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Pattaya’s Belarusian sex coach charged with prostitution

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Anastasia Vashukevich, (AKA Nastya Rybka) the Belarusian ‘sex expert’ who claims to have insider dirt on Russian attempts to meddle in the US election, has been charged with prostitution.

Last month she went public asking the US to help her out from her predicament, detained in a Thai prison in Bangkok, in exchanged for information on alleged ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.

Citing an unnamed source, the Chief of Pattaya Police, Col. Apichai Krobpetch, said there was no enough evidence for authorities to pursue charges against Vashukevich for allegedly soliciting payments for sexual services. She faces up to six years in a Thai prison. At this stage she hasn’t appeared in court and has not entered a plea over the charge. Police have confirmed that she, and her associate Alexander Kirillov will be departed if the courts decide not to jail the pair.

The two came to prominence when police raided ‘sex-training sessions’ which they said they were running to help paying Russian guests with their love-making skills and relationships. Police have also confirmed that two had violated their visa conditions – the two have denied this charge.

Vashukevich claims to be the former mistress of Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, an ex-business associate of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. She claims to have witnessed several meetings between Deripaska and at least three unnamed Americans. She backs up her claims saying she has photos and hours of audio recordings of the meetings.

Vashukevich and Kirillov have pleaded with Thai authorities not to send them back to Russia for fears that they could be ‘silenced’ as they had important knowledge that could embarrass Russian and American authorities. CNN claims that the FBI tried to organise a meeting with the pair whilst in prison but were refused by Thai authorities at the time.

Pattaya's Belarusian sex coach charged with prostitution | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Instagram/Nastya Rybka

 

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Politics

Progressive Movement hits back at allegations of donation mismanagement

Maya Taylor

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Progressive Movement hits back at allegations of donation mismanagement | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Pannika Wanich, former Director of Communications for the Future Forward Party - Thai PBS World

Members of the recently formed Progressive Movement have hit out at suggestions that party donations have been mismanaged. The party, rising from the ashes of the now-disbanded Future Forward Party, says the allegations are nothing more than politically-motivated slander. Its critics accuse the Progressive Movement of the misappropriation of more than 7.7 million baht of public funds.

In a statement issued by the party, they say that on May 1 and 2, they held a number of fundraising concerts to support artists and others facing financial hardship as a result of the lock-down. Members say they used party funds and donations to pay for the staging of the events, totalling over 7.7 million baht.

Between May 1 and 3, over 15,000 deposits were made into the bank account of party member Pannika Wanich, formerly the Director of Communications for the Future Forward Party. The Progressive Movement says over 7.5 million baht was dispersed, in over 2,400 transactions, leaving over 222,700 in Ms Pannika’s account. Around 200,000 baht in additional donations came in after the concerts, most of which the party says was spent on providing learning materials for school children and paying the water bills of families in impoverished slum dwellings.

The party confirms that over 222,700 still remains in Ms Pannika’s account and that no funds have ever been used for personal reasons, as its detractors allege. It adds that the names of all those who received donations from the fund have been published on its website, along with a financial report. It also invites anyone with concerns about the potential mismanagement of funds to view the copy of bank transactions it has published on the site.

The party accuses those making the allegations of having no proof to back up their claims, saying it is merely an attempt to stir up public distrust and resentment.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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South

One drowned, another still missing off Surat Thani

The Thaiger

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One drowned, another still missing off Surat Thani | The Thaiger
SCREEN CAPTURE: Channel 7

One person is still missing, one has been recovered and another person has drowned after a search for coastal molluscs and cockles went wrong in Surat Thani yesterday. A woman was reported as being washed out to sea and her daughter-in-law is still missing, while collecting molluscs at a Laem Pho beach in Chaiya district, north in Surat Thani province.

There was a “no swimming” sign on the shoreline.

59 year old Prayoon Sridaengma, her 33 year old son (reported as a ‘nephew’ in other media), and her 21 year old daughter-in-law, went into the sea to collect shellfish. The woman’s husband and a grandchild remained on the beach.

Soon after heading into the shallows the husband noticed that the three had disappeared from view. The husband told police he believed they had been swept away by strong undercurrents.

Police called on a fishing boat returning to the shore to help search fro the missing trio. The crew pulled the mother and her son from the water. Here daughter-in-law could not be found at the time. The mother was already dead when she was pulled from the water. Her son was still alive and rushed to hospital. A search is continuing for the 21 year old daughter-in-law.

Thai-language video report from Channel 7 HERE.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Economy

Government defends “monkey business” after PETA call for boycott on Thai coconut products

Jack Burton

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Government defends “monkey business” after PETA call for boycott on Thai coconut products | The Thaiger
PHOTO: The Culture Trip

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the US-based animal rights group, is no stranger to controversy and has been accused of double standards in the past. Now it faces accusations of “cultural racism” after its open call to ban all Thai coconut products because some of the coconuts may have been harvested by monkeys. In a statement issued this morning…

“PETA hopes that at today’s meeting, Thai Minister of Commerce Jurin Laksanawisit and the coconut industry will stop lying to the public and acknowledge the industry’s exploitation of monkeys. Our documentation is clear and unequivocal: Monkeys are kept chained, caged, and isolated for life simply because the industry won’t expend funds to mechanise coconut picking as other countries have done.

“These animals, some of whom were seized from their natural habitat as babies, cannot play or be with their families: They are denied freedom and any semblance of a natural life, and the industry’s training methods are harsh and psychologically damaging. Forcing monkeys to pick coconuts must be relegated to the history books, and now is the time for the government and the coconut industry in Thailand to realize that using and abusing monkeys is no longer an option.”

But in a Facebook post today, the secretary-general of the Kla Party asked about the difference between using monkeys to pick coconuts in Thailand and the use of pigs to search for truffles in Europe. He said that the use of monkeys and pigs are two different cultures and both are respectable, and that in Thailand, monkeys and men work together to pick coconuts, with the animals properly trained at special schools. In the West, he said, pigs have been used for generations to find truffles, an expensive delicacy.

“PETA’s concern over animal cruelty is understandable, but its campaign for countries to ban coconut products from Thailand is cruel and an insult to our culture. Nowadays, one should respect racial and cultural diversity.”

TV celebrity Narakorn Tiyanont is calling on PETA to look at the way Western farmers raise geese to make foie gras, or goose liver, a delicacy in French cuisine. She says the geese are force-fed using metal tubes to fatten the liver. She also cited the brutal treatment of cows in the dairy industry.

A Former Prachuap Khiri Khan MP candidate says the accusation of monkey abuse might have an ulterior motive to ban Thai products

“In the past, Thai rice farmers used water buffaloes in paddy fields and foreigners never banned Thai rice.”

In a statement to Thai PBS World, PETA senior vice president Jason Baker confirmed their findings of cruel treatment of monkeys in the harvesting of coconuts in Thailand.

“When the government tries to explain away extreme cruelty to monkeys, it only makes the public angrier. The world doesn’t want to see these animals being deprived of their natural lives and exploited by the coconut industry. The government can lead the industry to operate humanely, with an animal-free method, which the rest of the region has already adopted, or it can be responsible for the industry’s downfall, because the writing is on the wall.”

“Increasing numbers of consumers are speaking with their wallets, and retailers are listening. Our investigator was told repeatedly that these monkeys are taken from their families in nature, kept chained-up, abusively trained and forced to climb trees. They should be with their families, not enslaved.”

SOURCE: Thai PBS World | Chiang Mai One

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