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Phuket boosts security after Bali bomb blasts

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket boosts security after Bali bomb blasts | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: Police are stepping up security across the island following three suicide bomb blasts in Bali on Saturday that claimed at least 19 lives and injured 133 people, Pol Maj Gen Decha Budnampeth, the new Phuket Provincial Police Commander, told the Gazette today.

He called for tourists not to be put off by seeing a greater police presence on the street.

“I would like to tell tourists who come to Phuket that if seeing police working and checking places disturbs your stay, please understand that we are doing this for your own safety.

“Please help us by cooperating, and understand that our main concern is security,” he added.

Pol Col Teeraphol Thipjaroen, Superintendent of Kathu Police Station, confirmed that he had received orders from both Maj Gen Decha and Phuket Governor Udomsak Uswarangkura to boost security in Patong.

“We are setting up checkpoints at many places in Patong. I think the chance of a bombing here is very slim, but we are not taking any chances,” Col Teeraphol said.

He said that officers will coordinate regular inspections with entertainment business owners.

“We have asked them to report any bags or suitcases left unattended direct to the police. It’s good that we already do not allow vehicles on Soi Bangla at night, which makes it safer for tourists,” Col Teeraphol added.

Phuket Tourist Association President Pattanapong Aikwanich said he expected Saturday’s bombings to have long-term effects on tourism in Asia.

“Australians are the main tourists for Bali. In the short-term, following the bombings in Bali, they will turn to other destinations, such as Phuket.

“However, this will have a negative long-term affect on tourism throughout the region. Nowadays, when tourists want to visit a country, they look at the image of the entire region, such as Asia. If they think it is not safe, they will not come,” he said.

However, Siripakorn Cheawsamoot, Assistant Director of the Phuket office of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), believes the bombings will not have a great affect on tourism to Phuket.

He said that about 50% of long-haul tourists who visit Phuket during the high season, who are mainly European and Scandinavian, visit other destinations in the region.

“Bali and Phuket have similar geography. If tourists choose to visit ‘combined destinations’, they would [now] prefer to visit Phuket and a nearby country, such as Cambodia or Vietnam,” he said.

K. Siripakorn also said that more attention should be given to the affect on tourism of the escalating violence in Thailand’s southernmost provinces.

He added that the TAT has launched a campaign to explain to potential tourists abroad the situation in the Deep South, and to point out that it does not affect tourists in Phuket.

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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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