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DOG DAYS: Phuket murder fugitive ‘Mick the Pom’ living openly in sunny Philippines

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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DOG DAYS: Phuket murder fugitive ‘Mick the Pom’ living openly in sunny Philippines | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: British murder fugitive Michael John Taylor, better known in Phuket as “Mick The Pom”, has been found alive and well in the Philippines, and now uses the online monikers “Mick Doggard”, or just “Mickdog” for short.

Taylor, who celebrated his 50th birthday on September 20 this year, remains wanted for the murder of his girlfriend Jantra Weangta, 27, who was found stabbed to death in Taylor’s rented bungalow near Chalong Pier on August 17, 2004 (story here).

Ms Jantra died from a single stab wound to the heart (story here).

Nearby, police found a large Bowie knife and a pair of bloodstained trousers, and quickly arrested Taylor for the murder.

Taylor denied the accusation and told police that around the time Ms Jantra was estimated to have been killed, he was drinking at the Moonlight Bar in Karon and then having sex on the beach with a katoey (ladyboy), 21-year-old Fonnoi Khonsau.

He said that he found Ms Jantra dead on the bed when he and Mr Fonnoi went to the house.

By the time Taylor’s much-delayed trial started over a year later, the prosecution had lined up 13 witnesses to testify against him, including Pornthip Rojanasunand, Thailand’s leading forensic investigator, who was to present DNA evidence.

Despite the fact that he faced a murder charge, Taylor had been released on bail after a Chanote land title deed valued at 400,000 baht was posted as surety.

In 2006, mid-trial, he disappeared (story here).

Taylor was later seen by a Phuket Gazette reader on the streets of his hometown of Hull, in northern England.

The British Embassy in Bangkok has refused to confirm or deny whether or not he re-entered the UK after he absconded from Thailand, and neither that embassy nor the British embassy in Manila nor the Home Office in the UK have explained to the Gazette how Taylor continues to travel abroad.

Taylor’s lawyer, Somsak “Sam” Chattay, confirmed to the Gazette in 2006 that Taylor’s passport was held at the Chalong Police Station during the trial.

The Gazette has a copy of Taylor’s previous passport, showing it was due to expire on June 12 this year. For Taylor to be legally travelling today as a British national, he must have been issued a new passport by the UK authorities while he was still wanted for murder in Thailand.

The news of Taylor’s latest whereabouts was brought to the Gazette‘s attention after patrons at the Dogs Offshore Bar in the beach resort town of Pundakit, about 160km west of Manila and just over an hour’s drive from Subic Bay, said they heard him bragging about the killing to patrons in the bar.

Asked who to contact with such information, the British Embassy in Bangkok refused to provide any assistance in bringing one of its own nationals to justice.

“The alleged offense was committed in Thailand, and therefore the whereabouts of the alleged offender is likely to be of interest to the Thai authorities. We would suggest that any information on the case be shared with the Thai authorities,” an email from the embassy said.

“This is a bilateral matter between Thailand and the Philippines authorities and the Royal Thai Police are the correct body to take this issue forward,” said an earlier email.

No embassy representative was willing to officially claim responsibility for either email.

The Gazette on August 31 informed Phuket Provincial Police Chief Choti Chavalwivat, who retired on September 30, as well as Phuket Provincial Chief Public Prosecutor Chiengsean Panhya and Chalong Police Superintendent Kritapas Daztharasorn.

However, the Gazette hitting the streets this weekend marks six weeks of no known action by any Phuket law enforcement authority to bring Taylor to justice – despite having been given a photo, the arrest warrant for murder and for jumping bail, a phone number, Facebook page, website address and even a map of where to find him.

After being informed and shown documentary evidence of Taylor’s whereabouts on August 31, Maj Gen Choti told the Gazette it was a matter for the Public Prosecutor, not the police.

However, he assured he would report the information to Chief Prosecutor Chiengsean as soon as possible.

Three days later, while chasing an update, the Gazette broke the news of Taylor’s whereabouts to Mr Chiengsean, who repeatedly confirmed that he had yet to receive any notification from Gen Choti.

Even then, Mr Chiengsean was adamant that arresting a murder fugitive – even one that absconded on bail during trial – was a matter for the police.

Noting the failure of communication and a lack of common understanding between police and the chief prosecutor in matters involving the arrest of murder fugitives, the Gazette brought the case to the attention of Col Kritapas, who as Superintendent of the Chalong Police heads the police unit that brought the case to trial.

He denied any further responsibility for bringing to justice a murder suspect arrested in his jurisdiction.

“It is beyond police authority to arrest anyone outside of the country. Police have done their job. The suspect was arrested and handed over to the prosecutor,” Col Krittapas said.

“Also, the suspect escaped while on court bail, not police bail… This is clearly a matter for the prosecutor,” he added.

None of the daily calls – by phone or in person – by the Gazette to any of the three top law-enforcement authorities related to the case have since yielded any confirmation that the Thai Police in Phuket are willing to take any action to arrest Taylor.

At last report, the Gazette learned that Taylor was heading offshore again to work – most likely in the oil and gas industry.

