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DSI re-opens probe into Phuket Police killing of a thief suspect

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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DSI re-opens probe into Phuket Police killing of a thief suspect | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: Officers from the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) yesterday returned to the scene of the fatal shooting by police of a thief on the run in Phuket Town in 2009.

Thaweewat Surasit, regional director of the DSI’s Bureau of Special Crime, led a team of officers to Rama IX Park, also known as Suan Luang, on Chao Fa Road to retrace the last steps of the slain man, Ongard Rordpradit, 32.

Mr Ongard was shot dead by police after he resisted arrest by allegedly opening fire on police officers in pursuit of him. He was fleeing the officers after he tried to sell a Buddha image that was reportedly stolen in an armed robbery hours earlier.

“We have come to inspect the area and collect all information about the case before we proceed with our investigation,” Mr Thaweewat said.

Mr Ongard’s father and relatives filed a complaint to the DSI immediately after the shooting four years ago.

“They do not believe Mr Ongard fought police as they tried to arrest him,” Mr Thaweewat said.

Recounting the events that led to Mr Ongard’s death, Mr Thaweewat explained that on November 23, 2009 police responded to a call from a store near Suan Luang.

The store owner reported that two men had tried to sell a Buddha image that matched the description of one stolen earlier that day from a shop on Bangkok Road.

Police arrived at the scene and arrested the second man, but Mr Ongard fled into the park, Mr Thaweewat explained.

The officers in pursuit reported that Mr Ongard opened fire on them, Col Siang Kaewthong of the Phuket Provincial Police told the Phuket Gazette.

“The officers opened fire and shot Mr Ongard dead at the scene,” Mr Thaweewat said.

According to police photos taken at the scene in 2009, Mr Ongard was found in possession of a revolver and at least five bullets.

“There are many things that were odd about my son’s death,” Mr Ongard’s father, Wichit Rordpradit, told the Phuket Gazette.

“The gun was apparently found in the palm of my son’s hand and he was found face up. My son was not clutching the gun, so for him to have been shot and fallen to land face up, the gun should have fallen somewhere. It should not have still been in his hand.

“Also, the bullets police say they found do not match the gun they say they found. The bullets could not have been fired from that gun,” Mr Wichit said.

In his original complaint to the DSI, Mr Wichit said police called him to inform him that his son had been arrested on suspicion of stealing a Buddha image.

“At that time, Mr Wichit did not know his son had been shot dead,” Mr Thaweewat said.

“After that, Mr Wichit received a call from his daughter, telling him that Mr Ongard was shot by the police. The father wondered why the police did not tell him that Mr Ongard was dead when they called him the first time,” he added.

There were also some other oddities that prompted the family to file a complaint to the DSI. When collecting the body, Mr Ongard’s mother and sister noted that he was not wearing a shirt, revealing that his body was covered in bruises.

The father also claimed that police returned Mr Ongard’s mobile phone to them, but the SIM card had been removed.

“Police told Mr Ongard’s mother that the shirt was being held as evidence and that they had no idea where the SIM card was,” Mr Thaweewat said.

“Now police cannot provide the shirt to hand over to the DSI for their investigation,” Mr Wichit added.

The DSI finally agreed to investigate the case after the court last year ruled that it was unsatisfied with the evidence provided by police in justifying the killing of the suspect.

“There is something odd about this case,” Mr Thaweewat said.

After the DSI team has concluded its inspection of the scene, collected evidence and completed their case notes, the officers will return to Bangkok to consider the next course of action in the investigation, Mr Thaweewat added.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

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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

Police say Phuket school won’t be charged for employing foreign teachers without a work permit

Caitlin Ashworth

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Police say Phuket school won’t be charged for employing foreign teachers without a work permit | The Thaiger
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An international school in Phuket is not facing charges for employing foreign teachers without a work permit, police told the Phuket News. Back in November, 2 British nationals were arrested at the Palm House International School in Rawai in a raid by Phuket Immigration officers, acting on a tip that teachers were working at the school without a work permit.

