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Family continues search for legally dead Dane in Phuket

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Family continues search for legally dead Dane in Phuket | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: Soren Baisgaard is legally dead. The Danish government laid him to rest after he went missing in Phuket in 1999. However, a single phone call in 2011 in response to a notice issued in the Phuket Gazette by the Danish government reignited the hopes of his deserted wife and two daughters that he was in fact still alive in Phuket, or elsewhere in Thailand.

Even now, the search continues as the family asks anyone who might recognize him to step forward.

In 1999, Mr Baisgaard was confronted at his job as a travel agent in a major company in Denmark for alleged fraud. The same day, he was on a plane to Phuket – a previous holiday destination for him and his family. He checked into room 408 at the Holiday Inn in Patong alone on December 2. After a couple of days at the hotel, Mr Baisgaard extended his stay for three more nights. However, no one saw him after December 5.

Back in Denmark, Lone Eghave Jensen reported her husband missing. He had left behind a ‘good bye’ letter for her and their daughters, stating that he had been caught at work for fraud, and that he was leaving them for good.

Still believing that Mr Baisgaard is alive, Mrs Jensen and her daughters have declined to have the letter published.

“At the time, I thought he was just travelling, as he often did. But it became apparent that he wasn’t coming back, and I started thinking what was wrong with my mom, my sister and me? Why didn’t he want us? I was very upset, we all were. I was a little girl, and my father chose to disappear,” one of Mr Baisgaard’s two daughters, Malene Feldtmann, told the Gazette this week.

“I did not believe [that he died after vanishing from the hotel], and I still don’t. It makes no sense to me, that he should travel all that way to kill himself, and if he died of natural causes, we would have been contacted by the proper authorities.”

Mrs Feldtmann points out that, at this point, it isn’t a ‘sob story’.

“I mean, we want to find him, don’t doubt that. But it’s been 16 years, and my sister and I are adults now. Mostly we want answers. It’s too late to get our dad back.”

Mr Baisgaard left nearly everything behind at the hotel – at first glance it looked like a suicide.

The inventory for room 408 sent by Holiday Inn General Manager Wolfgang Meusburger to the lawyer handling Mr Baisgaard’s case in 2011 was extensive.

In the room safe was Mr Baisgaard’s passport, one dinner card, one master card, a driving licence, and a number of membership cards, as well as kroner and US dollars.

In the closet hung a dark suit, a leather jacket, five shirts, two pairs of pants and a number of other items. Similar general items – such as keys, cigarettes, magazines, gloves, neck tie, cosmetics and so on – were also discovered, as was a book titled Days of Fear: A Firsthand Account of Captivity Under the New Taliban.

There was also a second letter to his daughters, which read: “Dear Malene and Marie. I love you. Dad”.

The one thing missing was four bottles of codeine medicine for Crohn’s disease, from which Mr Baisgaard suffered. However, there was a receipt in the room for the purchase of the medicine from a Patong pharmacy.

Crohn’s is a chronic disease that belongs to a group of conditions known as Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, and can cause serious damage if not properly attended to. Mr Baisgaard underwent surgery for the disease and has at least three scars on his stomach from it.

The Danish Police and Interpol Thailand promptly began their investigation after Mrs Jensen filed the missing person case. However, they returned empty handed. Mr Baisgaard had indeed vanished.

“As long as he was ‘alive’ he was officially living at Lone’s address and she was not able to have any economic help. She was not able to have him registered as ‘moved away’ without his acceptance. His accounts and his insurances could not be paid and closed as long as he was registered alive,” explained Dorte Jensen, attorney (authorized trustee) for Therkildsen Advokater in Denmark, who was appointed by the court in 2011 to represent Mr Baisgaard during the hearing of the case.

Before Mr Baisgaard could be declared dead, a court summons was placed in the Phuket Gazette.

“There was a phone call to the court that appears to have been from Soren Baisgaard,” Mrs Jensen said. “The employee did not make a note of the phone conversation. Instead she asked the person calling to write an email to the court. The court did not her from the person concerned again, but the court decided that I should try again to find him. No results.”

