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Phuket hospitality; stocks, autos boom; ‘Death Merchant’ verdict today

Legacy Phuket Gazette



Phuket hospitality; stocks, autos boom; ‘Death Merchant’ verdict today | The Thaiger
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– A daily digest of news about Thailand from around the world, compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community.

Phuket ready for Asian Hospitality Show

Phuket’s first Asian Hospitality and Travel Show is shaping up to be a winner, with strong buyer and seller interest in the run-up to the October 1-3 event.

Events Thailand, the Phuket-based organisers of the show, say they believe they can develop the event into an annual fair to support the tourism industry and to help position Phuket as a premier business event destination in South Thailand.

Seller registration is still open for travel-related businesses from around Thailand, but the sign-up window will close during the first week of September. There are many different prices depending on booth size.

Currently there are 63 registered sellers, more than had been anticipated when the show was announced last month.

Confirmations have also been received from 30 buyers, with most coming from Hong Kong, China, Korea, Indonesia, Australia, Malaysia, and Singapore.

The show will take place at the new Hafele Phuket Design Centre.

The event is presented by Phuket International Academy and co-sponsored by DEWA, Cape Sienna, Ambrose Wines, Hafele, North Phuket Hotels and the Blue Elephant.

The official media sponsors are the Phuket Gazette and Blue Wave Radio 90.5.

Thai stocks blooming

Thailand’sstock market is on course to double its “bull-market” rally as consumption and investment surge amid reduced political risk, according to Kasikorn Securities Co.

The SET Index may rise to 1,040 next year, a 44 percent rebound from the low in May, when soldiers cleared anti-government protesters from central Bangkok, said Kasikorn Securities’s Kavee Chukitkasem, who is among two strategists jointly ranked first in 2009 by the Securities Analysts Association.

The rally, which passed the 20 percent threshold for a bull market earlier this month, has accelerated as tensions ease from the political turmoil and the Cabinet continues to lift emergency rule in the affected provinces.

Net share purchases by foreigners may rise to a five-month high, lured by profits from spending on new cars, homes and other products.

Auto exports booming

Earth Times
Thailand’s vehicle exports jumped 140% year on year in July to their highest level ever, benefiting from the ASEAN Free Trade Area, industry sources said yesterday.

The agreement between the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has been in force since January 1.

Thailand exported 87,605 units in July, the most of any month in the in 22 years the country has been exporting vehicles, Auto Industry Club spokesman Surapon Paisitpattanapong said.

The exports earned revenues of 39.8 billion baht ($1.2 billion), up 130% year-on-year, he said.

“Exports were up in every market, particularly Asia where they enjoyed a boost from the ASEAN free trade agreement,” Surapon said.

The ASEAN Free Trade Area cut import tariffs to 0–5% on trade within the 10 members.

Thailand had benefited as the region’s largest hub for assembly and manufacture of automobiles, Surapon said.

Nearly every Japanese car maker has manufacturing facilities in Thailand, as do the US automotive giants Ford and General Motors, and Germany’s Mercedes and BMW.

‘Merchant of Death’ verdict today

The suspected Russian arms dealer known as “The Merchant of Death” is tired of prison life but optimistic a Thai appeals court will rule in his favor today and refuse to extradite him to the United States, his lawyer said.

Viktor Bout, a 43-year-old former Soviet Air Force officer, is reputed to be one of the world’s most prolific arms dealers. He has been linked to some of modern history’s most notorious conflicts, allegedly supplying weapons that fueled civil wars in South America, the Middle East and Africa, to clients such as former Liberian dictator Charles Taylor and Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

Bout’s high-profile arrest in 2008 in Bangkok ended nearly a quarter-century of cat-and-mouse chases for the elusive Russian. It also raised Washington’s hopes for a quick handover of a man who has never been prosecuted despite being the subject of U.N. sanctions, a Belgian money-laundering indictment and a travel ban.

Instead, it spurred a diplomatic tug-of-war between Moscow and Washington that led to lengthy delays and prompted a lower court judge to seek input from the Thai Foreign Ministry, saying he was in “a tough position” and feared ties with both countries could be at stake.

The Bangkok Criminal Court ultimately rejected the U.S. extradition request in August last year.

— Gazette Editors

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Phuket police arrest 6 after finding large amounts of methamphetamine in raid

The Thaiger & The Nation



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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Phuket Muay Thai fighter is the first Thai national to compete in UFC

The Thaiger



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.


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Phuket airport ready for tourists after finishing Covid screening labs

The Thaiger & The Nation



Phuket airport ready for tourists after finishing Covid screening labs | The Thaiger

Phuket Airport is officially ready for tourists as authorities say they have finished installing Covid screening labs in an effort to welcome international travellers. The 5T Model for Covid-19 is being used at the airport with the goal of screening large groups of people in a quick and efficient manner. The Phuket health chief says the 5T’s stand for Target, Testing, Treating, Trusting and Tracing.

Phuket has one large airport at the north end of the island but is separated into two separate terminals – a domestic terminal (the original airport terminal), and a new international terminal opened in 2016.

The target category refers to the target groups of tourists while the tracing stands for software that will be used to monitor their movements. The testing category refers to Covid tests that will be implemented to travellers upon arrival along with the treatment and trust categories signifying the readiness of resources for medical treatment and confident communications between all parties respectively.

The Covid-19 lab container module has been set up at Phuket airport’s Terminal X (the terminal opened for charter flights opened in 2014) and will be tested tomorrow with its operation to start on September 30. As large groups of tourists could arrive (later in the year, the lab is reportedly capable of testing 96 people at a time with test results becoming available in 6 hours. What the airport would do withe tested passengers whilst waiting for 6 hours, has not been detailed at this stage.

Such a readiness plan to welcome foreign tourists originally singled out Phuket due to its popularity with travellers, and as a so-called guinea pig model to test in a controlled environment (Phuket is an island joined to the Thai mainland by a single 300 metre road bridge). Once dubbed the Phuket Model, authorities have proposed to rename the plan to “Special Tourist Visa” due to the confusion and opposition it reportedly caused. The scheme is reportedly now being proposed for all areas of Thailand but only allowing foreigners from specific countries.

SOURCE: Pattaya Mail

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