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Muggings in Rawai continue

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Muggings in Rawai continue | The Thaiger

RAWAI: A year after the still-unsolved murder of Norwegian Simen Knudsen, violent robberies against foreigners on motorcycles continue in Rawai – with the the perpetrators now carrying out attacks in populated areas during broad daylight.

The latest victim is 38-year-old Sandra Ullrich, who suffered two fractures to the back of her skull when a pair of Thai men on a motorcycle tried to steal her shoulder bag about 1 pm on Thursday.

The attack occurred as Ms Ullrich, a four-year resident of Phuket, was riding her motorbike past the Banana Corner restaurant, at the corner of the three-way intersection of Saiyuan and Wiset Rd, in the heart of the Rawai-Nai Harn area.

The victim’s husband, Dutchman Hans Ullrich, told the Gazette shortly after the accident he was incensed at the response of the Chalong Police and that he was prepared to “take matters into my own hands” if they fail to take action to catch the perpetrators.

“I just went to the police station. If these guys don’t take care of it, I am going to absolutely freak out. I am going to sit in the bush myself with a couple of my friends and take care of it, because this is absolutely insane. They don’t do [anything] about it, ” said Mr Ullrich, a well-known member of the local dive industry.

“I know these types of things happen everywhere, but it just seems to be getting too much lately,” he said.

Mr Ullrich said he knew of three other similar attacks that have happened over the past six weeks.

Police sometimes patrol risk areas, such as the road from Rawai to the Kata Viewpoint, in the high season, but otherwise only after high-profile cases such as the Knudsen killing, he said.

Mrs Ullrich on Friday was still in the intensive care unit of Phuket International Hospital, where she had yet to regain her hearing, though she is expected to make a full recovery, he said.

The skull fractures, which occurred even though she was wearing a helmet, resulted from the awkward way she fell from the motorbike, he said.

When reporting the incident at Chalong Police Station, he was shown entries in the daily log of two similar attacks over the previous two days, he said.

The attack against his wife came little over a month after Mrs Ullrich’s best friend, American Sheila McCormick, was attacked in similar fashion on the viewpoint road from Rawai to Kata, not far from where Mr Knudsen was stabbed to death on September 24 last year.

In that attack, on August 15, Ms McCormick was riding along the viewpoint road at about 9:30 pm. As she reached the bottom of the hill near the elephant camp, she passed two men on a single motorbike who appeared to be drunk, she told the Gazette.

“Then I knew I was being followed, so I put some distance on them,” she said.

Suddenly they sped up and the man on the back of the bike reached out to grab her bag, but the pair lost control and crashed into the guardrail at the bottom of the hill going about 100 kilometers per hour, she said.

“They didn’t get my bag. They just got really hurt,” she said.

But Ms McCormick also crashed, suffering two broken ribs, bad abrasions and a sprained ankle that left her unable to walk for a week, she said.

“The area has a reputation for this kind of thing happening, but the reputation is for attacks that happen at one o’clock in the morning against people who are alone, possibly drunk… When I went to the police station, I found out that they had attacked another foreign woman on the same hill a few hours earlier, at about 7 pm,” said Ms McCormick.

She added that she got a very good look at her attackers and was told by police that her description of the two men matched that of two men who had carried out the attack two hours earlier.

A simple patrol dispatched to the scene of the first attack could have scared off her assailants and prevented the attack against her, she said.

Chalong Police did not record a police report in the case of her attack, even though she talked to them three times, she said.

“That was the whole point. They didn’t do anything for me and they didn’t do anything for [Sandy],” Ms McCormick said.

“I really love this place and I really felt safe, even as a woman. So I am really surprised about all the things going on,” she said.



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Business

Hermès opens its first store in Phuket at Central Floresta

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Hermès opens its first store in Phuket at Central Floresta | The Thaiger

Hermès has opened of its first store in Phuket at Central Floresta, the newly opened lifestyle shopping destination in the heart of the island, opposite Central Festival.

As Hermès’ first venture outside the Thai capital, the new Hermès Phuket store makes a significant statement of expansion and confidence in the market. The new address in this world-renowned island will allow the growing population of local residents, along with domestic and international tourists, to discover the abundant variety of Hermès métiers and savoir-faire.

Designed by the Parisian architecture agency RDAI, the elegant 172 m² retail space is located by the shopping centre’s main entrance and benefits from a double exposure with an exterior and an interior façade.

A bamboo claustra follows the line of the mall’s exterior glass, filtering the daylight that bathes the indoor space, and further illustrates Hermès’ high regard for local craftsmanship. The interior façade is composed of a refined lacquered metal, featuring a large window display, complemented by four recesses with illuminated silk scarves.

Upon entering the store, visitors are welcomed by the House’s ex-libris and signature Grecques lights, designed for Hermès in 1925. The store is decorated with natural and local materials – bamboo floors and claustra, cognac toned Cherrywood walls, toffee coloured silk and fibre fabrics – tastefully blending various elements of Thai culture and modern architecture. The soft colour palette evokes the sand and the sun in their various shades, providing a delightfully serene and convivial atmosphere.

The overall volume is divided into two main areas by the feminine silk grid facing the entrance. The first one, with the iconic Faubourg pattern mosaic floor, allows guests to explore the silk, fashion jewellery, fragrance, art of living, and equestrian departments.

Opposite the leather goods display, an intimate space invites guests to uncover the watch and jewellery collections. Further along, one can discover the women and men’s universes. A sand coloured carpet on the floor outlines the area dedicated to the shoe collections, enriched by a delicate custom-made bamboo light module as the ceiling centrepiece.

Hermès opens its first store in Phuket at Central Floresta | News by The Thaiger Hermès opens its first store in Phuket at Central Floresta | News by The Thaiger Hermès opens its first store in Phuket at Central Floresta | News by The Thaiger

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Phuket

Red car ‘gun flasher’ arrested in Phuket

The Thaiger

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Red car ‘gun flasher’ arrested in Phuket | The Thaiger

Phuket police have arrested and are questioning the driver of a red sedan following Friday’s incident on Thepkasattri Road in Srisoonthorn where he appeared to wave a gun out of his driver’s window (video in the link below).

Manop Sangpal was tracked down by police but they’ve confirmed that Mr Manop’s ‘gun’ was just a BB gun, not a firearm.

The video of the man driving the red sedan and waving the ‘gun’ out of the driver’s window spread around social media on Friday afternoon after a driver following recorded the incident and posted it.

Read the story and see the video below…

Police hunting for driver who threatened others with a gun on Phuket road – VIDEO

On the video the red Ford sedan cuts in front of the car with the dashcam then veers to the left lane while the driver waves the gun out of his window near Wat Srisoonthorn.

Police say Mr Manop was arrested at lunchtime yesterday (Saturday) in a workers camp in Soi Sukapibal where he lives with his Burmese wife and family.

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Krabi

Tsunami advisory for Andaman Coast – all clear

The Thaiger

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Tsunami advisory for Andaman Coast – all clear | The Thaiger

An advisory was sent out last night about two earth tremors registering 5.0 and 5.2 magnitude centered on the Andaman Islands, 620 kilometres north west of Phuket.

The National Disaster Warning Centre sent out an advisory to Governors of six Andaman Coast provinces to be on alert for tsunami warnings and more earthquake activity.

There has been no tsunami activity registered along the Andaman coastlines.

Tsunami advisory for Andaman Coast - all clear | News by The Thaiger

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