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Phuket arrest: Father remains jailed

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket arrest: Father remains jailed | The Thaiger
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– A daily digest of news from around the world compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community. World Cup? Get instantaneous scores and news updates right here on the Gazette Online (fed directly from FIFA).

PHUKET: A father volunteered to remain in jail in the United States on Monday while awaiting trial on charges that he fled the U.S. with his 3-year-old daughter in violation of an order issued by the Family Court of Greenville County, South Carolina.

According to the Greenville News yesterday, Samuel Lee Horton II, 38, was arrested in Phuket three weeks ago, ending a search that lasted more than a year, federal prosecutors said.

FBI Special Agent Lisa Quillen wrote in an affidavit that Horton flew from New York to New Delhi, India in April 2009. Greenville County sheriff’s deputies charged him the following month with violating a custody order, Quillen wrote.

Horton initially returned to the United States at Los Angeles and has more recently been in the Greenville County Detention Center, authorities said.
Horton volunteered to remain in custody after attorneys in a court hearing clashed over whether he should be granted bond.

Horton has been charged with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution and giving a false statement for the use or application for a passport.

If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison.

7-Eleven swamps Thailand

Earth Times
Phuket residents will not be surprised to learn that Thailand has overtaken Taiwan as host to the third-largest number of 7-Eleven convenience stores in the world, behind only Japan and the USA, media reports said yesterday.

The number of 7-Eleven outlets in Thailand reached 5,500 this year, surpassing Taiwan’s 4,000 stores, but behind Japan’s 12,000 stores and the USA’s 6,000, the Bangkok Post reports.

“We expect the total number of stores to reach 7,000 in 2012, enabling us to replace the US [as World Number Two],” said Suvit Kingkaeo, Senior Deputy Managing Director of CP All Plc, operator of the 7-Eleven franchise for Thailand.

The ubiquitous 24-hour convenience stores were introduced to the Thai market around 20 years ago and now offer various services, such as paying bills and providing mobile phone SIM cards as well as conventional corner-store fare.

Thai army deflated

Earth Times
An 11-million-dollar airship recently purchased by the Royal Thai Army has been grounded for the past several weeks because of leaks, news reports said yesterday.

The US-made Aeros 40D aircraft, which was delivered in May, has been sitting in a hangar because of several ruptures in the stitching on the aircraft’s body.

The army purchased the helium-filled craft to conduct surveillance in Thailand’s three troubled southernmost provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala, where a separatist struggle has claimed 4,000 lives over the past six years.

The military went on a buying spree after its coup in 2006 when it ousted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who fled Thailand to escape a jail sentence for corruption.

The military budget jumped 60 per cent in 2007 and 18 per cent in each of 2008 and 2009.

Drought hits Thai farmers

The Nation
This year’s prolonged drought has badly hurt Thai farmers, who face increased production costs and lower yields, and are likely to see the effects in next year’s crops as well.

Farmers have not been able to harvest their crops as usual, as lack of rain has disrupted their normal farming cycles. Rice farmers have been advised to grow their main crops in the middle of July.

In addition, a drought brought on by the El Nino weather phenomenon has seen some fruit crops either diminished or delayed.

The drought has created an opportunity for some businesses involved in alternative water supplies in Thailand, the world’s biggest rice exporting nation, where the staple is farmed throughout the year and demand for water is high.

Thai crackdown benefits Burma?

The Irawaddy
The Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), a proxy militia of the Burmese regime, says it has seen profits rise at its unofficial “Immigration Checkpoint” following Thailand’s recent crackdown on illegal migrant workers, according to a source close to the DKBA.

The DKBA checkpoint, locally known as “Gate Zero” and controlled by a DKBA battalion, has become the main deportation point for illegal migrant workers arrested in Thailand.

Gate Zero is located on the Thai-Burma border next to the Myawaddy Friendship Bridge, just across the Moei River from Mae Sot in Thailand’s Tak province.

“The crackdown has meant more migrant workers are being deported to the gate, so revenues have gone up,” the source said.

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva recently issued an official order to set up a special center for the suppression, arrest and prosecution of alien workers in Thailand.

Thailand promotes North

TTR Weekly
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) says it will promote in the UK the lesser known regions of Thailand, such as the Northeast and the eastern seaboard.

To balance the southern region’s popularity in Europe, spearheaded by Phuket, the TAT intends to experiment by promoting the Northeast region, known as ‘Isan’, and lesser known beach destinations on the eastern seaboard in a move to support government policy to spread the benefits of investment and tourism.

