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192 kilos of illicit drug ingredients seized

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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192 kilos of illicit drug ingredients seized | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: Thai and Australian law enforcement officials yesterday afternoon joined Phuket Governor Preecha Ruangjan at Phuket City Police Station to announce the arrest of a drug suspect and the seizure of 192 kilograms of pseudoephedrine (PSE), the chemical compound used to produce methamphetamines.

Officers from the Royal Thai Police Narcotics Suppression Bureau and Phuket Provincial Police arrested 38-year-old Thai National Chuen Tatong at his home in Rasada Village 3 following a tip-off from the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

The PSE, stored in a number of thick plastic bags, was found stuffed into the bases of bronze statues that were prepared for export to Australia

The exact time and date of the arrest was not disclosed.

Police said that an Australian suspect in the case, identified as David Yusef, managed to flee Thailand before the raid and is still at large.

The arrest comes after a two-month investigation by the AFP following the arrest by the Australian Customs Service of a Lebanon-born Australian national in Sydney. He had been caught with 1,500 kilograms of pseudoephedrine.

Subsequent investigation revealed that more than half of it, 850 kilograms, had been sent to Australia from Phuket.

Representing the AFP at the press conference was Michael McKay, who said that PSE is found in many over-the-counter nasal decongestants. However, it is also a key ingredient in the manufacture of both ya bah (methamphetamine) and ya Ice (crystal methamphetamine).

For this reason, Australian law is very tough on those found in illegal possession of pure PSE, with jail terms of up to 25 years and/or fines of up to $A550,000 (approx 11.8 million baht).

Also attending the press conference were officials from the Ministry of Public Health, Phuket Provincial Health Office and the Thai Food and Drug Administration.

Officials from these agencies will join police in investigating local pharmacies mentioned by the suspect as having assisted in providing the PSE, according to the press release.

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Phuket

Phuket tops travel destination list of cheapest hotel prices – Dertour 2020 Price Index

Caitlin Ashworth

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Phuket tops travel destination list of cheapest hotel prices – Dertour 2020 Price Index | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Phuket Hotels Association

Phuket tops a list of the cheapest travel destinations with a 1 night stay at a hotel costing on average less than $30 USD, according to a study by the German travel company Dertour. Phuket is going through what some say is a “crisis”, certainly a current tourist vacuum. The island province largely relies on income from foreign tourists, but with travel bans over the last 7 months, hotels and other businesses in the tourism industry have been at a loss.

For domestic tourists, Phuket currently offers a serene, peaceful tropical stay where you’ll have a lot of the island to yourself. There are plenty of daily flights to the island, but all from domestic locations at this stage – the international terminal remains closed.

Along with being listed as hotels with the lowest price, Phuket also made the top 5 cities with the largest price drop from 2019 to 2020, according to Dertour’s 2020 Accommodation Price Index. The company studied hotel prices for 75 popular tourist destinations around the world. Bangkok was just above Phuket at the fourth city with the largest hotel price drop. Bangkok hotel prices dropped by 34.6% while Phuket’s hotel prices dropped by 33.8%.

Prices will continue to be low, CEO DER Touristik Central Europe Ingo Burmester says…

“Travel itself will be cheap in 2021… Although it has been a challenging period, we have seen a great deal of interest in domestic travel. We also predict a major catch-up effect for Mediterranean destinations, European trips and long-haul routes in 2021 as soon as travel restrictions are lifted.”

Phuket ranks as the destination with the cheapest accommodation prices at an average price of $29 USD, according to the list. Average prices for 3-star hotels are $26 USD and an average of $54 USD for 5-star hotels.

Bangkok followed, ranking fifth on the list of cities with the lowest hotel price at an average of $43 USD per night. 3-star hotels in Bangkok average at $30 per night and 5-star hotels average at $93 USD.

Top 5 destinations with the lowest price in accommodation

  1. Phuket: Average of $29 USD per night
  2. Delhi: Average of $34 USD per night
  3. Kuala Lumpur: Average of $36 USD per night
  4. Bali: Average of $36 USD per night
  5. Bangkok: Average of $43 USD per night

Top 5 destinations with the largest price drop in accommodation

  1. Amsterdam: Dropped by 51.6%
  2. San Francisco: Dropped by 39.2%
  3. Vancouver: Dropped by 37.1%
  4. Bangkok: Dropped by 34.6%
  5. Phuket: Dropped by 33.8%

To read Dertour’s full report, click HERE.

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Phuket

Man arrested after allegedly slicing a man’s face with sickle

Caitlin Ashworth

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Man arrested after allegedly slicing a man’s face with sickle | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO

A man was arrested on charges of grievous bodily harm after he allegedly sliced his friend’s face with a sickle, causing a gash about 25 centimetres long.

3 men, identified as Saeng, Ta and Rop, had been drinking at a shanty in Phuket’s Rassada district where Rop lived. An argument broke out over money. A bank transfer was apparently made, but no one received any money, according to Rop as he related the story to police.

The men didn’t come to an agreement and ended up going to bed. Ta stayed awake and slapped Saeng twice while he was falling asleep, Rop says. Saeng then got up, grabbed the sickle and swung the hooked blade across Ta’s cheek, Rop says.

Reports don’t go into detail about Ta’s condition, but photos of the scene by the Phuket News show a significant amount of blood on the concrete floor.

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Phuket

PM to visit Phuket on Monday as island’s economy lies in tatters

Maya Taylor

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PM to visit Phuket on Monday as island’s economy lies in tatters | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Phuket People's Voice

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is to arrive in Phuket on Monday, where he will meet with local business leaders and discuss proposals for reviving the southern island’s devastated tourism sector. It’s understood a representative of Phuket’s Old Town area is to put forward an idea for promoting the historic centre as a tourist destination.

Since borders were closed in late March, in an effort to protect the country from the Covid-19 pandemic, Phuket’s tourist revenue has plummeted to practically zero, with countless businesses shuttered and thousands of jobs lost.

In addition to hearing suggestions from local operators on how to revive tourism on the island, the PM will also listen to requests for additional help from central government. The much-discussed Phuket Model never materialised, despite being seen at one point as the pilot project on which a wider re-opening of borders would be based.

While hotel occupancy in the province has increased from a pitiful 13.4% in June, September’s rates were still woefully low, at just 30%. This is despite a stimulus package introduced by the government in an effort to boost domestic tourism.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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