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Phuket police break open multi-million-baht drug network

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket police break open multi-million-baht drug network | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Phuket Provincial Police yesterday presented four suspects arrested for dealing millions of baht of drugs that were delivered from Bangkok by bus.

Presented as evidence at a press conference today were more than 19,000 pills of ya bah (methamphetamine) and 120 grams of ya ice (crystal methamphetamine), as well as two illegal firearms and two cars.

Phuket Provincial Police Commander Patchara Boonyasit named the four suspects as Inrum “Lee” Jaevo, 36; Sarawut “Bird” Tanragun, 28; Songwut “Ake” Tang-uthai, 37; and Somkid “Bow” Prateepthong, 38.

All four were arrested in less than 24 hours on Monday, starting with Mr Inrum, who was taken into custody at a house in Rassada at about 3:30pm, Maj Gen Patchara explained.

“Officers found 6 grams of ya ice in his possession,” Gen Patchara said. “He told police that he sourced his drugs from Mr Sarawut, who was arrested at a house in Wichit less than three hours later.”

Police found Mr Sarawut in possession of about 50 grams of ya ice, about 1,000 pills of ya bah and an unlicensed .38 handgun. They also seized his Toyota car as evidence.

After questioning Mr Sarawut, police next arrested Mr Songwut at a rented room in Soi Hong Leng Uthit, near Surakul Stadium, at about 9:30pm.

In his room officers seized about 50 grams of ya ice and about 3,800 pills of ya bah, Gen Patchara explained.

Mr Songwut told police that he sold the drugs with his partner, Mr Somkid, who police arrested at a house on Thepkrasatti Road in Koh Kaew, just south of the Heroines Monument, at about midnight.

In the house, officers found 16,000 pills of ya bah that were pre-packed in bundles of 2,000 pills each.

They also found an unlicensed 11mm limited-edition Colt handgun with 62 bullets in a closet, and officers seized his brand-new Honda sedan still sporting red dealer license plates.

Mr Somkid confessed that the drugs were delivered from Bangkok by bus for him and his now-arrested accomplices to sell in Phuket.

The drugs were shipped to him by his supplier, who he named only as “Je Na”.

His latest delivery was 22,000 ya bah pills for which he was to pay 2.2 million baht.

“This time I received 11 packs of ya bah [with 2,000 pills per pack], but I sold three packs before I was arrested,” Mr Somkid told the press.

“This batch was brought to Phuket by a man on a bus which arrived at the Phuket bus terminal [on Thepkrasattri Road] on November 9. I picked up the drugs myself.”

Mr Somkid explained that he had been selling drugs for five months, but added that he also ran a small coffee shop in Wichit.

“That shop is now closed,” noted Gen Patchara.

Mr Somkid admitted that he had already spent time in jail on a drugs charge, and that he was released from jail three years ago.

“I learned of Je-Na while I was in prison,” he told the press.

Gen Patchara vowed to bring down the rest of the drug network.

“We will continue our investigation until we catch this ‘Je-Na’ in Bangkok, and we will arrest every person who is involved in this network,” he said, adding that this included at least three people who opened bank accounts that Mr Somkid paid drug funds into.

Mr Inrum and Mr Songwut were charged with possession of a Category 1 drug with intent to sell, while Mr Sarawut and Mr Somkid were both charged with possession of a Category 1 drug with intent to sell and with possession of an illegal firearm and corresponding ammunition.

“The number of drug cases on the island is on the rise, and we will hunt down these criminals with whatever clues we have,” Gen Patchara said.

“If any person has any information about a drug network, please let us know. We will be glad to receive any information about it. Do not be afraid, we know what to do.”

— Natthaphol Wittayarungrote

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Crime

Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room

The Thaiger

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Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Phuket Hot News

The security guard of a hotel in Nai Yang, northern Phuket, 52 year old Yingyot Butsabong, from Maha Sarakham province, was found dead yesterday (October 16) in his room. Police remain mystified how the man came to grief.

A woman named Supattra received a call from the hotel he worked at and was informed that he didn’t show up at work yesterday, so she went to his apartment to check on him.

She saw that his room was locked from the inside, so used the key she had in her possession to open the room and found Yingyot laying on the floor, face down. She thought he was just sleeping so she tried to wake him up but once she flipped him, she found that he already passed away.