In 2009, Thailand welcomed 14.09 million tourist arrivals, of which 777,313 were from the UK and represented a 30% market share of the overall market.

The UK also generated the highest tourism revenues of any country for Thailand last year, due to its nationals’ average length of stay of 15.5 days.

— Gazette Editors



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Phuket

Police searching for the killer after shooting near Saphan Hin

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Police searching for the killer after shooting near Saphan Hin | The Thaiger

A Thai man has been shot dead near Saphan Hin in eastern Phuket earlier today. The arrest warrant has already been issued for the suspect.

The Wichit Police were notified of the incident on Rattanakosin 200 pi Road near Saphan Hin at 3.40am this morning.

Police and rescue workers arrived to find the body of 30 year old Teerasak Saeong from Phuket covered with blood and laying on the road. Two bullet wounds were found on his right and left temple.

Seven bullets were also found around Mr Teerasak’s body. Nearby they found a motorbike. His body was taken to Vachira Phuket Hospital for full autopsy and identification.

Witnesses told police that Mr Teerasak was stopped on his motorbike and was talking with the suspect who was in a black car. The suspect shot at Mr Teerasak and sped away.

Mr Teerasak was the son of a member of Rassada’s Municipal Council. At this stage police believe that the two had personal conflicts. Police are now searching for the driver of the vehicle who shot Mr Teerasak.

Police searching for the killer after shooting near Saphan Hin | News by The Thaiger Police searching for the killer after shooting near Saphan Hin | News by The Thaiger Police searching for the killer after shooting near Saphan Hin | News by The Thaiger

 

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Phuket

Danish tourist dies in Phuket road accident

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Danish tourist dies in Phuket road accident | The Thaiger

A male Danish tourist, driving a motorbike, has died after colliding with a truck in front of a market in Kathu.

The Kathu Police were notified of the incident on Phra Phuket Keaw Road in front of the new outdoor Vintage Market in Kathu at 3am yesterday morning.

Police and Kusoldharm rescue workers arrived at the U-turn to find the truck and driver waiting. The driver of the truck was 36 year old Sontaya Suchata waiting in the middle of the U-turn area.

Nearby they found a damaged Honda PCX and 51 year old Claus Pathuel Jensen, a Danish national from Glostrup. He was found unconscious under the truck. He was rushed to Vachira Phuket Hospital but was pronounced dead upon arrival.

Police report that the truck was going to take a U-turn outside the market area. The truck driver says he was unaware that Mr Jensen was coming from behind in the right lane. The motorbike was unable to avoid the collision with the truck and Mr Jensen PCX ploughed into the rear of the vehicle.

Danish tourist dies in Phuket road accident | News by The Thaiger Danish tourist dies in Phuket road accident | News by The Thaiger Danish tourist dies in Phuket road accident | News by The Thaiger Danish tourist dies in Phuket road accident | News by The Thaiger

 

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Phuket

Australian woman deported for overstaying visa by over 100 days

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Australian woman deported for overstaying visa by over 100 days | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Facebook/Claire Johnson

An Australian woman, who was caught overstaying her visa by 111 days, will be released from detention and deported by Thai authorities tonight.

She came to the media’s attention on Monday after sending urgent messages to a friend saying that she was being taken to a detention centre and that “they are taking my phone”.

46 year old Claire Amelia Johnson is an Australian Gold Coast resident. She will depart Bangkok on a QANTAS flight scheduled to arrive in Sydney tomorrow (Friday) morning.

She was due to return to Australia more than a week ago but on Monday evening sent messages to her friend Juliet Potter and told her that she was in an immigration detention centre in Bangkok and begged her to please “help me”.

Read The Thaiger story about her desperate pleas HERE.

Ms Johnson had been running a medical tourism business called Cosmetic Holidays International that offered cosmetic packages in Phuket”.

The business was voluntarily deregistered with the Australian Securities Commission in May 2017, after five years of operation, but her social media accounts continued to promote her cosmetic-surgery tourism business.

Thailand’s immigration chief, Surachate Hakparn, told Australia’s Fairfax media that Ms Johnson had been arrested, as well as fined, and would be deported after overstaying her tourist visa by more than 100 days.

“My Immigration Department will send her to Australia. She leaves tonight.”

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade would say only that it was “providing consular assistance to an Australian woman detained in Thailand”, without naming Claire.

Australian woman deported for overstaying visa by over 100 days | News by The Thaiger

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