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Maid of money

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET CITY: A woman who, in a three-year spree, allegedly robbed at least 15 homes of as much as 570,000 baht apiece, has been caught in a police sting.

The woman, named as Jirapa “Ying” Pasomsub, 34, from Nakhon Sri Thammarat, got into the homes by answering advertisements for a maid. Once in a home she would work for a few hours before disappearing with her swag.

Pol Capt Prawit Engchuan explained that, in order to catch Jirapa, he posted notices around Phuket City on April 12, purportedly seeking a maid.

Many women applied but he rejected all those who did not fit the description given to him by Jirapa’s victims.

On June 3, however, a woman matching the description applied for the job and Capt Prawit videotaped the “job interview”. He then showed photos taken from the video to a number of Jirapa’s victims, who identified her as the culprit.

Three days later, Capt Prawit went to Jirapa’s home in Komarapaj Rd, Phuket City, and “invited” her to come to the police station, where she was confronted by some of the victims and other witnesses, and identified as the perpetrator.

Capt Prawit said that Jirapa admitted to 15 counts of theft: 10 in Phuket City, three in Patong and two in Tung Tong. He added that he was sure there were more. “She started stealing in 2003, taking cash, jewelry, gold ornaments, gems and gold amulets,” he said.

Jirapa, who used a variety of names when pretending to be a maid, including Koy, Noi and Poo, sold the stolen objects to the Jib Heng Luang Gold shop in Tambon Srisoontorn, in Thalang District.

On Monday, Phuket City Police Station Superintendent Col Paween Pongsirin, along with an entourage consisting of the accused, Capt Prawit and other police officers, five of the victims and three members of the press, paid a visit to the gold shop and asked to see all the objects Jirapa had sold.

The owner promptly fetched a variety of items and stressed that she did not know that Jirapa was a thief. “She said she had won the articles gambling. I didn’t think a women could be a thief,” said the gold shop owner, whose name police withheld.

The shop owner added that some items had already been sent to jewelers in Bangkok to be melted down. “The jewelry you can see here is from the past two months,” she said.

Jirapa told the police that she had already spent the profits from the three-year spree but Capt Prawit said he found this difficult to believe. “There was a lot of money – in April alone she stole around one million baht. We will be investigating this further,” he said.

Capt Prawit added that the total Jirpapa was known to have stolen over the three years was estimated to be worth around three million baht.

“Besides this, there are other victims who have not yet identified her [as the culprit], and I have been in touch with other police stations to see whether more victims can be identified,” he said.

One victim was Poolarp Sophontanasir, 25, the owner of Phuket Leasing, a car finance company. He told the Gazette that he and his wife had lost a valuable amulet of Phra Somdej Wat Rakung, three gold rings and two gold necklaces, the total value of which he estimated at more than 570,000 baht.

“We hired her on April 12, and she worked for just four hours before leaving with the valuables,” he explained.

She even took items from the bedroom while he was asleep on the bed, he added. “She may be fat but she knows how to move silently. She’s a real professional,” K. Poolarp said.

Capt Prawit urged all gold shops to be suspicious of people who came to their shop frequently to sell valuables. “Under the law,” he noted, “the owners of gold shops are obliged to ask for the ID cards of sellers and keep a record of them, but the Jib Heng Luang shop didn’t do that.”

Jirapa has been charged with stealing from someone’s home, an offense punishable by up to five years in jail and a fine of up to 10,000 baht.

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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

Phuket’s Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter

The Thaiger

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Phuket’s Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | The Thaiger

The Soi Dog Foundation has officially opened its Humane Education Centre, the first of its kind in Thailand dedicated to the welfare of stray animals. The centre, located at the Soi Dog shelter in northern Phuket, forms part of the foundation’s Humane Education program. Rolled out in 2017, the program sees a team visit Thai schools to teach the next generation the basic principles of animal welfare and promote empathetic attitudes towards both owned pets and free-roaming strays.

The program has reached a total of 15,058 students and 861 teachers to date. With a dedicated classroom as well as educational tools and resources now on site at the shelter, Soi Dog will be able to expand the programme and reach an even greater number of young minds.

Co-founder and president of Soi Dog Foundation International John Dalley said, “The cornerstones of what we do – what I believe very firmly are the answers to the stray dog problem throughout Asia – are large-scale sterilisation of stray dogs and cats and education of, particularly, the next generation.

“We see all the time the problems that are being caused through us not respecting the environment and not respecting the other animals with whom we share this planet. That’s why education is so important.”

John also thanked the supporters and donors who made the construction of the centre possible. After cutting the ribbon, the students filed into the brand-new facility for the very first on-site class – a fun and interactive hour of roleplaying, brainstorming and problem solving.