She immediately called Saku police, and once on the scene, police found that there was some blood on the floor. The man had a 2 centimetre wound on his left eyebrow which was deep into his skull. There was also a wound on his chin about 1 centimetre long and about a centimetre deep. His left eye had a bruise which looked like he was attacked by a hard object.

Police report that he had been dead for around four hours in the room.

The room was not ransacked and there was no sign of fighting or theft. His body has been sent to Thalang Hospital for a detailed autopsy and to look into the cause of death.

SOURCE: Phuket Hot News

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People

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people

Nattha Thepbamrung

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‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | The Thaiger

On October 18, the ‘Always Smile Journey’ group and its partners will host an exhibition with plenty of fun activities at the Yak Yai Market, near Chalong Circle, in Phuket. This event was designed to raise funds to provide free English classes for underprivileged people on the island of Phuket on Saturdays and Sundays. The group does not accept donations but aims to raise money through the sales of the products available at the event.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

From 2 pm to 8 pm, there will be a number of artists, musicians and performers who will keep the attendees entertained along the way. There will be a short film about His Majesty King Rama 9 as well as fun activities and games for kids and families, which are all free of charge.

The big bike crew is also a part of this event. They will ride a parade from Rawai Beach heading to the market and showcase their gorgeous two-wheel buddies.

One of the highlights of the Always Smile Journey exhibition is the ‘Happening’ artists group, who will draw and paint a picture of the His Majesty King Rama 9 under the name ‘Street Art King Bhumibol’ on a 4×10 meter sign live at the event so the guests will experience this large-scale art in action. The Happening will also offer portrait sketching for the participants.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

One of the works created by the Happening team; a painting of HM the King Rama 9 on a huge wall (Photo credit: Chawat Chumpasan)

There will also be some western menus available at the event which will be donated to underprivileged children.

This free English class project has over seven years of experience through its cooperation working with individuals and other charity organizations. Throughout the years, the group visited several areas such as Ban Laem Hoy School, Ban Bopud School and Ban Angthong School in Samui, Surat Thani province, Ban Bueng Ao Oun School and Ban Kakoh Rayong, in Surin province, Jalae Village of Lahu (Muser) in Chiang Rai province, as well as community education centers in Siem Reap, Cambodia and in Luang Prabang, in Laos.

This event is a cooperation between several groups, including Happening, Yak Yai Market and Arrow Media, Tattoo artist group, Thonburi Art School Alumni, International School of Tourism, Suratthani Rajabhat University, big bike group from Phuket, artists/performers/musicians from many provinces as well as several businesses across Phuket.

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Bangkok

The world’s fastest growing tourist destinations

The Thaiger

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The world’s fastest growing tourist destinations | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Hello Phuket – destined for huge tourist growth in the next six years – fodors.com

In 2018, international tourist arrival traffic grew by 6% to reach a total of 1.4 billion world tourists, according to research by UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. And there’s a lot more to come with international travel predicted to increase by a massive 35% over the next six years to 2025.

But where is all that extra traffic going to go? Which destinations are quiet now that might be swarming with tourists in the years to come? Two destinations in Thailand are set for a prosperous future, according to the data. Whilst almost all the growth is excepted to be to Asian destinations, an under-visited resource for world tourism so far.

Euromonitor data has been used to simulate tourist growth models and reveal the fastest growing projected visitor arrivals in major cities and destinations around the world for 2025, compared to arrival figures in 2018.

In Thailand, Phuket’s tourist traffic is poised to increase up to 85% in the next six years, from nearly 12 million arrivals in 2018 to over 22 million in 2025. Bangkok is predicted to see the 8th most prolific rise in tourist traffic, with arrivals in Bangkok set to swell an additional 68% during the same period. Doha, the capital of Qatar, is set to explode with 104% increase in traffic over the next six years.

The data also predicts that both Bangkok and Phuket will rebound big time in 2020, Phuket in particular with a growth of around 20% for the next year, accord to the data from TravelSupermarket.com.

By 2025 the data predicts that Bangkok will be the world’s #1 tourist destination, a position it’s held before in recent years. The Thai capital will be followed by Singapore, Dubai, Phuket and Kuala Lumpur, making South East Asia the world’s emerging tourism hotspot.

Some of the world’s favourites – New York, Paris, London – will continue to grow their tourist numbers but not at the rate of most Asian destinations.

You can read the full list HERE.

The world's fastest growing tourist destinations | News by The Thaiger

Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com

The world's fastest growing tourist destinations | News by The Thaiger

Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com

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