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Phuket bar owners continue protests

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: About 500 bar owners and staff from Phuket Town and other popular tourist areas in Muang District gathered at Provincial Hall yesterday to protest the recent crackdown on closing times.

The effort, hot on the heels of a 200-strong protest on Friday, was staged to support protest leader Suratin Lian-udom in his filing of a formal request for night venues in the district to close later than the current 1am curfew.

Mr Suratin is president of the Muang Phuket Entertainment Business Operators Club and Mayor of Rassada, which is in Muang District.

The request seeks to extend the closing time and the legal sale of alcohol to 2am for nightclubs and bars, and to 4am for restaurants offering food and alcohol.

Joining him in leading yesterday’s protest was Niwat Chanajit, owner of Tonight Bar in Kata.

Mr Niwat led the protest on Friday.

“Tourists always stay quite late in entertainment places. They usually turn up about 11pm, after they have had dinner and a walk on the beach. If we have to close at 1am, it means we have only two hours to do business,” Mr Suratin told the PhuketGazette.

“The crackdown is affecting not only venue owners, but also bar staff and other people working in related industries, such as motorcycle taxi drivers and street vendors, among others,” he added.

In return for approval of their request, Mr Suratin said bar owners would strictly follow the four other measures included in a Memorandum of Understanding signed between bar operators and Muang District officers on December 27.

The four other measures were for bar owners to: prohibit entry to anyone under 20 years of age; prohibit the use and sale of drugs on their premises and to inform police of any such drug users and dealers; and to prohibit weapons and lewd performances at their venues.

With Governor Tri Augkaradacha unavailable, Vice Governor Weerawat Janpen received the request on his behalf at about 10:30am – about 90 minutes after the protestors arrived en masse at Provincial Hall.

“The officers have to enforce the law because drugs are currently a big problem in Thailand,” he told the protest leaders.

“Phuket is a ‘red zone’ for drugs. Many bars, nightclubs and restaurants are used for conducting drug deals, so restricting bar trading hours helps to reduce crime.”

V/Gov Weerawat said he would pass the request on to the Ministry of Interior and that he would discuss the issue with Governor Tri to determine the best course of action.

He added that he would meet the protest leaders and relevant officers again tomorrow.

The protest leaders asked whether the raids would continue in the meantime.

V/Gov Weerawat explained he did not have the authority to answer that question.

However, he added, “I will discuss this with Governor Tri and other officers involved to come up with the best solution. We want to be friends with the entertainment industry, but at the same time we must do our jobs,” he said.

— Pimwara Choksakulpan

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

Phuket

Woman arrested for abandoning newborn baby on a bench in Phuket

Caitlin Ashworth

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Woman arrested for abandoning newborn baby on a bench in Phuket | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Siangtai/Newshawk Phuket

Police tracked down and arrested a Burmese woman who allegedly left her newborn baby on a bench in Phuket’s Patong area last week. The mother faces charges of abandoning a baby.

The newborn was left in a reusable shopping bag on a bench behind a Krungthai Bank branch. A woman in the area heard the baby crying and found the newborn in the bag along with a bottle of milk, diapers and clothing. Police reviewed surveillance camera footage shows a woman, police later identified as Ei Ei Phyu, leaving the bag on the bench.

Police say the woman gave birth on September 9 at a local hospital in Surat Thani’s Phun Phin district. Ei Ei allegedly took a van from Surat Thani to Phuket on September 22 and stayed with a friend in Patong. The early the next morning, she allegedly left her baby on the bench before boarding a bus back to Surat Thani.

Burmese workers in the Patong area told police Ei Ei used to work at a local Indian food restaurant before she moved to Surat Thani to work as a rubber tapper. Ei Ei allegedly told police she is not in the position to raise a child.

In earlier reports, police said the baby is healthy and does not appear to have any injuries.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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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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