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Phuket Prosecutor prepares to file charges against Tiger Disco

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Prosecutor prepares to file charges against Tiger Disco | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: The Phuket Public Prosecutor’s Office is in the final stage of preparing its case against the operators of Tiger Discotheque over the fire that broke out at the Patong nightclub on August 17.

The popular night venue erupted into flames just before 4am, while hundreds of patrons were still inside.

Four people died in the inferno, including two tourists.

“We are now checking our documents to make sure we have a good legal case to present in court,” Phuket Chief Public Prosecutor Chiengsean Panhya told the Phuket Gazette today.

However, he added that his office was still waiting for more evidence to bolster its case.

“We are waiting on more witness statements to be provided by Patong Police before we can make the final decision on which charges to pursue and to make sure our case is strong,” he said.

Patong Police Superintendent Chiraphat Pochanaphan explained to the Gazette this afternoon that the critical parts of the police investigation had been completed.

“The main part of the investigation has been done and submitted to the Public Prosecutor, including the gathering of evidence regarding the electrical short that started the fire,” Col Chiraphat said.

He added that his officers’ investigation included the questioning of Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) Patong officers.

Atipong Thongyon, the chief of the PEA Patong office, on August 18 – the day after the fire – refuted allegations that the blaze was caused by an exploding transformer.

However, Col Chiraphat told the Gazette today, “Experts have confirmed that even if there were a lightning strike at that time, it would not have caused the electrical short. The electrical short that started the fire started entirely independently.”

“We are now gathering more witness statements related to the club trading after hours,” Col Chiraphat explained.

“The Public Prosecutor asked us to get more specific witness statements detailing exactly what time the club was open. Many witnesses have already testified that the club was open after hours, but none of them said exactly what time the club was open.

“We expect to have those witness statements ready soon and we will hand them over to the Public Prosecutor as soon as we have them,” he added.

Thamrongsak Boonrak, Legal Counsel for Tiger Discotheque, confirmed to the Gazette this afternoon that police have charged Tiger Group CEO Piya Isaramalai and Sara Entertainment Co Ltd, the company that runs Tiger Discotheque, with negligence causing death and physical and mental injury to others and with trading after hours.

“As the case lawyer, I have submitted a letter to the Public Prosecutor appealing for a fair investigation into any allegations of wrongdoing, which include claims relating to trading after hours, the electrical short [that experts believe started the fire], flammable materials used throughout the nightclub and modification of the building’s structure,” he said.

Asked about the future of the fire-gutted building, Mr Thamrongsak replied, “We have received a letter from Patong Municipality saying that the ground floor can be used, but the top floor must be pulled down.

“We are going to clean up the mess and make it a shopping plaza for now, so people can rent stalls there and sell items. We expect it will be ready for vendors to rent stall sites by the coming new year,” he said.

“We have yet to decide what business will eventually replace the Tiger Discotheque,” Mr Thamrongsak added.

— Chutharat Plerin

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Thailand

Phuket police arrest 6 after finding large amounts of methamphetamine in raid

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Phuket police arrest 6 after finding large amounts of methamphetamine in raid | The Thaiger

Phuket Provincial Police have arrested 6 people after finding large amounts of methamphetamine and other drugs during a raid. One suspect alone allegedly had 7.6 kilograms of crystal meth (ya ice) and over 12,500 methamphetamine pills (ya bah). 29 year old Surasak ‘Bank’ Wijit and 27 year old Panida ‘Mei’ Saeyang were arrested at an apartment car park in Soi Lookkaew, Moo 6, Rassada, in eastern Phuket, after they were found in possession of the drugs.

Police also found 2 mobile phones and a red Honda PCX, registered in Phuket, as evidence. Both suspects have been charged with posessing a Category 1 drug with the intent to sell.

