when she went to the back to urinate, but people have been sceptical and some have suspected foul play.

At least 29 witnesses have been interviewed as part of the investigation into the actress’ tragedy. Two people were charged with operating an unregistered boat and causing death by misconduct.

The authorities are still gathering more evidence, while divers from the marine police division found two items from the Chao Phraya River near Phibul Songkhram pier on Sunday and turned them over to forensics. After Tangmo fell into the river, it is believed that the suspects threw objects into the river.

Police in Thailand is asking a Canadian court to refuse a bail application for a man wanted for murder on the southern island of Phuket.

Canadian national Matthew Dupre is 1 of 2 suspects wanted for the murder of Indian gang member Jimi Singh Sandhu, who was gunned down outside his Rawai villa on February 4.

Dupre and his alleged accomplice, Gene Karl Lahrkamp, subsequently fled Thailand, with Dupre arrested in Alberta, on February 20. He is currently in detention, while the Alberta court considers an extradition request from the Thai authorities.

According to a report, Jiraphop from the Central Investigation Bureau, says investigators are also filing a petition with the Canadian court to refuse Dupre’s bail application. Thai police say they want the suspect extradited to stand trial in the kingdom.

It’s understood Thai authorities are concerned that if the Canadian court grants bail, the suspect will flee, undermining efforts by police to secure his extradition.

———-

Staff from a hospital in Bangkok interrupted a funeral right before the cremation ceremony to tell the family that they had accidentally given them the wrong corpse.

After discovering that the wrong corpse had been given away, staff from the Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok quickly went to the ceremony and told the family “the corpses were switched!”

The husband of the 55-year-old woman who had died from cancer while being infected with Covid says he picked up his wife’s body from the Siriraj Hospital.

The body was in a sealed bag and there was no name tag. He says he asked officers to make sure his wife’s body was in the bag, and they confirmed.

For Buddhist funeral ceremonies, monks typically chant for three to seven days, but since the pandemic, many have shortened the ceremonies to only one day for the cremation ceremony. Under Covid prevention measures, hospitals deliver the bodies of those who died while infected with the virus to cremation ceremonies and families are told not to open the sealed body bag to prevent the spread of the disease.

The husband told Thai media that the hospital staff realised their mistake when they couldn’t find the corpse for another family. Since he lost his trust in the hospital, he asked staff to open the bag so he could confirm that he had been given his wife’s body.

The hospital issued a letter apologising for their mistake, adding that the hospital will investigate and prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.

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