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Officials seize 12 tonnes of fake ‘coffee’ laced with hazardous materials

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Officials seize 12 tonnes of fake ‘coffee’ laced with hazardous materials | The Thaiger

Here’s something to contemplate next time you’re about to enjoy your next caffeine-fix.

Vietnam’s Tuoi Tre News daily newspaper is reporting that a family-run coffee producer in Vietnam’s Dak Nong province has been caught manufacturing coffee laced with harmful ingredients from used batteries, dirt and rock dust and black dye.

Vietnamese authorities say they seized about 12 tonnes of  dangerous coffee materials from an illegal factory in a raid last Monday (April 16).

They also say they’ve discovered tonnes of coffee ready for shipment as well as tonnes of raw materials used in the production of the fake coffee. This includes 35 kilograms of black powder taken from used batteries.

The owner of the facility has told police she would buy rejected coffee beans from other facilities at low prices. The beans would then be ground and mixed with other ‘garbage’ ingredients like dirt and rock dust and then used the black powder found inside D batteries to ‘dye’ the mixture to look like coffee granolas.

The woman says she’s been running the facility for years and had sold over three tons of ‘coffee’ to the market since the beginning of this year.

A chemist from Vietnam National University, Associate Professor Tran Hong Con, says the black substance extracted from used batteries is a toxic chemical called manganese dioxite which is a highly oxidant compound and as little as 9.5 milligrams of it mixed with a litre of water is enough to cause manganese poisoning in humans.

If you have story ideas, a restaurant to review, an event to cover or an issue to discuss, contact The Thaiger editorial staff.

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Phuket

Phuket tourist decides hotel awning more comfortable than his room

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Phuket tourist decides hotel awning more comfortable than his room | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: / Rawai Rescue workers / Phuket Tourist Police

The Phuket Tourist Police have been notified that a tourist had jumped from a building in Rawai and ended up on a steel awning covering the bottom floor today. But that wasn’t, in fact, what had happened.

The local Tourist Police say the owner of the building told staff at the Tourist Assistance Centre that the tourist had checked into the room on February 13.

The tourist didn’t actually jump down from the building but had moved a mattress from his room on to the awning and slept on it (mosquitos!!) He was also drunk and damaged some property inside the room.

The man is a 37 year old Estonian tourist. He was staying at the room with a 25 year old male friend.

Chalong Police have charged them both with being drunk and damaging property. They have said that they will pay for all damages to the owner of the property. They are heading back home on February 26.

Phuket tourist decides hotel awning more comfortable than his room | News by The Thaiger Phuket tourist decides hotel awning more comfortable than his room | News by The ThaigerPhuket tourist decides hotel awning more comfortable than his room | News by The Thaiger Phuket tourist decides hotel awning more comfortable than his room | News by The Thaiger Phuket tourist decides hotel awning more comfortable than his room | News by The Thaiger Phuket tourist decides hotel awning more comfortable than his room | News by The Thaiger Phuket tourist decides hotel awning more comfortable than his room | News by The Thaiger

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Business

Thai exports fall 5.7 percent in January, year-on-year

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Thai exports fall 5.7 percent in January, year-on-year | The Thaiger

Thai export results have dipped for the third straight month, falling more than 5.65% compared to a year earlier. The fall was a lot bigger than expected, according to the Thai commerce ministry.

Shipments contracted 1.72% in December, compared to a year earlier as well.

January’s export drop was due to falling shipments of rice, gold, electronics and cars, according to the ministry. Digging into the numbers, exports to the US rose 8.3% in the first month of the year, compared to January 2018, but exports to China slumped 16.7%.

The strong Thai baht, Asia’s best performing currency this year, has increasingly hit exports, particularly rice orders.

Checking imports for the same period, and the numbers jumped surprisingly 13.99% year on year, after sliding 8.15% in December 2018. Analysts say the surge in imports was partly due to imports of arms and military weapons.

There was a trade deficit of $4.03 billion in January, compared with a forecast surplus of $320 million surplus. December 2018 had a $1.06 billion surplus.

But the ministry says they are still forecasting export growth of 8% for 2019 after a 6.7% increase last year.

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Chiang Mai

American backpacker refuses to pay for girl he brought back to hostel, punches staff

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American backpacker refuses to pay for girl he brought back to hostel, punches staff | The Thaiger

An American backpacker tourist, visiting Chiang Mai, had to be restrained after getting into a squabble with hostel staff after being asked to leave the premises.

The video of the altercation was shared on Reddit by ‘EatPrayFart’.

Following a night out, the backpacker brought a girl back to the mixed dorm room that he shared with nine other people. The report alleges the two had sex and were making a lot of noise.

The following morning the man was asked to leave the premises for breaking hostel rules. The staff also demanded he pay 200 baht for allowing the girl to stay in the dorm with him.

The man refused to pay and a fight followed, caught on camera, in the reception of the hostel.

In the footage the American man can be seen punching a member of the hostel staff before being restrained by another man. Some comments in the original post say that the man was also asked to leave by some of the other people staying in the dorm.

The report suggests the man was later taken into custody by Chiang Mai police.

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