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Murdered Wanphen cremated in Phuket

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: The body of slain bar hostess Wanphen Pienjai was cremated at a small ceremony at Wat Kitti Sangkaram (Wat Kata) at noon today.

The simple ceremony was attended by about 10 friends and relatives of the deceased, whose remains were discovered stuffed into a suitcase in a remote area off Chao Fa Thani Rd in Wichit on the morning of June 24.

Her killer, who police believe to be a Caucasian expat still on the island, remains at-large despite the most intensive police manhunt in Phuket in recent years.

Among those taking part in the ceremony was the late Wanphen’s cousin, Sangwan Paisan, who works as a maid at the Karon Municipality offices.

We grew up together in a village in Petchaboon…I saw on TV that they found the body of a naked woman. They kept repeating images of her shoes. I knew she had gone missing and I prayed for it not to be her. It was so hard for me to have to tell her mom she wasn’t with us anymore,” she said.

I think the suspect is still here in Phuket, but I understand that it may be difficult to find him. I hope that police can arrest him, or maybe that he turns himself in,” she said.

There are many things I would like to say to her. I hope she rests in peace and has no pain in the next life,” Ms Sangwan added.

The body of Ms Wanphen was brought to the temple from Vachira Phuket Hospital yesterday following an autopsy and forensics exam that police hope will yield DNA evidence of the person who killed her.

Ms Wanphen’s mother, who remains in Petchaboon to care for her two young children, asked Ms Sangwan to take care of the funeral arrangements.

Ms Sangwan’s partner, Boonkuea Kongchana, said he broke down in tears when identifying Ms Wanphen’s remains at the hospital morgue.

My wife and I and Wanphen’s friends at the bar helped collect money to pay for the funeral. We didn’t get much, but it was enough for a small ceremony,” he said.

A friend from the bar told the Gazette, “I pray that her soul finds peace and that she doesn’t worry about her mother or two children. We will try to help them as much as we can,” she said.

I knew her for some time. I remember one time I left the bar and when I returned she gave me a big hug and told me she really missed me while I was away. It really made me feel loved,” she said.

Other friends of Ms Wanphen who attended said they were terrified of meeting a similar fate.

I really don’t trust the expats here anymore. Now I prefer tourists. Now before going out with any of them we talk for a lot longer, trying to learn as much as we can about them. We also take photos of them at the bar and call up our friends who have gone out to make sure they are safe,” she said.

I think that the suspect is in Phuket. Maybe he has a business here. I wish Phen’s spirit could convince him to turn himself in to police,” she said.

Readers will recall that the Phuket Gazette had set up a channel for charitable donations to help the family of the deceased with immediate financial needs for funeral-related expenses.

A total of 20,000 baht was raised and that amount was turned over today to Mrs Sa-ard Maliwan, mother of Wanphen.

Mrs Sa-ard was grateful for the assistance and asked that the Gazette relay her thanks to the donors.

Meanwhile, with a view toward providing longer term assistance, a major charitable organization with a global reach is conducting due diligence on the circumstances surrounding Wanphen’s two young children and other family members.

Should the organization find itself in a position to proceed, an announcement will be made here on the Gazette Online.

— Sitthipong Nongkaew

 

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

For travellers to Phuket, testing is out, quarantine is in

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Phuket Vice Governor Piyapong Choowong (via Facebook)

The on-again-off-again plans for testing people for Covid-19 as they arrive in Phuket will be replaced by quarantine after May 15, according to Vice Governor Piyapong Choowong’s latest announcement. In an online video broadcast last night, the vice governor confirmed the new scheme after Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew first mentioned it in an executive meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall yesterday.

There are now 25 provinces on the Phuket red zone list that they instated on April 22, with anyone arriving from those places required to have proof that they are either fully vaccinated or tested negative for Covid-19 within the last 72 hours. Without proof, people have to take a rapid antigen test to confirm they did not have Covid-19 before they would be allowed on the island. The test was first set to be 300 baht for everyone, and later controversially made free for Thai people and 500 baht for foreigners.

There had been some back and forth with budget concerns of being able to provide the mass testing and who would pay how much for continued testing. Perhaps requiring people to quarantine in Phuket is cheaper than testing them when they arrive. The original scheme was set to expire May 15, and announcements were made about extending the plan and stopping testing right away. For now, this debate seems to have settled on replacing the testing with a mandatory quarantine upon entering Phuket.

The vice-governor explained that the rapid antigen test will continue through May 14, and then starting May 15, anyone who arrives without a vaccine or a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of arriving in Phuket will be required to quarantine for 14 days. They set a goal of zero new infections by the end of the next two weeks. And he stated they are committed to doing whatever it takes as “Phuket cannot continue with this risk”.

Speaking to The Phuket News… “We want to send a sign to the country that we are cleaning up our province. The 3 vice governors [in Phuket] have been ordered to take care of each district by cooperating with local administration officers as well as community leaders to do proactive screening,”

After announcing the quarantine plan for Phuket, the vice governor spoke confidently that in the near future the island will have enough jabs to vaccinate every person on the island. Religious leaders from any faith are currently being vaccinated because of their general proximity to people during religious ceremonies and practices.

Vice Governor Piyapong pled with people with the people of Phuket who were on the fence about Covid-19 vaccinations, anti-vaxxers, or those otherwise resisting getting the jabs needed to reach herd immunity.

“If you are still deciding whether or not to get vaccinated, please come to get vaccinated”

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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Phuket

Thailand News Today | Pfizer vaccines on the way, Phuket’s July re-opening | May 7

Thaiger

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Disease Control Department back-peddled saying that that foreigners living in Thailand WILL also be vaccinated, governor of Chiang Mai is calling for the ban on dining in at restaurants in the northern city to be lifted and for eateries to be allowed to serve food on-site until 9pm, Tourism and Sports Minister insists the southern island of Phuket must record zero Covid-19 cases if a planned July re-opening is to go ahead, and 150 million baht worth of methamphetamine pills were impounded in Nakhon Phanom yesterday

 

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Phuket

We’re looking for a Video Editor/Production Assistant in Phuket

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The Thaiger is seeking a full time video editor and production assistant for a new project based in Phuket. The role is open to a Thai national but with great English skills as well. You will need to be able to work to deadlines with a crazy bunch of stressed out news hosts, guests and the rest of The Thaiger team.

You’ll also need a general knowledge of the Thai news cycle as the content will be largely centred around daily news and current affairs. Knowledge of social media, and especially YouTube, will be an advantage.

Prior work in the TV or video production industry would be a requirement; we couldn’t care less about your educational qualifications. The role would be Monday to Friday.

The work hours would be earlier in the day, probably starting around 7am. There may be some occasional travel to Bangkok involved as well. Salary would be between 30-40,000 baht per month, depending on experience with opportunities for bonuses. The initial contract would be for 3 months, renewable.

If you are interested, or know someone who could fit the job, send an email to THAIGER EDITOR at info@thethaiger.com

 

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