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Big stink at Phuket fish factory

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: Following complaints from a neighboring hotel, the management of a seafood packaging plant in Phuket Town has been given three months to get the stink out.

Phuket Vice Governor Somkiat Sangkaosuttirak and a team of government officers inspected the Phuket Union Foods facility yesterday afternoon.

Among those present were representatives from the Phuket Provincial Industry Office (PPIO), Phuket City Municipality and Phuket Public Health Office.

The inspection was prompted by an official complaint filed by Silver Hotel managing director Monluck Tantipornsawat.

Mr Monluck lodged the complaint with the Damrongtham Center at Phuket Provincial Hall, which serves as the provincial ombudsman’s office.

Guests and staff at the hotel have suffered from the stench of fish emanating from the factory for three years, he said.

“The smell is very strong in the morning, especially from 8am to 9am. Our guests cannot stand the smell while they are having breakfast in our ground-floor dining room,” said Mr Monluck.

“I have asked the company to do something about the smell for three years, but nothing has been done. It is the first time in my life that I have had to complain to the government like this,” he said.

V/Gov Somkiat said the Phuket Provincial Office wants both the hotel and the seafood plant to coexist peacefully.

Phuket City Municipality engineers will provide technical advice in order to help the factory reduce the odor in the short-term, he said.

“However, we have decided that within three months the seafood company has to register with the PPIO as a Type 2 factory, which requires them to redesign and install control systems to eliminate foul smells, noise pollution and other wastes and pollutants,” he said.

Government officers will work with the factory engineers to help them come into compliance with the law, he added.

The PPIO Chief also advised the firm to improve its product delivery process, he said.

“The company has to make sure that no liquids leak onto the road from their containers and delivery trucks. Otherwise, the smell will be everywhere on the road, not just inside the factory. They have to upgrade the entire handling process,” he said.

The company’s management has cooperated well, V/Gov Somkiat said.

“They have accepted advice from the relevant authorities. Once the factory is registered as a Type 2 factory and has made the necessary changes, its operations will comply with the law,” he added.

Officials will inspect the facility in three months to ensure that the required changes have been made, he said.

Phuket Union Foods Co Ltd managing director Anan Taebunyanuphap said the smell coming from the factory is natural.

“We have been operating this as a family business for over 20 years. We receive fresh seafood from local fishermen and package it in plastic bags and boxes for delivery to hotels all around Phuket.

“However, with the continual growth of the business, the PPIO officers have advised us that it is now time for the company to register as a factory, according to the law,” Mr Anan explained.

“We will try our best to improve the factory within three months, as we have been instructed,” he said.

— Janpen Upatising

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Thailand

Thai Airways to resume flights from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and Phuket

Caitlin Ashworth

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Thai Airways to resume flights from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and Phuket | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai Airways

After nearly 9 months on the ground due to the coronavirus pandemic, along with problems balancing their accounts, Thai Airways will resume flights between Bangkok and Chiang Mai as well as Bangkok and Phuket later this month. The flights will start back up on Christmas day.

Flights from Bangkok to the 2 key tourist provinces have been grounded since April 1. Starting December 25, the airline will run 3 flights a week on both routes. A source told the Bangkok Post that the new schedules will run until at least February 28.

Thai Lion Air, Thai Air Asia, Nok Air, Thai Smile, VietJet Air and Bangkok Airways have returned to the domestic skies since July and slowly adding frequency to their routes.

In addition to resuming the domestic flights, the Thai Airways is relaunching some international flights from January 1 to March 27 including weekly flights to Frankfurt, London, Copenhagen, Sydney, Seoul, Manila, Taipei and Osaka. Flights from Bangkok to Tokyo will be available 3 times a week and flights from Bangkok to Hong Kong will be available every day.

Thai Airways has been tackling bankruptcy throughout the lockdown and trying to make up for more than 300 billion baht in losses. Since many flights were suspended due to travel restrictions, Thai Airways has tried to make money by business ventures on the ground, like a pop-up restaurant serving in-flight meals and selling off unwanted equipment from their warehouse. There also disposing of much of their older fleet, including all of their Boring 747-400s.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

97 police officers investigated for fiddling Covid-19 payments

Maya Taylor

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97 police officers investigated for fiddling Covid-19 payments | The Thaiger
PHOTO: www.newsbeezer.com

97 police officers, from 41 police stations, are currently being investigated for an alleged scam involving Covid-19 payments meant for officers who worked extra shifts during the crisis. The case was assigned by national police chief Suwat Jangyodsuk in November, when it came to light that some officers may have fraudulently claimed allowances meant for others.

In one incident, an officer responsible for transferring extra payments to police on the southern island of Phuket transferred the money to his own accountant instead. At the time, the transfer was dismissed as a mistake (in his favour), with the officer in question receiving a warning, and payments then made to the qualifying officers.

Wissanu Prasatthong-Osot from the National Internal Affairs Police says the investigation should reach a conclusion within the next 10 days.

“The result of the investigation should be ready in 10 days. Currently, 97 officers in 41 police stations ranging from non-commissioned to generals are under investigation for being involved in the swindle. The bureau aims to provide justice to all policemen involved. After the investigation concludes, the victims will receive their full allowance, while the offending officers will be punished under the law and disciplinary standards.”

Nation Thailand reports that a full list of alleged offenders has been sent to Suwat, with Wissanu promising that none will escape prosecution.

“The National Police chief had also ordered the transfer of offending officers at the commander and sub-commander levels out of their areas as per the investigation procedures.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Tourism

Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce to propose Guangzhou-Phuket tourism route

Caitlin Ashworth

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Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce to propose Guangzhou-Phuket tourism route | The Thaiger
PHOTO: 77 kaoded

A tourism route from Guangzhou, China to Phuket could help the island province recover from the recession brought on by the pandemic and lack of foreign travel, according to the Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce. The president of the organisation, Narongsak Puttapornmongkol, says they plan to submit a letter proposing the route under a travel bubble scheme to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

The Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce is proposing a travel bubble with around 20 cities in China with no recent coronavirus infections and considered to be at a low risk of spreading the virus. Travellers from Guangzhou recently entered Thailand on the new Special Tourist Visa. It was the second flight of international tourists since travel restrictions were imposed in late-March.

“We believe that the Travel Bubble and the quarantine reduction will resolve the tourism business, which is a huge economic opportunity to recover.”

Once a vaccine is widely available, Narongsak suggests that those who wish to Thailand could also present their vaccination certificate or examination reports from the place of origin. He adds that the mandatory state quarantine period is likely to be reduced.

SOURCE: Pattaya News

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