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Phuket parents furious over teacher hitting young children

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket parents furious over teacher hitting young children | The Thaiger

PHUKET: A Phuket temple’s daycare program is under fire after video footage surfaced allegedly showing a long-time teacher beating her students.

About 200 parents and children gathered at Wat Thepnimit daycare center in Wichit today to complain about the teacher and the subsequent firing of four other teachers who parents claim were responsible for exposing the abuse, not inflicting it.

In response to the crowd’s anger, the eight daycare committee members asked them to form their own committee and discuss the issue with the temple abbot this weekend.

Sompis Petthongnang, 29, whose son is shown being beaten in the video, told the Phuket Gazette that they were first shown the video clip by outraged teachers at a parent-teacher meeting last Sunday.

“In the video, the teacher hits my four-year-old son Heng on both sides of his head,” Mrs Sompis said.

“He’s got physical problems – one of his hands doesn’t work very well – and the teacher didn’t consider that when she saw he was doing his schoolwork improperly, so she hit him on the ears,” she said.

“She [the teacher] used to pinch my son’s ear, which left marks, but she always said that it happened before he arrived at school. She admitted to snapping him with rubber bands every day – I can accept small things like that, but not slapping him like she does in the video,” Mrs Sompis said.

The teacher in question is Pranee “Kru Kiew” Jantalert, 47, who has been a teacher at the daycare since it was established about 20 years ago. She set up the center with the abbot of Wat Thepnimit as a preschool.

Jaruni Janjem, 30, told the Gazette, “My four-year-old son Game told me that the teacher slapped him on his forehead, but I didn’t really believe the severity of that until I saw the clip on Sunday.

“Our children were beaten because they didn’t do perfect work, like not writing in the lines or drawing pictures perfectly. I never thought my son would experience cruelty like that, so when I saw what happened on that video I was furious.

“How could she do that to such small children?” Mrs Jaruni said.

“The other teachers told me that Kru Kiew hit the children every day, and that they [the teachers] tried asking her to stop many times, but she didn’t listen,” she said.

Mrs Sompis added, “We heard that she had been hitting the students for a long time but we never thought that our kids would be hit also. Some people told us that she was instructing the children very well and that her methods helped them become good people, so we believed that. We never thought she was this kind of person.”

One little girl was left with a full hand print on her face after being slapped by the teacher, Mrs Sompis said.

There were 110 children divided into two classes at the center. Kru Kiew had 55 students, with four other female teachers taking care of the rest.

“When we informed the abbot about this, he didn’t even look at the video to see what had happened. He seemed to not really care about the children,” Mrs Jaruni said.

“He told us that if we’re not happy, we can send our kids to other daycare centers,” she said.

Mrs Sompis and Mrs Jaruni both told the Gazette that they would definitely be sending their children elsewhere.

They also disagreed with the firing of all the teachers at the daycare.

“We would like to know why the other four teachers were fired,” Mrs Sompis said.

“Actually the abbot originally fired the four others, keeping Kru Kiew, but after we came to the center today her termination letter was posted on the board,” she said.

Panyaluck Suriya, 35, was one of the other teachers at the school – until today.

“We received termination letters dated July 27 telling us to leave the center. We don’t know why we’ve been fired, so we have come here – like the parents – seeking some answers,” Mrs Panyaluck told the Gazette.

The letters informed them that their employment would be terminated as of October 1 this year. They had been working at the center for between two and three years.

Mrs Sompis said that Phuket City Police told them that they would summon Kru Kiew for questioning on August 1. If she fails to appear, they will seek an arrest warrant.

Panlop Engchuan, director of Wat Thepnimit daycare and a Wat Thepnimit committee member, confirmed to the Gazette that he has seen the video.

He said that the video has to be taken as obvious evidence, and that the committee is only coordinating between the abbot and the parents.

“Wat Thepnimit abbot Pra Samu Amornsak Athimutto has arranged a discussion with the parents and the committee to talk about the teachers and the center this coming Sunday,” Mr Panlop said.

Nilobon Chianchankarn, 29, the teacher who captured the video, told the Gazette that she and other teachers, along with Kru Kiew and some parents will go to Phuket City Police Station for questioning.

“We always video record the classes for the children’s learning development, but that day the camera caught Kru Kiew hitting the children because it was left recording,” Ms Nilobon added.

— Atchaa Khamlo



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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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