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Phuket gold thief surrenders to see ‘dying wife’

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket gold thief surrenders to see ‘dying wife’ | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: One of the two men wanted for making off with millions of baht in jewelry from a Phuket gold shop on Monday surrendered to police today, saying that he wanted to see his wife again before she died from a heart condition.

The man, a Burmese national named by police only as “Mr Koson”, arrived in front of Phuket City Police Station on a motorbike taxi at about 1pm.

To ensure his safety in being taken into custody, Mr Koson called the police emergency hotline 191 before his surrender to tell police that he was about to hand himself in.

Mr Koson, an ethnic Mon, told police in fluent Thai that he and his close friend “Mek” planned to rob the gold shop together.

“My wife was not involved in the robbery at all. She knew nothing about it,” he said.

Mr Koson had spent the previous day hiding in the forest near Kathu Waterfall.

“At midday yesterday, I walked out of the forest to ask Burmese workers for food. I was told that police were surrounding the area, so I went back into the forest and hid. I left the forest in the evening and went to stay at a hotel on Koh Sireh,” Mr Koson said.

“I saw the news that my wife had been arrested on the TV this morning. I wanted to see her at least one more time. My wife has a serious heart condition. Her heart valves are ‘leaking’. She may not live long,” he explained, holding up a bag of sweet bread rolls he bought to give her and their 13-year-old daughter, who also lives in Phuket.

Mr Koson told police that he robbed the gold shop because he wanted money to pay for an operation for his wife and to pay off debts of 400,000 baht that he racked up over snooker gambling, as well as other debts from people he had borrowed money from.

After the robbery, Mr Koson shared the spoils, which police estimates have valued at 2.9mn to 3.9mn baht, by giving a handful of gold to Mr Mek.

He kept one necklace for himself to use while he was on the run.

“The rest I gave to my wife, Mooza,” he added.

Moe Moe San Mooza was subsequently arrested at Mo Chit Bust Station in Bangkok on Wednesday. She was found in possession of 69 gold necklaces valued at 1.8 million baht hidden in shampoo bottles, of which Mrs Mooza denied any knowledge.

It was Mrs Mooza who alerted police as to where her husband was hiding in Phuket, and pleaded for him to hand himself in.

Mr Koson faces charges of gang robbery and carrying a weapon in a public place, as does Mr Mek if he is captured.

“Mek called me two days ago to tell me that he had left Phuket. He said that he was safe from police, as Chumphon Police had called him in for questioning and then let him go,” Mr Koson said today.

“We haven’t spoken since because my mobile phone battery went dead,” he added.

Police this afternoon were continuing their questioning of Mr Koson, and their search for Mr Mek.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

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

Tourism

Phuket prepares to welcome first Chinese tourists in over 6 months

Maya Taylor

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Phuket prepares to welcome first Chinese tourists in over 6 months | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Jing Daily

The first group of tourists to arrive under Thailand’s new Special Tourist Visa scheme are expected to land in Phuket on October 8. The Bangkok Post reports that a flight from Guangzhou in southern China will carry 120 tourists, who will spend their first 14 days in alternative state quarantine. They are reported to be travelling under the government’s new STV.

Arrivals who do not pass the initial health screening will be transferred to specially chosen hospitals, as “Patients under Investigation”. Those who do pass the screening will be transported to alternative state quarantine once they’ve gone through immigration processing.

A Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration spokesperson says the resort islands of Phuket and Koh Samui will be the first to welcome travellers under the Special Tourist Via scheme. He pointed out that Guangzhou has not recorded any new cases of the Covid-19 virus for a prolonged period, meaning next week’s tourist arrivals are deemed “low risk”. His assertion is confirmed from the official figures at worldometer.info website recording world Covid-19 cases.

The CCSA reports that there will be a limit of 300 foreign tourists admitted each week, but this will be reviewed after the first phase of the re-opening. All arrivals will be subject to 14 day quarantine, although the Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn has suggested reducing this to 7 days eventually. The CCSA says they are not considering reducing the quarantine time at this stage.

Thiravat Hemachudha from the Thai Red Cross Emerging Infectious Disease Health Science Centre is not opposed to the idea.

“We can study this with foreign visitors who will arrive next month. During the 14 day quarantine they will be tested on the first, the seventh and the fourteenth day. If they are free of infections, we can shorten the quarantine to 7 days.”

However, not all are in agreement, with a doctor from Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University cautioning against any shortening of the quarantine period.

Meanwhile, Phuket governor, Narong Woonsiew, says the province is ready to welcome the new arrivals, with Covid-19 labs in place at Phuket airport, and officials due to carry out a full dress rehearsal today.

Thanit Sermkaew, chief of the Phuket Public Health Office, says over 1,200 rooms at 9 hotels have been chosen as alternative state quarantine properties, with a total of 73 hotels, providing over 5,800 rooms, applying for consideration.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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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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