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Phuket Immigration seeks help in coping with overload of Rohingya arrivals

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Immigration seeks help in coping with overload of Rohingya arrivals | The Thaiger

PHUKET: The arrival of more than 100 Rohingya men, women and children last weekend has left Phuket Immigration overflowing, with no respite on the horizon.

The huge influx of refugees fleeing strife-torn Myanmar has forced Phuket Immigration to seek help elsewhere, said Capt Angkarn Yasanop.

Of the 102 Rohingya taken into custody last weekend when the refugees sought shelter on Koh Lone after their boat engine seized, 35 men were transferred to Ranong Immigration (story here).

“The women and children are now at a shelter on Koh Sireh [on the east side of Phuket Town],” Capt Angkarn explained.

“We had to transfer some of them because Phuket Immigration was built to accommodate only 50 people,” Capt Ankarn said, noting that 67 Rohingya were still currently under detention.

And Ranong Immigration is also running out of room following the arrest of another group of 39 Rohingya by Takuapa Police at Tab Tawan beach in Phang Nga last Saturday.

“Police received a report from fishermen that they had spotted a ‘suspicious’ boat at sea. At first we saw only an empty boat moored at Tab Tawan beach in Ban Tab Tawan,” Takuapa Police Superintendent Khemarin Hatsiri said.

“Police looked around the area and found the refugees in a sea gypsy village,” Col Khemarin said.

“We arrested 37 men and two women who told us they left Rakhine state in a fishing boat on March 6. They intended to reach either Thailand or Malaysia to look for work.

“They said they were very exhausted and hungry from the journey. They survived on water and uncooked rice,” he explained.

“They looked pitiful, and some of them cried out loud when they saw us,” Col Khemarin added.

“We offered them food and water, then brought them all to Takuapa police station to be processed. We intended to transfer them to Phang Nga Immigration,” he said, “but Phang Nga Immigration has no room for them; they are already at maximum capacity with Rohingya arrested previously,” he explained.

“We do not have a place to detain them while they wait to be deported,” he stated.

“I would like to ask the government to resolve the problem of Rohingya as soon as possible,” Col Khemarin urged.

Phuket Immigration Superintendent Col Sunchai Chokkajaykij said he did not know how long he will have to keep the Koh Lone arrivals in custody.

“We are waiting for orders from our superiors in Bangkok,” he said.

“There are more than 1,000 Rohingya being detained across the country. We do not have room for all of them,” Col Sunchai added.

Meanwhile, Phuket Immigration is calling for donations of essentials for the new arrivals.

“We are requesting donations of food, toiletries and clothes for the Rohingya,” Capt Angkarn said.

“Especially useful would be donations of household medicines and skincare products. Many of them have suffered severe sunburn and dehydration from their journey in the open boat,” he added.

Additional reporting by Kritsada Mueanhawong

— Chutharat Plerin

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

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Crime

Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft

Greeley Pulitzer

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Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Patong Police

Patong Police have yet to develop any tangible leads tracking down a foreigner who made off with US$30,000 in cash from a currency exchange booth in Kalim, north of Patong in Phuket, last Tuesday.

The man is about 168 centimetres tall with grey hair and around 60 years old, Patong police told The Phuket News.

“We have no clue what nationality he is.”

He was last seen at the currency exchange booth wearing a purple polo shirt, blue jeans and black cap. Police have checked hotels in the area, police stations across the island and Phuket Immigration, but have yet to join the dots and come up with firm leads.

“Investigators have checked CCTV in the area and collected what evidence we have but we still do not know the man’s name or where he was staying.”

The man had visited the booth several times before Tuesday, when he disappeared with the $30,000 in US banknotes, according to police.

“It was always small amounts”, he added, noting that the amounts didn’t warrant staff at the exchange booth to check the man’s passport before making the exchange.

The man arrived at the booth again at about 1pm on Tuesday, saying that he had 900,000 baht cash to exchange.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Crime

Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room

The Thaiger

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Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Phuket Hot News

The security guard of a hotel in Nai Yang, northern Phuket, 52 year old Yingyot Butsabong, from Maha Sarakham province, was found dead yesterday (October 16) in his room. Police remain mystified how the man came to grief.

A woman named Supattra received a call from the hotel he worked at and was informed that he didn’t show up at work yesterday, so she went to his apartment to check on him.

She saw that his room was locked from the inside, so used the key she had in her possession to open the room and found Yingyot laying on the floor, face down. She thought he was just sleeping so she tried to wake him up but once she flipped him, she found that he already passed away.

She immediately called Saku police, and once on the scene, police found that there was some blood on the floor. The man had a 2 centimetre wound on his left eyebrow which was deep into his skull. There was also a wound on his chin about 1 centimetre long and about a centimetre deep. His left eye had a bruise which looked like he was attacked by a hard object.

Police report that he had been dead for around four hours in the room.

The room was not ransacked and there was no sign of fighting or theft. His body has been sent to Thalang Hospital for a detailed autopsy and to look into the cause of death.

SOURCE: Phuket Hot News

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People

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people

Nattha Thepbamrung

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‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | The Thaiger

On October 18, the ‘Always Smile Journey’ group and its partners will host an exhibition with plenty of fun activities at the Yak Yai Market, near Chalong Circle, in Phuket. This event was designed to raise funds to provide free English classes for underprivileged people on the island of Phuket on Saturdays and Sundays. The group does not accept donations but aims to raise money through the sales of the products available at the event.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

From 2 pm to 8 pm, there will be a number of artists, musicians and performers who will keep the attendees entertained along the way. There will be a short film about His Majesty King Rama 9 as well as fun activities and games for kids and families, which are all free of charge.

The big bike crew is also a part of this event. They will ride a parade from Rawai Beach heading to the market and showcase their gorgeous two-wheel buddies.

One of the highlights of the Always Smile Journey exhibition is the ‘Happening’ artists group, who will draw and paint a picture of the His Majesty King Rama 9 under the name ‘Street Art King Bhumibol’ on a 4×10 meter sign live at the event so the guests will experience this large-scale art in action. The Happening will also offer portrait sketching for the participants.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

One of the works created by the Happening team; a painting of HM the King Rama 9 on a huge wall (Photo credit: Chawat Chumpasan)

There will also be some western menus available at the event which will be donated to underprivileged children.

This free English class project has over seven years of experience through its cooperation working with individuals and other charity organizations. Throughout the years, the group visited several areas such as Ban Laem Hoy School, Ban Bopud School and Ban Angthong School in Samui, Surat Thani province, Ban Bueng Ao Oun School and Ban Kakoh Rayong, in Surin province, Jalae Village of Lahu (Muser) in Chiang Rai province, as well as community education centers in Siem Reap, Cambodia and in Luang Prabang, in Laos.

This event is a cooperation between several groups, including Happening, Yak Yai Market and Arrow Media, Tattoo artist group, Thonburi Art School Alumni, International School of Tourism, Suratthani Rajabhat University, big bike group from Phuket, artists/performers/musicians from many provinces as well as several businesses across Phuket.

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