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Phuket to get new police chief in latest reshuffle

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket to get new police chief in latest reshuffle | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Phuket will get a new provincial police commander as part of a nationwide reshuffle of top provincial-level officers.

Phuket Provincial Police Deputy Commander Chalit Kaewyarat today confirmed to the Phuket Gazette the results of the reshuffle announced at a meeting of the National Police Committee at Royal Police Headquarters in Bangkok yesterday.

Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung, who as Interior Minister oversees the Royal Thai Police, chaired the meeting to consider and approve the transfer of provincial police commanders and deputy commanders, Col Chalit said.

“Phuket Provincial Police Commander Chonasit Wattanavrangkul has been transferred to take up the position of Commissioner of Inspection Division 9, Office of the Inspector General, in Bangkok.

“His replacement will be current Narathiwat Provincial Police Commander Maj Gen Chote Chawanwiwat,” Col Chalit explained.

Col Chalit, a Phuket native who has also served many years as a police officer in Phuket, said he would be transferred to serve as Phang Nga Provincial Police commander.

“The order will be effective from October 1,” Col Chalit said.

As expected by many, yesterday’s gathering in Bangkok did not end without controversy. Pol Gen Achirawit Suphanphesat, who earlier criticized politicians for interfering in the reshuffle process and compromising its meritocratic component, walked out on the proceedings.

“Before the meeting started, I presented a document that included some proposed promotions that I deemed inappropriate in terms of qualifications and principles,” he said, adding that other promotions were raised in the course of the meeting with no real chance for deliberation by the board.

Gen Achirawit said he explained his concerns to the board, but that the chairman [Deputy PM Chalerm] simply carried on without even considering his opinion.

“When I realized they would not consider our view, I walked out without first informing any fellow commissioners,” he said.

“To be promoted to higher positions, a police officer must have good knowledge with outstanding work during the period they hold their positions… The reason I got upset was because there are so many police officers who did outstanding work, but did not get promoted. On the other hand, some officers that did not do much outstanding work got promoted to big positions,” said Gen Achirawit.

“For example, Chumphon Provincial Police Commander Maj Gen Somchai Aumthanom doesn’t have the same experience and performance results as Nakhon Sri Thammarat Provincial Police Commander Maj Gen Ronnaphong Saigaew, but he got promoted to be Police Region 8 Deputy Commissioner,” he noted.

“Also, Police Region 8 Deputy Commander Col Daoloy Muandej, who has done outstanding work in drug suppression and has lots of experience, did not get promoted. Instead, Phuket Provincial Police Deputy Commander Chalit Kaewyarat, who has less experience and produced less outstanding results, got promoted to the post of Phang Nga Provincial Police Commander,” Gen Achirawit said.

Deputy PM Chalerm insisted after the meeting that the entire process was both “fair and transparent”.

“No money was involved with the reshuffle list. I understand that there are people who are upset with the result; it always happens when there is a meeting like this. The result can’t please everyone, but we have considered this matter carefully,” he said.

Thai National Police chief Preophan Dhamapong said, “I am not worried about the reshuffle list. I just thought that police officers who walked out of the meeting should have listened to the explanation before walking out so that they might better understand why we made the decisions we did,” he said.

The Gazette notes that in 2003, Col Chalit was promoted from Deputy Superintendent to Superintendent of Chalong Police. He remained there until 2007, when he was promoted to Deputy Superintendent of Takuapa District Police, which also covers Khao Lak.

Last year, Col Chalit returned to Phuket, working under Maj Gen Chonasit as Deputy Superintendent of Phuket Provincial Police.

National reporting by Phuket Gazette’s Thai-language partner website Nation Breaking News.

— Chutharat Plerin



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Alleged Greek murderer of Phuket beautician remains at large

The Thaiger

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Alleged Greek murderer of Phuket beautician remains at large | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Dimitrios ‘Dim’ Chairopoulo, wanted and believed to be living in Greece

Local Phuket police are yet be informed of the latest in an international hunt for a Greek alleged murderer Dimitrios Chairopoulos. He remains wanted as a suspect in the murder of local beautician 43 year old Niramon ‘Bea’ Aewkaew in Phuket during February.

Cherng Talay police say they want an Interpol Red Notice issued so that they can track down and arrest 42 year old Dimitrios ‘Dim’ Chairopoulos, wanted for the murder. Bea and Dim were seen leaving their accommodation on February 11. It was the last time Bea would be seen alive.

Mr Chairopoulos was recorded as clearing Immigration at Phuket International Airport to board a flight to Dubai in the hours after Ms Niramon was last seen alive. He boarded an Emirates flight EK0379 to Dubai, departing Phuket at 2am. Police also confirmed that he arrived in Dubai on the same day.

“If he comes back to Thailand he will be arrested,” said Chief Col Sen Kwannimit of the Cherng Talay Police.

A request for a Red Notice was submitted with the Foreign Affairs Division of the Royal Thai Police on February 19 but, for now, no formal international’s notice has been published..

Cherng Talay Police confirmed that Dim was seen leaving the room at a guesthouse in Bang Tao where Ms Niramon’s body was found on Saturday, February 16.

In the days leading up to her murder her family had been desperately trying to contact her.

‘Bea’ was the eldest of 5 children from Phatthalung province and had been working in Phuket as a beautician at the time.

One of her sisters, May’ was contacted on February 15 by one of Bea’s workmates trying to locate her.

