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Mother offers B50k reward for missing Phuket expat Brett Bean

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Mother offers B50k reward for missing Phuket expat Brett Bean | Thaiger

PHUKET: The mother of an American ski instructor, who was last seen in Phuket, has offered a 50,000-baht reward to find her son.

Speaking at Karon Police Station today, 69-year-old Lynne Bean appealed to the public for any information that would help find Brett Bean, her 43-year-old son who failed to make a flight home to Los Angeles on November 27.

Brett was last seen by a neighbor in Karon, on Phuket’s southwest coast, on November 25.

Brett is 6 foot 2 inches tall and has a tattoo on his right thigh and another on his left forearm.

He arrived in Phuket in April and was scheduled to fly from Phuket to Bangkok on November 27, and arrive in California shortly thereafter, said Ms Bean.

Brett works as a ski instructor in Colorado in the winter, but stays in Phuket to surf during the summer, she explained.

“I was waiting for him at Los Angeles Airport, but couldn’t see him. I went back to check with the airport on November 30, but we haven’t been able to find him,” she said.

Ms Bean explained that she received an email from Brett on November 26 clarifying his trip details.

“He told us to pick him up at the airport,” she said.

“We checked with Cathay Pacific Airways and were told that our son bought his ticket from the airlines, but he did not board the plane,” she explained.

“We are offering a 50,000-baht reward in case anyone has information or has seen him. Please call Ms Ananya at 089-646 4191 or Denny Bowman [089-973 3483], who is one of the US Embassy wardens in Phuket,” she said.

Police are currently directing their efforts into finding Mr Bean’s motorbike, a black-and-gray 125cc Honda, which he was last seen riding on November 25.

“The motorbike is about three to four years old, has manual gears and has the Phuket license plate ¡Åµ [Gor Gai, Lor Ling, Dtor Dtao] 443,” Mr Bowman told the Phuket Gazette.

Also missing from Mr Bean’s bungalow were his black and silver motorbike helmet, laptop computer and cell phone.

“We are still tracking where the computer was last used. Mr Bean apparently used to take it to internet cafes and plug it into their networks to use the internet. We will be handing out flyers and checking internet cafes in the area,” Mr Bowman confirmed.

Karon Police Deputy Superintendent Sophon Borirak told the Gazette, “We have distributed among our officers the flyer showing a photo of Mr Bean and a description of his physical appearance.

“If we can establish where Mr Bean was last seen in public, we will try to use CCTV to track his movements to determine his last known whereabouts,” Lt Col Sophon added.

Maj Worapong Prom-in of the Chalong Police told the Gazette that officers found nothing untoward in the bungalow where Mr Bean was staying.

“Everything was in order. There were no signs of a struggle,” said Maj Worapong.

Mr Bean’s surfboard and passport were found in the bungalow, along with his driver’s license, motorbike registration book and his bankbook.

“Everything looked like Mr Bean had just stepped out,” Maj Worapong said.

Police are also looking into an ATM withdrawal reportedly made from Mr Bean’s account on December 5. However, investigators have asked the Gazette to refrain from publishing any details of the transaction.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Tourism

Phuket’s July Sandbox no-quarantine model “needs a major revamp”

Tim Newton

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Phuket’s July Sandbox no-quarantine model “needs a major revamp” | Thaiger
PHOTO: The monsoon waves are starting to hit Phuket's west coast

Thailand’s Sports and Tourism minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn is acknowledging that Phuket’s ‘Sandbox’ model for a no-quarantine re-opening in July will need “a major revamp”. As the Songkran travel bubble bursts and the monsoon season waves start to roll onto the island’s west coast beaches, Phuket’s scheduled July re-boot suddenly seems a long way off.

Minister Phiphat says he plans to meet with “all related agencies” this week. Apart from the latest national re-surge in new infections, Phuket has been unable to get its hands on sufficient vaccines to meed its deadline of 70% of the island vaccinated by July 1. Thailand’s limited supplies of the vaccine – including some 930,000 doses designated for Phuket – are being rerouted to other provinces as the government prioritises the limited supply.

“We are all concerned about the reopening timeline,” he was quoted in Bangkok Post.

But the Minister did acknowledge that, if the 70% vaccination level couldn’t be met, they may consider opening some areas of the island. Exactly how that would work hasn’t been revealed at this stage.

The minister also brought up the ongoing travel bubble negotiations and says he hadn’t heard back from some of the candidates with their reaction to the current outbreak.

Flights in and out of Phuket Airport’s international terminal have been extremely patchy and the flights from feeder tourist markets will need to co-operate with any re-opening plans.

