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Phuket drugs dealer arrested

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Phuket drugs dealer arrested | The Thaiger
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A 42 year old local woman, Wattanee ‘Nong’ Hansamut, has been arrested with 5,043 amphetamine pills and 666.40 grams of methamphetamine, which are worth about 2 million Baht on the street.

Wichit Police received a report on March 11 that Wattanee, who lives in the Phuket Villa Suanluang house project, was taking and selling drugs to small retailers in Phuket.

Police arrested her near her house and she confessed that she receives and resells drugs. Police initially found 4,043 amphetamine pills in her house with the 666.40 grams of methamphetamine. She also confessed that she left a pack of amphetamine under a tree on Phattana Thongtin Road, where police later found another 1,000 amphetamine pills.

She said that she bought the drugs from a man named ‘Tom’ from Bangkok. She has been charged for dealing drugs and is being investigated to find out more about her supply network.

Phuket drugs dealer arrested | News by The Thaiger

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Environment

Large rocks break off Krabi island, damage coral reef at popular dive site

Caitlin Ashworth

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Large rocks break off Krabi island, damage coral reef at popular dive site | The Thaiger
PHOTO: National News Bureau

A large chuck of an island near Koh Phi Phi broke off and collapsed on a coral reef at a popular dive site. No one was around when the rocks fell into the sea, but national park officers on a routine patrol noticed a section of the island had broken off and saw two large pieces of rock above the water.

A section of Koh Mae Urai, between Koh Phi Phi and Krabi, broke off in 2 large pieces estimated to weigh 30,000 to 50,000 tonnes. Divers are examining the site to see how much damage was done to the reef. The water has been murky, so it’s hard to tell how much damage was done, but Koh Phi Phi National Park chief, Prayoon Phongphan, says he thinks 20% of the coral was damaged.

“At this stage, we do not know how much of the reef was damaged, but the reef is home to important coral, including staghorn coral, and was a popular dive site for tourists.”

Koh Mae Urai is a unique local dive with 2 tunnels lined with soft and hard corals, according to Lonely Planet. When the current isn’t too strong and the visibility is good, Koh Mae Urai is the most beautiful dive site in the Ao Nang area with number soft coral as well as seahorses, according to Krabi Magazine.

For now, the area around the island is closed off and boat operators are warned not to approach the site.

“Please be careful. Boat operators must not approach the site. It can be dangerous… Park officers will mark off the area with buoys with a sign clearly explaining no entry to the sealed-off area.”

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Economy

“Protests could affect the economy” – Bank of Thailand

Caitlin Ashworth

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“Protests could affect the economy” – Bank of Thailand | The Thaiger

The ongoing political protests could have a negative impact on Thailand’s already crippled economy by weakening domestic consumption and tourism even more, according to the Bank of Thailand. The bank’s newly appointed governor Settaput Suthiwart-Narueput, who started this month, says they need to keep a close watch on the situation.

“Basically, the political factor is one of the uncertainties… It could affect the economy, particularly consumer confidence and tourism. The central bank has been monitoring the situation closely especially how all the parties concerned handle the protests.”

The halt of foreign tourist arrivals over the past 7 months have heavily impacted the economy. Thailand lost 1.6 trillion baht, or 10% of the GDP. Around 40 million foreign tourists visited Thailand last year while this year is only expected to have a total of 6.7 million. The bank’s governor says it’s going to take some time for the economy to recover.

“It will take at least 2 years for the economy to return to pre-pandemic levels… From now on, the economy is likely to see a continuous contraction on a quarterly basis. It is expected to begin to show a positive growth rate in the second rate in the second quarter of 2021 and be back to normal growth in the third quarter of 2022.”

President of the Tourism Council of Thailand Chairat Tirrattanajarasporn also says the continuing pro-democracy protests could negatively impact the tourism industry and is urging government officials to engage in dialogue with the protesters. He also says that people tend to save their money during protest movements rather than spending it on trips.

Those interested in travelling to Thailand on the Special Tourist Visa are not concerned with the political climate and ongoing protests, according to Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Yuthasak Supasorn.

“It is too early to assess the impact on tourism as mass gatherings have occurred recently and there has been no violence.”

While monitoring the protests and the potential effect they have on the economy, the governor says the Bank of Thailand will also tackle the debt crisis. Debt relief measures, put in place by the bank to aid businesses battered by the pandemic, are lifting this month. The bank is now working on debt solutions.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Politics

Former Pheu Thai chair to challenge legality of emergency decree

Maya Taylor

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Former Pheu Thai chair to challenge legality of emergency decree | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

Thai politician and former chair of the Pheu Thai Party, Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan, has confirmed she plans to challenge the legality of the emergency decree in court. She joins a number of opposition MPs and other activists who are petitioning to have the decree lifted. Bangkok awoke to a state of emergency declared by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha in the early hours of last Thursday, amid growing political unrest.

Posting on her Facebook page, Sudarat points to the PM himself, who she describes as, “the source of the problem”. She says the current political protests are a result of him using a military coup to take control from the people, and then drafting a charter that supported the transfer of power to Thailand’s military.

“Other politicians and I have followed the situation with concern and tried to prevent the government from applying their power. We had a discussion yesterday and agreed that we should use the right in the court to protect the protesters.”

Two MPs from the Pheu Thai Party have also expressed their intention to sue the PM for having invoked the emergency decree. Cholnan Srikaew and Jirayu Houngsub are calling on the Civil Court to rescind the state of emergency and guarantee the protection of anti-government activists.

Nation Thailand reports that former judge, Kasem Suphasit, and former Democrat MP, Watchara Petchthong, have also confirmed they are taking legal action against the PM, claiming the implementation of the emergency decree is unlawful.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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