His online posts appear on “rovworld.com”, a site for offshore workers.

— Gazette Reporters

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

Business

Approval sought for multi-billion-baht Phuket medical hub

Maya Taylor

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Approval sought for multi-billion-baht Phuket medical hub | The Thaiger
Mai Khao beach in north Phuket - PHOTO: www.makemytrip.com

Industry officials are seeking the go-ahead for a project to transform over 140 rai of government land in Phuket into a world-leading medical hub. The project is budgeted at 3 – 4 billion baht, depending on which report you read. Kitkong Tantijaraswarodom, from the Federation of Thai Industries, believes the development of a medical and wellness hub in the sub-district of Mai Khao, north Phuket, will help revive the southern island’s battered economy. Phuket has become increasingly reliant on a steady flow of tourists over the past 2 decades.

The southern division of the FTI covers Phuket, Krabi, Phang Nga, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Trang, Patthalung, Surat Thani, Ranong, Satun, Chumphon, and Songkhla.

“The FTI will ask the government to green-light the project during the scheduled mobile cabinet meeting on the island on November 3.”

Kitkong says businesspeople in the south are anxious for the government to approve the project, which will provide both locals and foreign medical tourists with state-of-the-art medical care. The facility is expected to include long-term care, hospice and rehabilitation services, in addition to a dental hospital, sports therapy centre, and a medical training school for doctors, nurses, pharmacists and medical laboratory scientists.

The chair of the FTI’s southern chapter is also calling on officials to provide small and medium-sized businesses with additional support, in the form of access to loans, in order to deal with cash shortages.

“In the short term, the FTI wants the government to help SMEs, especially those in the tourism sector.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Phuket

Man’s body discovered hanged in a Phuket Town apartment

The Thaiger

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Man’s body discovered hanged in a Phuket Town apartment | The Thaiger

A man has been found hanged in Phuket Town apartment yesterday. Police are treating the cases as a suicide at the moment.

The man was found hanged from the apartment’s ceiling fan. His lifeless body was discovered around 11am after neighbours complained to the manager about the smell coming from the man’s room.

Police and the local Kusoldharm Foundation rescue workers attended the scene. Police later confirmed the incident happened in room on the 3rd floor of an apartment lock in Soi Phoonphol Soi 1, Talat Nuea in Phuket Town. Police said the man was 35-45 years of age and had a 29 year old girlfriend from Chumphon. He was paying 1,000 baht a month and had been renting the room for 2 months. Police estimate that the man had been dead for at least 3 days.

Police told media that the man had used, what appeared to be a dress, tied around his neck and then to the room’s roof fan. The apartment manager told police that he had been late on on his recent rent, speculating that the man may have been suffering financial hardship.

The man’s identity has not been released at this stage.

His body was taken to Vachira Hospital for an autopsy.

If you or anyone you know is in emotional distress, please contact the Samaritans of Thailand 24-hour hotline: 02 713 6791 (English), 02 713 6793 (Thai) or the Thai Mental Health Hotline at 1323 (Thai).

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Tourism

Bangkok Airways add 3 new local routes to their schedule

The Thaiger

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Bangkok Airways add 3 new local routes to their schedule | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Bangkok Airways' ATR72, servicing the re-introduced routes

Some domestic routes are being added as local routes continue to expand. This time Bangkok Airways has announced it’s resuming its Samui-Phuket, Phuket-Hat Yai and Phuket-Pattaya/Rayong (U-Tapao) flights.

The first additions to the schedule will be the Phuket-Samui flights resuming this Sunday, October 25, and the Phuket-Pattaya flights start again next Tuesday, October 27. The Phuket-Samui flights will be operating on Sundays and Wednesdays only on the airlines’ ATR72 turbo prop regional planes, same as before.

A casual search on the Bangkok Airways website, for a return flight from Phuket to Samui on November 1, then back to Phuket on November 8 indicates the cheapest fare (promo) is 2,430 baht. Coming back, the cheapest fare we found, again labelled ‘promo’, was 2,630 baht. Bangkok Airways operate as a “full service” airline and don’t compete with the country’s discount airlines. But they operate these three routes exclusively – like it or leave it.

Bangkok Airways say that the flights will be operated “with the highest preventive measures and standards”. Around the country the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand have eased a few of the onboard restrictions, including the start of catering services which were originally banned under the initial flight rules when domestic routes started flying again at the start of July.

The daily direct services between Phuket and Hat Yai are also being operated on the ATR72 aircraft. The flight to Ha Yai leaves Phuket at 8.40am and arrives at Hat Yai at 9:.45am. The return flights leave Hat Yai back to Phuket at 10.25am each day. The route was very popular for the airline before the ‘disruption’ when airlines had their fleets grounded in April.

The service between Phuket and U-Tapao, linking the party city with the party island, will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, again with the ATR72. Phuket to U-Tapao will leave at 12.10pm and then from U-Tapao to Phuket at 4pm on the three days. U-Tapao is about a 50 minute drive from Pattaya and the airport also serves the greater Rayong area.

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