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Snakes! 2,000+ snakes seized in Thai-Laos border sting

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182 baskets containing 2,730 rat snakes and cobras – worth 1 million baht in total – have been intercepted as they were about to be smuggled out of Thailand and into Laos.

Mukdahan Wild Animals Checkpoint officials were joined by personnel from other agencies in confiscating the reptilian cache. Mukdahan is located on the far north-eastern Thai-Laos border

Following a tip-off that a large number of snakes were to be delivered into Laos on a pick-up truck through Ban Bang Sai Noi pier in Mukdahan’s Wan Yai district, a task force siezed the snakes at 8.30pm last night (Sunday).

The officials discovered 3-4 people moving plastic baskets with closed lids from a pick-up truck onto the pier for transport by long-tail boat. The suspects fled when they saw the authorities approaching.

Officials found 15 live snakes inside a net sack in each basket and collected these and the vehicle as evidences to pass onto the Wan Yai Police Station to investigate and arrest the culprits. They will be charged with having wildlife in their possession without permission and importing wildlife without permission under the Wild Animal Reservation and Protection Act 1992.

Authorities are speculating that, once in Laos, the snakes would be sold to Chinese investors to make an alcoholic beverage produced by infusing whole snakes in grain alcohol, which is erroneously thought to have health benefits and serve as an aphrodisiac.

SOURCE: The Nation

 

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Thailand

American leaves hospital after being denied Covid treatment in same room as Thai wife

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Photo via The Pattaya News

An American man, who tested positive for Covid-19, is back in the hospital after fleeing when he was denied a shared room with this Thai wife-who was also undergoing Covid treatment. The 51 year old man left the northeastern Amnat Charoen province Chanuman hospital on May 9th after doctors declined to move his bed to that of his wife’s room. The man angrily went home without permission.

He was spotted walking on the road by local residents before being found by police at his home. The medical team convinced him to return to the hospital. But the incident has invoked stress among locals as they fear he could have spread the virus when he left the hospital. Thai social media was flooded with angry posts about the incident, with some calling for his arrest or deportation. In response, the Chanuman district chief has announced they will tighten security at the hospital to prevent any future incidents that are similar in nature.

The man’s name was not given, due to his Covid-19 status, and it has not been announced whether he will face any consequences after his actions.

Meanwhile, Thailand is reporting 1,630 new Covid-19 cases and 22 coronavirus-related deaths over the past 24 hours. There are now 29,376 active Covid-19 cases. Since the start of the pandemic last year, the CCSA has reported 85,005 Covid-19 cases and 421 Covid-related deaths.

Out of the 22 deaths, most of the patients had chronic illnesses. Many contracted the virus from family members or close friends.

Most of the new cases were detected in Bangkok, particularly in districts with crowded communities and markets. While cases in Bangkok continue to be high, CCSA spokesperson Natapanu Nopakun says the number of new cases in most other provinces in Thailand is decreasing.

Health officials are rolling out proactive case finding campaigns in several high-risk communities, testing 9,000 to 10,000 per day, Nopakun says, adding that officials are working to provide the appropriate treatment as quickly as possible.

Those who test positive for Covid-19 and are asymptomatic must stay at an official field hospital for 14 days and then self-isolate at home for another 14 days.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

 

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Crime

Monk suspected of running off with 70,000 baht in donations

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Stock photo via Wikimedia Commons

A 64 year old monk in the Isaan province Buri Ram is suspected of running off with 70,000 baht in donations made to the temple. The monk, as well as the thousands of baht in cash, have been missing for the past week.

The abbot of a temple in the Nangrong district had made a request with the temple committee one morning before he went off for his daily routine. He had asked to withdraw the money to pay workers to build a new crematorium. On April 28, the monk received 70,000 baht in donations and then told the committee he had to visit a doctor at a local hospital. The monk left the temple grounds, allegedly taking the donation money with him. No one has seen the monk since he left the temple.

In a separate case, 3 Buddhist nuns at a meditation centre in the Isaan region were arrested for allegedly scamming more than 400 people, promising high returns for those who invested in a fund for the poor. Victims of the alleged scam claim the nuns took off with a total of around 10 million baht.

SOURCE: Thai Residents

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Buri Ram sees 2 villages go into lockdown after 8 Covid-19 infections

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Thailand’s northeastern, or Isaan, province of Buri Ram, is seeing 2 villages ordered to go into lockdown after 8 Covid-19 infections have threatened the community. The provincial communicable disease committee is ordering the villages of Ban Sao-e and Ban Nong Phai, located on Moo 2 and Moo 12, respectively, to lockdown from 6pm on May 2. The villages have around 1,000 people in total and are in tambon Hin Lek Fai, of Khu Muang district.

The spread of the infections was attributed to parties being held between April 16-18 with outsiders in attendance. The 8 infections include both children and adults. The lockdown will prevent travelling in and out of the villages. Violators will face up to 1 year in jail or a fine up to 100,000 baht under Section 52 of the Communicable Disease Act of 2015. Yesterday, the total number of infections in the province totaled 111.

Today, in Thailand, the daily 24 hour infection report for Covid-19 has jumped to back over the 2,000 mark with 2,014 new cases reported by the Thai health ministry. 31 people have died from Covid-related illness as well, a new high. Yesterday the death toll for a single day was 21.

New infections announced since April 25…

April 14 – 2,839
April 25 – 2,438
April 26 – 2,048
April 27 – 2,179
April 28 – 2,012
April 29 – 1,871
April 30 – 1,583
May 1 – 1,891
May 2 – 1,940
May 3 – 2,014

Meanwhile, another 3.5 million Sinovac Biotech vaccines have been confirmed to be arriving in Thailand by the end of May, according to health officials last Friday. With a slow vaccine rollout putting Thailand’s ambitious July 1 reopening plan in jeopardy, the confirmation of another batch of jabs is welcomed news. The head of the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation announced the first million vaccines will arrive in just a few days, with a May 6 expected delivery date. By the end of May, 2 million more are expected to follow. The Chinese government has committed to donating an extra 500,000 jabs to round out the 3.5 million figure.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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