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Bullish on Phuket; Pedophilia suspects nabbed



Bullish on Phuket; Pedophilia suspects nabbed | Thaiger
Phuket NEWS Hound

– A daily digest of news about Thailand from around the world, compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community.

Bullish on Phuket

Foreign investors find Phuket a lucrative spot in which to do business due to its international appeal as a beach destination, its eye-catching natural beauty and year-round tropical climate, says Allan Zeman, owner of the five-star Andara Resort & Villas which opened on the island earlier this year.

Zeman, a property developer with over four decades of experience, noted that Phuket, unlike Bangkok, hasn’t experienced any major political instability which would discourage tourists.

He told the Bangkok Post yesterday that, “Apart from the aforementioned reasons, I decided to invest in a resort and mall business in Phuket because I’ve been a regular visitor for the past 30 years.

“Phuket is like a second home to me and I find the local people friendly and charming. The island has much to offer in terms of culture, history and food. It’ll remain a hotbed for sustainable tourism growth for years to come.”

Pedophilia: suspects arrested in Chang Mai
The Nation

Police arrested a Thai man in Chiang Mai for procuring minors, and a Belgian man for having sex with these minors, Department of Special Investigation (DSI) chief Tharit Pengdit said yesterday.

On Wednesday, Suchat Biewtoo, 21, was nabbed at his home in San Sai district, while 41-year-old Philip Francoise was nabbed in front of a condominium in Muang district. Police said they would search for further evidence in Francoise’s room yesterday.

The latest arrests are related to the earlier capture of child sexual abuse suspect Roger Leslie Pettit and human-trafficking suspect Surasak Khiewmang, who said Suchat was a member of their network.

Viktor Bout stuck in Thailand

The Nation
American officials hoping to extradite Viktor Bout from Thailand on Wednesday were unable to fly the suspected Russian international arms dealer to New York because the United States added fresh allegations against him that must be heard or dismissed in a Thai court.

A sleek white twin-engine jet from the US reportedly waited in vain on the tarmac at Bangkok’s Don Muang air force base on Wednesday only to be told that Bout would not be handed over without jumping through some additional legal hoops.

“We are not sending Viktor Bout back today. There are still several legal steps to go through,” Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said on Wednesday.

“Before Bout’s extradition can take place, the second case needs to be dropped by the court,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Thani Thongpakdi said the same day.

The problem could still be quickly sorted out by US officials and a Bangkok judge, allowing Bout to immediately be flown to New York. Or his closely watched case could meander through Thailand’s court system, resulting in a delay or cancellation of his extradition, which could eventually permit him to walk free.

Briton arrested over Bangkok riots

The Age
A second British man has been arrested in Thailand for alleged involvement in violent anti-government “Red Shirt” protests earlier this year, police said yesterday.

Keith Wayne Bush, 49, from Manchester, was arrested on arson charges at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport on Wednesday after arriving on a flight from the United Arab Emirates, according to immigration police.

His Thai wife, Alisa Bush, 33, was also arrested after she went to the airport to meet him.

A court in northern Chiang Mai province approved arrest warrants for the pair on May 28 for allegedly trying to burn down a town hall, participating in an illegal rally, and inciting unrest, police Colonel Pakpong Sai-ubon said.

“Both denied all the charges,” he said.

Pakpong said the Briton fled Thailand shortly before the arrest warrant was approved.

He is the third Westerner to be arrested in connection with the protests, which sparked a series of clashes between demonstrators and armed troops in April and May, leaving 91 people dead and almost 1,900 wounded.

— Gazette Editors


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