Neither May or Bea’s other sisters, relatives or friends were able to contact her. Bea had just moved to a new house so nobody knew where she was living. Another sister, Pichy, spoke to friends and was able, using Google Maps, to locate the guesthouse she was staying.

The owner of the room told the family that the air-conditioning was on in the room but there was no response. When the owner returned with a key he informed the family that Bea was found on the bed with a black cloth stuffed in her mouth and her hands and feet bound.

CCTV footage shows the couple leaving the room in the afternoon of February 11, the last time that Bea was seen alive.

Alleged Greek murderer of Phuket beautician remains at large | News by The Thaiger

Dimitrios ‘Dim’ Chairopoulos with his daughter from another relationship

What we know about the alleged murderer?

Dimitrios ‘Dim’ Chairopoulos, who remains at large and thought to be in Greece, worked as security in a night club in Athens. He already had a daughter to another woman in Greece.

During his relationship and marriage with Bea he was said to be ‘controlling’ and ‘jealous’ by members of Bea’s family. A close family friend told The Thaiger that the family had concerns for Bea’s safety and were ‘uncomfortable’ with her ongoing relationship and marriage with Dim.

“We tried to get to know him at family functions but he was not easy to know and seemed very possessive of Bea,” said one of the close family members who asked not to be named.

“He did threaten to kill her if she ever left him and Oh, another of her sisters, went with Bea to file a report of the threats at the Cherng Talay police station at the time,” they explained.

That report was made to police in 2016. A year later the pair married and were still married at the time of the murder.

“He would drive past the beauty shops that Bea worked at and spy on her.”

The family claim that, apart from his own possessions, he also stole Bea’s phone before he headed to the Phuket International Airport on the evening of the murder.

So where is Dimitrios Chairopoulo?

At this stage the Greek Embassy has made no comment about the case or followed up with Greek Police about the pursuit for the fugitive man.

There are currently approximately 58,000 valid Red Notices worldwide of which only 7,000 are public. An Interpol Red Notice has not been issued to alert international police or Immigration officials to be on the look-out for Dim.

For now, the alleged murderer of Bea – an innocent Phuket beautician, beloved sister and family member – remains at large, most probably in Greece.

If anyone has any information about Dimitrios ‘Dim’ Chairopoulo’s whereabouts or information that may lead police to arrest him, please send a confidential message to The Thaiger.

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Hermès opens its first store in Phuket at Central Floresta

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Hermès opens its first store in Phuket at Central Floresta | The Thaiger

Hermès has opened of its first store in Phuket at Central Floresta, the newly opened lifestyle shopping destination in the heart of the island, opposite Central Festival.

As Hermès’ first venture outside the Thai capital, the new Hermès Phuket store makes a significant statement of expansion and confidence in the market. The new address in this world-renowned island will allow the growing population of local residents, along with domestic and international tourists, to discover the abundant variety of Hermès métiers and savoir-faire.

Designed by the Parisian architecture agency RDAI, the elegant 172 m² retail space is located by the shopping centre’s main entrance and benefits from a double exposure with an exterior and an interior façade.

A bamboo claustra follows the line of the mall’s exterior glass, filtering the daylight that bathes the indoor space, and further illustrates Hermès’ high regard for local craftsmanship. The interior façade is composed of a refined lacquered metal, featuring a large window display, complemented by four recesses with illuminated silk scarves.

Upon entering the store, visitors are welcomed by the House’s ex-libris and signature Grecques lights, designed for Hermès in 1925. The store is decorated with natural and local materials – bamboo floors and claustra, cognac toned Cherrywood walls, toffee coloured silk and fibre fabrics – tastefully blending various elements of Thai culture and modern architecture. The soft colour palette evokes the sand and the sun in their various shades, providing a delightfully serene and convivial atmosphere.

The overall volume is divided into two main areas by the feminine silk grid facing the entrance. The first one, with the iconic Faubourg pattern mosaic floor, allows guests to explore the silk, fashion jewellery, fragrance, art of living, and equestrian departments.

Opposite the leather goods display, an intimate space invites guests to uncover the watch and jewellery collections. Further along, one can discover the women and men’s universes. A sand coloured carpet on the floor outlines the area dedicated to the shoe collections, enriched by a delicate custom-made bamboo light module as the ceiling centrepiece.

Hermès opens its first store in Phuket at Central Floresta | News by The Thaiger Hermès opens its first store in Phuket at Central Floresta | News by The Thaiger Hermès opens its first store in Phuket at Central Floresta | News by The Thaiger

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Phuket

Red car ‘gun flasher’ arrested in Phuket

The Thaiger

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Red car ‘gun flasher’ arrested in Phuket | The Thaiger

Phuket police have arrested and are questioning the driver of a red sedan following Friday’s incident on Thepkasattri Road in Srisoonthorn where he appeared to wave a gun out of his driver’s window (video in the link below).

Manop Sangpal was tracked down by police but they’ve confirmed that Mr Manop’s ‘gun’ was just a BB gun, not a firearm.

The video of the man driving the red sedan and waving the ‘gun’ out of the driver’s window spread around social media on Friday afternoon after a driver following recorded the incident and posted it.

Read the story and see the video below…

Police hunting for driver who threatened others with a gun on Phuket road – VIDEO

On the video the red Ford sedan cuts in front of the car with the dashcam then veers to the left lane while the driver waves the gun out of his window near Wat Srisoonthorn.

Police say Mr Manop was arrested at lunchtime yesterday (Saturday) in a workers camp in Soi Sukapibal where he lives with his Burmese wife and family.

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