Humane Education Manager Nuttawut “Film” Kumngern. said… “We want to encourage kindness toward animals, especially free-roaming dogs and cats, and teach youngsters to be responsible pet owners. This will sustainably reduce animal cruelty and pet abandonment.”

“We hope to one day see animal welfare incorporated into the curriculum in Thai schools, and our education centre is a great start.”

Soi Dog is ready to welcome school groups from Phuket and other provinces to the centre which can accommodate up to 40 students at any one time. Schools interested in participating are encouraged to email film@soidog.org

Phuket's Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | News by The ThaigerPhuket's Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | News by The Thaiger

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International Schools

Police have yet to investigate illegal hiring of foreign teachers at international school in Phuket

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Police have yet to investigate illegal hiring of foreign teachers at international school in Phuket | The Thaiger

Chalong police in Phuket say they have yet to start investigating the illegal hiring of foreign teachers at an international school in Rawai. Palm House International School allegedly hired foreign teachers illegally in which 2 were arrested by Phuket Immigration police on November 4.

Somkiet Sarasin, the Chalong police leading investigator of the case, says the 2 Brits were informed that police were processing a charge of working illegally in the country against them, in which both denied the charges. Somkiet says the 2 were released on bail, but did not confirm the amount of bail that was set by the police.

“They are still staying in Thailand. I am not worried. I have their passports. I am not available to explain [any details] because the investigation is still ongoing.”

“This is normal for an investigation when the suspects deny the charge against them. I have to check more information against their claims. This case will probably be concluded next month.”

However, the investigation has yet to begin, with Somkiet saying he has not even questioned the owner of the school, despite his claims the case would be finished next month.

“The investigation into the school will take time. The investigation into the two British people must be finished first.”

Such allegations of foreign teachers working illegally have recently been in the news after Sarasas Witaed Sainoi Pitiyakarn School, in the central province of Nonthaburi, saw 7 foreign teachers probed for being hired illegally. That school, along with others in its private network, made nationwide news after CCTV caught a Thai teacher hitting, pushing and dragging a young student in the classroom. Such widespread violence against students has long been a sad component of many Thai schools, in which some of the teachers are unqualified and unlicensed to teach, but are hired anyway.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Tourism

Phuket sees 300 million baht boost over long holiday weekend

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Phuket sees 300 million baht boost over long holiday weekend | The Thaiger

The Tourism Authority of Thailand says that Phuket has received a much-needed 300 million baht boost over the 4 day long weekend with around 54,000 tourists flocking to the island from last Thursday through to yesterday.

Phuket Office Director Nanthasiri Ronnasiri, reports that the average expenditure per visitor was about 5,500 baht, which was higher than the average spend for a Thai tourist to Phuket 2 years ago. She also noted that random checks on hotels showed that occupancy rates climbed to about 35%, with most guests staying 2 nights. But most of Phuket’s hotels remain closed.

Nanthasiri also says that many of the tourists concentrated themselves in the Phuket Old Town area, especially around Thalang Road, Phang Nga Road, and Dibuk Road in order to enjoy at the Sino-Portuguese shophouse architecture and historical locations. In fact much of Phuket Town, including its many markets and alley eateries, were doing roaring business, The Thaiger can vouch for the heavy traffic, on the roads and footpaths, over the past 4 days.

“This special holiday made Phuket tourism livelier, even though it was not as same as the situation before the Covid-19 pandemic.”

In fact, despite the welcome surge of visitors, it was still a long, long way from its previous tourist levels with much of the west coast, which has largely catered for the international tourist traffic, was still very quiet in places like Patong, Kata and Karon.

Phuket wasnt the only destination that has profited off of the long weekend as Chiang Mai saw droves of Thai tourists visiting its Royal Park Rajapruek as well as the northern city’s other nearby national parks and tourist areas. Visitors came from all over to see the blossoming of flowers in a beautiful display at the park as well as enjoying the air-purifying flowers as they relaxed. Tourists were able to rent a bicycle for 60 baht if they wanted to exercise while taking in the scenery and could also pay a visit to the orchid greenhouse, which hosts a variety of orchids in bloom. TripAdvisor recommends to set aside 2 hours to visit the park.

Next holiday weekend, on November 27 and 28, Pattaya is expected to get a tourism boost as its annual fireworks festivalis set to bring in travellers who have taken advantage of package deals offered by some beachside hotels. Such packages were offered for advance bookings, where holidaymakers could view the firework shows on the rooftops of their hotels. The firework displays are said to be long with breaks of entertainment-packed shows, featuring live music and student bands amongst others.

Phuket sees 300 million baht boost over long holiday weekend | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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