The case was handed over to the Chalong Police. The department was also requested to investigate the school for suspected illegal hiring practices. When pressed by Phuket News reporters, the Chalong Police Chief Sarawut Chuprasit said the school officials are not facing any charges for employing the teachers illegally, without a work permit, and referred reporters to the provincial prosecutor.

“I have no reason to press any charge against the school at all. It is not right to accuse the school.”

Many schools in Thailand, especially international schools, obtain work permits for foreign teachers and even pay the fees. It’s also fairly common for foreign teachers to work without the proper documents, especially during the pandemic where travel restrictions make border runs nearly impossible.

Phuket News say police will not release the names of the 2 British teachers and will not give any additional information. They add that the provincial prosecutor’s office will also not release information without a police case number or suspects’ names. In a previous report, Phuket Immigration Deputy Chief also declined to identify the British nationals by name or age.

“Their visa status does not allow them to work or perform any form of business. They were arrested as they are suspected of working without a work permit.”

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Phuket

Phuket health chief urges “red zone” travellers to abide by quarantine measures

Caitlin Ashworth

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Phuket health chief urges “red zone” travellers to abide by quarantine measures | The Thaiger
PHOTO: National News Bureau of Thailand

With Phuket’s new disease control measures requiring those travelling from high risk areas to quarantine, the province’s public health chief is now saying those at alternative state quarantine hotels won’t be locked up in their rooms throughout their 14 day stay in isolation. He says guests can wander through certain areas of the hotel to have meals and do other activities.

Those travelling from “red zone” provinces are required to self-quarantine at a hotel or at their home for 14 days. People from areas classified as the “highest risk,” including Samut Sakhon, Chonburi, Rayong, Chanthaburi and Trat, must quarantine and undergo a Covid-19 swab test.

The public health chief Thanit Sermkaew says there will be harsh penalties for anyone who violates the new measures and urges travellers to stay at their quarantine location, home or hotel, for 14 days. People who violate the order can be punished under the Disease Control Act, either under Section 51, which carries a fine up to 20,000 baht, or under Section 52, which carries up to a year in jail and a fine up to 100,000 baht.

“It would be great if visitors from the ‘red zone’ areas stay in their hotels, so we are asking for their cooperation. They do not need to stay only in their room. They are able to do activities within the hotel, such as having meals, swimming, yoga and other activities… Please do not go outside the hotel. That would be a good preventative measure in Phuket province.”

Phuket Vice Governor Pichet Panaphong says hotels should “request” that their guests stay inside the hotel.

“Phuket officials have asked for the cooperation from operators to record the travel moments of guests before they arrived at the hotel and to request that their guests stay within the hotel area only, not to go outside of the hotel area.”

People who completed quarantine in Bangkok and tested negative for Covid-19 do not need to quarantine in Phuket as long as they travel directly to the island immediately after being released.

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Phuket

Screening measures to enter Phuket, travellers from “red zone” provinces to self-quarantine

Caitlin Ashworth

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Screening measures to enter Phuket, travellers from “red zone” provinces to self-quarantine | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Siangtai

Phuket authorities have announced screening measures for those entering the island province, which includes requiring those travelling from 20 “red zone” provinces to self-quarantine for 14 days. Those travelling from “hotspot” and “high risk” areas are required to do a swab test. While measures were put into effect over the weekend, some people say nothing has changed.

The “required” self-quarantine, which is apparently monitored by the Mor Chana tracking app, might be more of a guideline than a requirement. Arrivees on flights from Bangkok to Phuket Sunday morning, just 24 hours after the new screening measures were imposed, were not required to self-quarantine.

The minimum required for all individuals travelling to Phuket is to 1) download the “Mor Chana” app on their smartphones and display them when the officer calls for inspection, and 2) register online through the website www.gophuget.com to inform officials of the travel details to Phuket.

Screening measures to enter Phuket, travellers from

Screening measures to enter Phuket, travellers fromScreening measures to enter Phuket, travellers from

Screening measures to enter Phuket, travellers from

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