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Fishermen stranded at sea off Somalia returning to Thailand

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Fishermen stranded at sea off Somalia returning to Thailand | Thaiger

PHOTO: mcot.com

Some of the Thai fishermen, that have been stranded on two foreign fishing trawlers off the coast of Somalia over the past two weeks, have now returned to Thailand. The rest are expected arrive in the next few days, thanks to work by the Labour and Foreign Affairs ministries.

Thai Labour Minister Chatumongol Sonakul and Chatree Athananan, director-general of the Consular Affairs Department, report that Thai officials managed to contact only 42 out of the reported 50 Thai fishermen. Of these, four, who are all residents of the northeast province of Surin, returned to Thailand a week ago.

Read more about the story HERE.

For the remaining 18 off the same boat, flights back from Africa have already been booked for them, with 14 of them flying back via Dubai and the remaining four expected to arrive in Bangkok on Sunday.

The labour minister says the group of fishermen includes six from Surin province, eight from Buri Ram, two from Phetchabun and one each from Samut Sakhon and Chaiyaphum. Of these, five of them went abroad to work with the help of the government fund assisting job seekers to find work overseas.

The other 20 Thai fishermen, who were on another vessel, are on their way to Thailand via Oman and Iran.

Mr. Chatree gave his assurance that all the fishermen will be brought back to Thailand safely, no matter how long it takes, adding that all of them have been provided with food and some telephone expenses so they can call their families in Thailand.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

Fishermen stranded at sea off Somalia returning to Thailand | News by Thaiger

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Transport

5 killed, including 2 children, in north east Thailand bus disaster

Tim Newton

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5 killed, including 2 children, in north east Thailand bus disaster | Thaiger
PHOTO ม้าข่าว HorseNew

5 people are dead, including 2 children, and another 12 seriously injured after a double-decker interprovincial bus caught fire near Khon Kaen. It was heading to Bangkok. The bus erupted into flames just after midnight on the Mitrapap highway. There were 33 passengers on the bus. The bus driver was also injured.

The 407 Pattana Company bus left Bung Kan province on the Laos border, near Vientiane, last night, stopping in Udon Thani before making its way to Bangkok.

Witnesses say a rear tyre burst and then caught fire just after the bus had left Khon Kaen. The fire then spread to the engine compartment in the back of the bus. The bus soon became engulfed in flames, according to the Bangkok Post. Fire units got to the burning bus soon after but it took an hour to extinguish the flames.

12 people suffered serious burn injuries whilst 16 others were able to get out of the bus before it was engulfed in flames.

Police have spoken to the bus driver and will continue with their investigation.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand

Girl in a coma after being struck by skyrocket launched from temple

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Girl in a coma after being struck by skyrocket launched from temple | Thaiger
Wat Na Prathat / Photo via Google Maps

A 10 year old girl is in a coma and in critical condition after a piece of a wooden skyrocket struck the girl in the head. The firework was launched during a cremation ceremony at a temple in the Pak Thong Chai district of the Isaan province Nakhon Ratchasima. The girl was waiting to be picked up at the nearby Ardwitthaya School when part of the wooden firework hit her head.

Natcha “Nong Milk’’ Sawasdee hit the ground, bleeding profusely. She was rushed to the local hospital and then transferred to the intensive care unit at Maharat Nakhon Ratchasima Hospital. The wood penetrated her skull about 10 centimetres deep, a recent scan shows.

Other students were hit by pieces of the exploded wooden skyrocket, but their injuries were minor.

The men who launched the skyrocket are facing charges for recklessness causing serious injury. They say they launched rockets at the cremation ceremony, but aimed toward rice paddy fields where there were no people. Due to the wind, pieces of the exploded rocket flew back into town, they say.

Wat Na Phrathat often lights fireworks during cremation ceremonies, residents say. But this time they used a different firework made from wood and PVC.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Crime

Senior official arrested in north-east Thailand on 2 million baht bribery charges

Maya Taylor

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Senior official arrested in north-east Thailand on 2 million baht bribery charges | Thaiger
PHOTO: Wikimedia

A senior Thai official in the north-eastern province of Mukdahan has been arrested, along with his assistant, on bribery charges. The provincial chief of the natural resources and environment office, Suradet Akkarach, and Ms Pan Saengviroon, are accused of receiving 2 million baht for facilitating the return of confiscated Siamese Rosewood timber to a merchant from Laos.

The timber, housed in 11 containers and valued at around 600 million baht, was impounded by the authorities in Mukdahan in 2006, on suspicion it had been illegally obtained. The case was heard in the provincial court, then the Appeals court, and then the Supreme court, which acquitted the defendants and ruled that the timber should be returned to its owner, EL Enterprise.

The arrests of 58 year old Suradet and Pan came about after a Laotian timber merchant filed a police report on February 24, accusing Suradet of offering to return the timber for a payment of 2 million baht.

The police subsequently set up a sting operation for when the merchant, named as Kamsavai Pommachan, arranged to meet Suradet and Pan to hand over the money. As soon as Pan took delivery of the cash, both suspects were arrested. According to a Thai PBS World report, Suradet insists he was not involved in the bribery, but Pan has confessed to the charges.

Panya Pinsuk from the Central Investigation Bureau, and Chivaparb Chivatham from the Royal Forestry Department, gave a press conference yesterday, in which they confirmed the arrests of both suspects and the seizure of 2 million baht in 1,000 baht notes, as well as 4 smartphones.

According to Chatupat Burupat from the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry, Suradet is an ex-employee of the Royal Forestry Department and would have known how to go about returning the confiscated timber.

Following the arrests, the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Varavut Silpa-archa, says he has ordered Suradet to be transferred to an inactive post while a committee investigates the case against him. The minister acknowledges that there is proof of bribery, but says an investigation is still required to ensure fairness. He says he expects the committee to report back within 15 days.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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