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Blockade-sparked tour counter blitz, ‘well received’

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Blockade-sparked tour counter blitz, ‘well received’ | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: A blockade of the Karon beachfront road by tuk-tuk and taxi drivers has sparked a police blitz on all tour counters in the area using Russian nationals to sell tours.

So far the blitz has been “well received”, Karon Police Deputy Superintendent Narong Laksanawimon told the Gazette on Wednesday.

The tour counters allegedly specializing in Russian services were individually owned and operated by Thais – not backed by major inbound tour handlers – Lt Col Narong said.

“The tour counter operators have cooperated well with police and they no longer have Russian nationals sitting at the counters selling tours to Russian tourists anymore,” he explained.

“We have checked and confirmed that the tour counters belong to Thai nationals. The operators of these small tour counters are mostly people who set up counters in front of their homes. They explained that they hired Russians to sell tours because they found it very difficult to find Thais who can speak Russian,” Col Narong added.

The order for all “Russian counters” to close has been lifted, with the only business ordered to remain closed being a massage parlor on Taina Road in central Karon.

“That owner does not have the correct license for operating such a business, so we ordered the business to close until the owner has been issued the appropriate license,” Col Narong explained.

“I have raised the issue at a meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall that Phuket [authorities] must clarify which occupations foreigners can do and which occupations they cannot. This would make it clear for everyone and easy for officers to take action against transgressors,” he added.

However, Phanompol Thammachatniyom, president of the Phuket Professional Guide Association, remains far from complacent on the issue of Russians being heavily involved in providing local tourism services.

“The Russian [tour] counters are telling tourists not to use tuk-tuks or taxis in Kata and Karon, They are even telling tourists not to use any service provided by Thais,” Mr Phanompol alleged.

“I have been told that up to 90 per cent of Russian tour agents in Kata- Karon do not have the proper work permits to sell packages at the counters. Some tour counters are staffed by foreigners, with not a single work permit issued among them,” he added.

“Also, these tour counter operators are not bringing Russian tourists to the island. They are just picking up tourists off the street. This doesn’t have the same positive effect that Russian tour companies who bring tourists to the island do,” he concluded.

— Chutharat Plerin

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Phuket

Woman arrested for abandoning newborn baby on a bench in Phuket

Caitlin Ashworth

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Woman arrested for abandoning newborn baby on a bench in Phuket | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Siangtai/Newshawk Phuket

Police tracked down and arrested a Burmese woman who allegedly left her newborn baby on a bench in Phuket’s Patong area last week. The mother faces charges of abandoning a baby.

The newborn was left in a reusable shopping bag on a bench behind a Krungthai Bank branch. A woman in the area heard the baby crying and found the newborn in the bag along with a bottle of milk, diapers and clothing. Police reviewed surveillance camera footage shows a woman, police later identified as Ei Ei Phyu, leaving the bag on the bench.

Police say the woman gave birth on September 9 at a local hospital in Surat Thani’s Phun Phin district. Ei Ei allegedly took a van from Surat Thani to Phuket on September 22 and stayed with a friend in Patong. The early the next morning, she allegedly left her baby on the bench before boarding a bus back to Surat Thani.

Burmese workers in the Patong area told police Ei Ei used to work at a local Indian food restaurant before she moved to Surat Thani to work as a rubber tapper. Ei Ei allegedly told police she is not in the position to raise a child.

In earlier reports, police said the baby is healthy and does not appear to have any injuries.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand

Phuket police arrest 6 after finding large amounts of methamphetamine in raid

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Phuket police arrest 6 after finding large amounts of methamphetamine in raid | The Thaiger

Phuket Provincial Police have arrested 6 people after finding large amounts of methamphetamine and other drugs during a raid. One suspect alone allegedly had 7.6 kilograms of crystal meth (ya ice) and over 12,500 methamphetamine pills (ya bah). 29 year old Surasak ‘Bank’ Wijit and 27 year old Panida ‘Mei’ Saeyang were arrested at an apartment car park in Soi Lookkaew, Moo 6, Rassada, in eastern Phuket, after they were found in possession of the drugs.

Police also found 2 mobile phones and a red Honda PCX, registered in Phuket, as evidence. Both suspects have been charged with posessing a Category 1 drug with the intent to sell.

Other suspects arrested at the same time include 36 year old from Chiang Rai, 42 year old Sarawut ‘An’ Srichanon, from Ranong and 31 year old Pornthep ‘Iew’ Thepchampa, who were charged with the same crimes in Chalong after police found more drugs in their possession. 33 year old Kamon ‘Kung’ Sae-ngow, was arrested as well after police found kratom juice and leaves at a house in Rassada. He was taken to Phuket City Police station and was charged with a Category 5 drug possession.

SOURCE:The Phuket News

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Thailand

Phuket Muay Thai fighter is the first Thai national to compete in UFC

The Thaiger

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Phuket Muay Thai fighter is the first Thai national to compete in UFC | The Thaiger

The upcoming Ultimate Fighting Championship Fight Night event in Abu Dhabi will feature Thailand’s only national marking her third fight with the UFC, the world’s largest mixed martial arts competition. 24 year old Loma Lookboonme, from Burirram in northeastern Thailand, will fight in the event on October 3, 2020.

Loma is a Muay Thai fighter who has adapted her MMA skills to fight in the UFC where she currently trains at the Tiger Muay Thai gym in Phuket. Loma qualified for the national team at the age of 19 and has fought in over 12 nations worldwide. She currently trains 6 days a week starting daily at 6:30am with a 3 kilometre run. In the UFC, she will be competing against China’s Angela Lee who is the undisputed champion of the 52 kilogram fist weight category.

Phuket Muay Thai fighter is the first Thai national to compete in UFC | News by The Thaiger

Loma’s parents are former Muay Thai fighters and her 2 sisters currently compete as well. She reportedly started training at 8 years old after being inspired by her father, whom she describes as her “hero.”

Like most Thais in such fighting sports, Muay Thai offers a way to rise out of poverty-and fighting for the UFC can be financially lucrative. But Loma says her only Thai sponsor is the gym where she trains, with the rest of her sponsors being from foreign brands. She says she is trying to get more Thai sponsors but feels that maybe she needs to win the UFC first before Thai brands notice her.

Loma lost her last fight and says her new opponent gives her nothing to lose. She says her goal is to get into the Top 10, but is not sure when it will happen. Loma says for now, it would be good to fight against someone in the Top 10 to help her prepare for her future.

FULL INTERVIEW: Thisrupt.co

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