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Phuket murder suspect Lee Aldhouse faces swift extradition from UK

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket murder suspect Lee Aldhouse faces swift extradition from UK | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) in Bangkok has petitioned UK authorities to place Lee Aldhouse under provisional arrest when he is released from Wormwood Scrubs Prison in London on September 24.

Mr Aldhouse, 28, is wanted for the stabbing murder of former US Marine Dashawn Longfellow in Rawai on August 14. The incident occurred after a brawl between the two earlier that night.

Mr Aldhouse was arrested at Heathrow Airport on arrival in the UK under an outstanding warrant issued after he fled the country while out on bail for a previous offense.

Sources told the Gazette he worked as a bouncer in Spain for a number of years before making his way to Thailand.

Prosecutor Intranee Sumawong, OAG Executive Director of International Affairs, told the Gazette, “To compile the application as quickly as possible, we asked for his provisional arrest as we have a treaty between us, but we need to provide evidence of who Aldhouse is and what he is wanted for.

“We also filed a prosecution order, as they want to make sure we will prosecute him after he is transferred to us.”

She explained the application was made through diplomatic channels, via the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“The file is probably now at the Home Office. How long it takes depends on them,” she said.

Ms Intranee pointed out that extraditing Mr Aldhouse was a delicate matter.

“The British will not extradite their citizens to any country for charges that include execution as punishment. So in the case of Lee, who is facing a charge of premeditated murder, we have to be especially careful.”

“The Thai government probably will have to give assurance to the British government that he will not face execution, but that doesn’t mean he will not be punished,” she said.

Such an “assurance” is likely to be a pardon from execution to “something like life imprisonment,” she said.

Chalong Police Superintendent Wichit Intorrasorn, the leading officer in the murder investigation in Phuket, said, “This is the fastest extradition case in 10 years. American authorities and the victim’s family are happy with our efforts. Right now it depends on England when he will be sent to us.”

Mr Aldhouse’s girlfriend, who has confessed to playing a key role in helping the fugitive escape Thailand, has agreed to testify against Mr Aldhouse and to cooperate with the police in building their case against him, he said.

Phuket Provincial Prosecutor Tawan Sukyiran earlier told the Gazette Mr Aldhouse will likely face assault charges against his girlfriend, whom he allegedly beat while she was asleep in bed. That incident happened at an undisclosed time before the night of the stabbing.

Mr Aldhouse’s girlfriend, from the northeast province of Udon Thani, was left with bruises on her face, broken ribs and damaged kidneys, Mr Tawan said.

Mr Aldhouse also faces a lesser charge of theft from a 7-Eleven store, he added.

The Englishman was caught on CCTV demanding knives from terrified workers at the convenience store before the fatal altercation with Mr Longfellow.

— Atchaa Khamlo

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Tourism

Phuket airport ready for tourists after finishing Covid screening labs

The Thaiger & The Nation

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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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Politics

Phuket’s Sri Panwa Resort’s land title deed to be investigated for legality by DSI

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Phuket’s Sri Panwa Resort’s land title deed to be investigated for legality by DSI | The Thaiger

Back in the news again. Phuket’s Sri Panwa Resort’s land title deed is now to be investigated by the Department of Special Investigation after a petition was filed to determine whether the deed was procured legally. Veera Somkwamkid, the secretary-general of the People’s Network Against Corruption, filed the petition along with 167 pages of documents pertaining to his accusations that Thawatchai Anukun, a land fraud suspect, had unlawfully issued land title deeds to plots of land in Phuket before he mysteriously died in a detention room while in DSI custody in 2016.

He was allegedly being investigated for falsifying land deeds between the years of 1998 and 2001. Veera claims before the title deed was issued on the plot, the land was part of a forest known by locals as Pa Kae.

“Back then, 10 families that had occupied the plots for about 40 years had title deed requests rejected. The reason given was the land was part of a forest reserve used by the navy.”

However, Watchara Buathong, Phuket’s current land official, says the Sri Panwa resort had legally acquired its 56-rai, none of which was ever state land. Local resident Khwanjai Khumban, backed this claim, saying her father and cousins had sold most of the land to the resort, and she could produce documents to account for at least 12 rai of the disputed area.

Phuket's Sri Panwa Resort's land title deed to be investigated for legality by DSI | News by The Thaiger

Meanwhile, the Social Security Office, is also under fireas it is being asked to explain why it invested in the hotel’s trust fund. The department, which is under Thailand’s Ministry of Labour, in which its minister says he doesn’t know if the property has been legally built and points to the responsibility to the DSI to investigate. This was echoed by at least one opposition MP and anti-corruption activists.

The hotel, situated on Cape Panwa, in Phuket’s Muang district, has been under recent scrutiny due to its owner, Vorasit Issara, accusing Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul, a co-leader of the anti-government United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration group, of offending the monarchy at last weekend’s protest at Sanam Luang.

Vorasit posted on Instagram that Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul should be jailed, further falsely claiming that she is not Thai when, in fact, Panusaya was found to have been born in Nonthaburi and is a Thai citizen.

“This bullshit has got to stop. She is not Thai. Who is she working for? This one needs to be in prison”.

Such a statement has received wide backlash from netizens with some taking to Trip Advisor and other websites to post bad reviews of the resort, prompting it to suspend advertising on such sites.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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Phuket

Female prisoner on the run after escaping from Phuket Hospital

The Thaiger

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Female prisoner on the run after escaping from Phuket Hospital | The Thaiger

A female prisoner is on the run after escaping from Vachira Hospital in Phuket during a doctor’s appointment. 58 year old Siri Phodam allegedly escaped after asking her prison escort officer to use the toilet. But she took a long time to come back, and was found to have escaped. CCTV cameras caught her dressed in a blue hospital patient shirt and a sarong leaving the hospital quickly. A Phuket prison officer says the woman is 158 centimetres tall and has dark skin.

“Some of our own officers are searching for her, and we have also sent the prisoner’s description to all Phuket police stations. However, at this stage we have not found any clues.

Female prisoner on the run after escaping from Phuket Hospital | News by The Thaiger

“If anyone finds a person matching the prisoner’s appearance, please inform us by calling 076 212 104.”

Siri was imprisoned after being charged with posessing illegal drugs and lived in Moo 2, Rawai.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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