Phuket, whilst suffering a rise in new infections, hasn’t been hit as hard as some of the other popular holiday provinces, like Chiang Mai, Chon Buri (Pattaya) and Prachuap Khiri Khan (Hua Hin).

This year’s Songkran was going to be a major stepping stone for the island’s recovery and many hotels, some who had opened especially to cater for Songkran holiday traffic, noted a lot of cancellations just prior to the break.

But some island hotels have still reported high occupancy rates over the past week. One Manager, who did not want his name published, said that their hotel was almost full with Thai patrons, most who had pre-paid for their flights and accommodation and decided to go ahead anyway.

Bhummikitti Ruktaengam, the president of the Phuket Tourist Association, says that they are opposed to any lockdown as it would cripple the island, with its tourist businesses already suffering greatly. He stated that 15% of people cancelled their Songkran bookings, while 30% had postponed their trips.

The Sports and Tourism Ministers is still in quarantine after having close contact with Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob, who was diagnosed with Covid-19 2 weeks ago.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket begs Kolour attendees to come for Covid-19 testing

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Phuket begs Kolour attendees to come for Covid-19 testing | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Kolour in the park was more pleasant in 2018 before Covid-19.

Health officials in Phuket put out a public statement this week compelling all foreigners who attended clubs and Kolour events to report for Covid-19 testing. As many might expect, the response has been lacklustre at best. Spreading the message around the foreigner and expat community in Phuket, the message is aimed at the multitudes of people, mostly foreign who attended Kolour and related events that turned into a Covid-19 superspreader event. Many foreigners have not come forward, much to health officials chagrin.

Online and on social media, foreigners and Thais shed light on why this urgent public health request is going largely unheeded. Foreigners fear the repercussions of coming forward, especially since Thailand is not allowing staying home or elsewhere in isolation if someone tests positive for Covid-19. Quarantine is mandatory, and with infection numbers exploding across the country, many fear the less-than-posh comforts of being quarantined in an emergency field hospital.

Cost is the other factor that likely is preventing foreigners from turning themselves in to be tested for Covid-19. While Phuket health officials may test people for free, anyone found infected with Covid-19 will be financially responsible for all the costs of their treatment and quarantine. Foreigners with limited financial resources, especially after a year of holing up in Thailand to ride out the Coronavirus, may resist reporting to authorities when they cannot afford the mandatory quarantine and medical treatment.

Perhaps recognizing this hesitation, the message includes a plea for all attendees to self-quarantine and self-monitor for any symptoms over the next week, even if they fail to report or test negative. The note also reminds everyone to wear masks in public at all times. The statement to the public also instructed anyone who attended any of the Covid-19 spreading nightlife events to report to the Acute Respiratory Infection Clinic area of Vachira General Hospital to receive a Covid-19 swab test.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Pattaya, Phuket and Hua Hin brace for increased restrictions

Tim Newton

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Pattaya, Phuket and Hua Hin brace for increased restrictions | Thaiger

Three of Thailand’s biggest expat areas are seeing sharp rises in new infections, partly from pre-Songkran traffic. The Songkran holidays, now officially over (but will see many people taking today off and making a weekend Songkran extension), and the government says they are expecting to see a rise in the cases numbers reported in the popular holiday locations.

Chon Buri Public Health office says they now have a total of 910 infections since April 1. They have 103 new cases in the past 24 hours. Most new cases are in Bang Lamung district which includes Pattaya City with 47, Siracha with 12) & Chon buri City with 8.

Pattaya, Phuket and Hua Hin brace for increased restrictions | News by Thaiger

Meanwhile Phuket has a total of 142 infections recorded on the island with the Governor still insisting there will be no need for a lockdown. Here’s a breakdown of the areas and the numbers of recorded infections so far (below).

Governor Narong announced that the Phuket Infectious Disease Control Committee won’t be implementing an official lockdown, but will “strictly raise the intensity of public health measures to counter the spread of Covid-19″.

“Everyone should wear a face mask, maintain social distancing, wash their hands frequently and install the Mor Chana app (available for free from App Store and Google Play Store).”

A meeting of the CCSA, chaired by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is expected to upgrade restrictions in red zone areas around the country, which includes Phuket and Pattaya. Read more about the latest red and orange zones HERE.

Pattaya, Phuket and Hua Hin brace for increased restrictions | News by Thaiger

For Hua Hin expats, there’s been 100 new Covid-19 infections announced in Prachuap Khiri Khan in the past 24 hours, 75 cases from Hua Hin. This takes the total in the province since April 1 to 625. Hua Hin accounts for nearly 90% of the district’s total cases.

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