However, a Danish documentary team has quoted the court employee describing the conversation:

“This is Soren Baisgaard,” the man on the phone tells the court employee. “What do you want? Is this about the fraud case against me?”

“No,” the employee said as she looked up Mr Baisgaard in her files.

“Who is Lone Eghave Jensen?” she asks.

“It is the mother of my two children,” the man said. “Can’t you just leave me alone…”

The call was then terminated from the man’s side.

Despite the call, Mr Baisgaard was declared dead on July 10, 2012. However, the closure that it was supposed to bring to his wife and daughters 12 years late was dashed.

“It [the call] was very confusing. We were about to put an end to the entire thing and start processing the fact that he was dead, at least legally,” Mrs Feldtmann said. “Then someone left that message, and it just started over. It was a very confusing time, and we were very upset with it.”

Now, 15 years after Mr Baisgaard’s disappearance, and about three years after he was declared legally dead, his family continues to hope they will eventually find him.

“I would like to find him, yes. If we find him, I would like to ask him why he ever thought that we would be better off without him. It’s a very cowardly assumption that we would do better, just so he didn’t have to stay and face the consequences,” Mrs Feldtmann said.

“Then I want to tell him all the things he has missed in the 16 years he chose not to be here. Because he missed everything, and there were so many times I really wanted my father to be there.

“And lastly I want to tell him that I missed him a lot.”

Mr Baisgaard vanished when he was 40 years old. If in fact he is still alive, he would now be 56 years old. Anyone who believes they have seen him or knows him – possibly under an alias – are urged to write missing@tv2.dk or call 086-788 2050 or +45 301-01 113.

— Isaac Stone Simonelli

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Tourism

Phuket prepares to welcome first Chinese tourists in over 6 months

Maya Taylor

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Phuket prepares to welcome first Chinese tourists in over 6 months | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Jing Daily

The first group of tourists to arrive under Thailand’s new Special Tourist Visa scheme are expected to land in Phuket on October 8. The Bangkok Post reports that a flight from Guangzhou in southern China will carry 120 tourists, who will spend their first 14 days in alternative state quarantine. They are reported to be travelling under the government’s new STV.

Arrivals who do not pass the initial health screening will be transferred to specially chosen hospitals, as “Patients under Investigation”. Those who do pass the screening will be transported to alternative state quarantine once they’ve gone through immigration processing.

A Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration spokesperson says the resort islands of Phuket and Koh Samui will be the first to welcome travellers under the Special Tourist Via scheme. He pointed out that Guangzhou has not recorded any new cases of the Covid-19 virus for a prolonged period, meaning next week’s tourist arrivals are deemed “low risk”. His assertion is confirmed from the official figures at worldometer.info website recording world Covid-19 cases.

The CCSA reports that there will be a limit of 300 foreign tourists admitted each week, but this will be reviewed after the first phase of the re-opening. All arrivals will be subject to 14 day quarantine, although the Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn has suggested reducing this to 7 days eventually. The CCSA says they are not considering reducing the quarantine time at this stage.

Thiravat Hemachudha from the Thai Red Cross Emerging Infectious Disease Health Science Centre is not opposed to the idea.

“We can study this with foreign visitors who will arrive next month. During the 14 day quarantine they will be tested on the first, the seventh and the fourteenth day. If they are free of infections, we can shorten the quarantine to 7 days.”

However, not all are in agreement, with a doctor from Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University cautioning against any shortening of the quarantine period.

Meanwhile, Phuket governor, Narong Woonsiew, says the province is ready to welcome the new arrivals, with Covid-19 labs in place at Phuket airport, and officials due to carry out a full dress rehearsal today.

Thanit Sermkaew, chief of the Phuket Public Health Office, says over 1,200 rooms at 9 hotels have been chosen as alternative state quarantine properties, with a total of 73 hotels, providing over 5,800 rooms, applying for consideration.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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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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