Other suspects arrested at the same time include 36 year old from Chiang Rai, 42 year old Sarawut ‘An’ Srichanon, from Ranong and 31 year old Pornthep ‘Iew’ Thepchampa, who were charged with the same crimes in Chalong after police found more drugs in their possession. 33 year old Kamon ‘Kung’ Sae-ngow, was arrested as well after police found kratom juice and leaves at a house in Rassada. He was taken to Phuket City Police station and was charged with a Category 5 drug possession.

SOURCE:The Phuket News

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Thailand

Phuket Muay Thai fighter is the first Thai national to compete in UFC

The Thaiger

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Phuket Muay Thai fighter is the first Thai national to compete in UFC | The Thaiger

The upcoming Ultimate Fighting Championship Fight Night event in Abu Dhabi will feature Thailand’s only national marking her third fight with the UFC, the world’s largest mixed martial arts competition. 24 year old Loma Lookboonme, from Burirram in northeastern Thailand, will fight in the event on October 3, 2020.

Loma is a Muay Thai fighter who has adapted her MMA skills to fight in the UFC where she currently trains at the Tiger Muay Thai gym in Phuket. Loma qualified for the national team at the age of 19 and has fought in over 12 nations worldwide. She currently trains 6 days a week starting daily at 6:30am with a 3 kilometre run. In the UFC, she will be competing against China’s Angela Lee who is the undisputed champion of the 52 kilogram fist weight category.

Phuket Muay Thai fighter is the first Thai national to compete in UFC | News by The Thaiger

Loma’s parents are former Muay Thai fighters and her 2 sisters currently compete as well. She reportedly started training at 8 years old after being inspired by her father, whom she describes as her “hero.”

Like most Thais in such fighting sports, Muay Thai offers a way to rise out of poverty-and fighting for the UFC can be financially lucrative. But Loma says her only Thai sponsor is the gym where she trains, with the rest of her sponsors being from foreign brands. She says she is trying to get more Thai sponsors but feels that maybe she needs to win the UFC first before Thai brands notice her.

Loma lost her last fight and says her new opponent gives her nothing to lose. She says her goal is to get into the Top 10, but is not sure when it will happen. Loma says for now, it would be good to fight against someone in the Top 10 to help her prepare for her future.

FULL INTERVIEW: Thisrupt.co

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Tourism

Phuket airport ready for tourists after finishing Covid screening labs

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Phuket airport ready for tourists after finishing Covid screening labs | The Thaiger

Phuket Airport is officially ready for tourists as authorities say they have finished installing Covid screening labs in an effort to welcome international travellers. The 5T Model for Covid-19 is being used at the airport with the goal of screening large groups of people in a quick and efficient manner. The Phuket health chief says the 5T’s stand for Target, Testing, Treating, Trusting and Tracing.

Phuket has one large airport at the north end of the island but is separated into two separate terminals – a domestic terminal (the original airport terminal), and a new international terminal opened in 2016.

The target category refers to the target groups of tourists while the tracing stands for software that will be used to monitor their movements. The testing category refers to Covid tests that will be implemented to travellers upon arrival along with the treatment and trust categories signifying the readiness of resources for medical treatment and confident communications between all parties respectively.

The Covid-19 lab container module has been set up at Phuket airport’s Terminal X (the terminal opened for charter flights opened in 2014) and will be tested tomorrow with its operation to start on September 30. As large groups of tourists could arrive (later in the year, the lab is reportedly capable of testing 96 people at a time with test results becoming available in 6 hours. What the airport would do withe tested passengers whilst waiting for 6 hours, has not been detailed at this stage.

Such a readiness plan to welcome foreign tourists originally singled out Phuket due to its popularity with travellers, and as a so-called guinea pig model to test in a controlled environment (Phuket is an island joined to the Thai mainland by a single 300 metre road bridge). Once dubbed the Phuket Model, authorities have proposed to rename the plan to “Special Tourist Visa” due to the confusion and opposition it reportedly caused. The scheme is reportedly now being proposed for all areas of Thailand but only allowing foreigners from specific countries.

SOURCE: Pattaya Mail

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