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Purachai orders Surasak out of office

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PATONG: In one of his last acts as Interior Minister, Purachai Piemsomboon signed an order instructing Patong Mayor Surasak Maneesri and one of his two deputies to step down because of allegations of disreputable behavior. The order, signed on Wednesday, K. Purachai’s last day at the Interior Ministry before taking up his new post as Minister of Justice, was delivered to the office of Phuket Governor CEO Pongpayome Vasaputi yesterday evening. The Governor today countersigned the order and sent it to Kathu District Office for enforcement. The order cites evidence from Suthat Pantana, a representative of Navajessada Transportation and Construction Co, who on November 15 last year went to the Patong Municipal Offices to pick up an instalment of the payments for construction of the town’s water treatment system. K. Suthat said that he met with K. Surasak and his deputy, Sakorn Cheuayuan. K. Sakorn told K. Suthat that he must bring 2 million baht, failing which K. Surasak would not sign his instalment check. He also handed him a slip of paper on which was written “2.0 million no check.” Four days later, on November 19, K. Suthat went back to the Mayor’s office to ask for payment of a further check. Again it was refused, and K. Sakorn asked him again about the payment of 2 million baht. K. Suthat said that discussions over the payment to the Mayor and K. Sakorn went on until the end of December, when the company finally made two cash payments totaling 1.08 million to K. Surasak. Both K. Sakorn and Mayor Surasak denied being at work on November 15, but Ministry investigators unearthed documents signed by the two, and dated that day. Handwriting experts compared documents known to have been written by K. Sakorn with the slip of paper that K. Suthat said he had received from K. Sakorn, and found they were written by the same hand. In addition, K. Suthat secretly recorded both the November 19 meeting and those on December 26 and 27 when the cash was handed over. Having examined the evidence, K. Purachai ordered K. Surasak and K. Sakorn to quit their posts for behavior likely to bring the Municipality into disrepute. The timing of the order is exquisite – the council was dissolved yesterday anyway, to clear the way for elections. K. Surasak and his deputy now have 90 days to appeal against the decision in the recently established Administrative Court in Bangkok, which handles grievances against the central government. In the meantime it is not clear whether the two men may stand in the Patong elections, which must by law take place by November 18. Gov Pongpayome said that the law governing the elections is complex, especially as it has not yet been decided whether Patong will remain a tessabaan tambon or will be upgraded to a tessabaan muang. That decision is expected on Monday (October 7). “However, under the tessabaan muang election rules, anyone removed from office because of corruption or bad behavior is not allowed to stand for election,” he added. Neither K. Surasak nor K. Sakorn was available for comment today.

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

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Chiang Rai quarantines 26 returnees from Phuket

Jack Burton

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Chiang Rai quarantines 26 returnees from Phuket | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook

26 returnees from Phuket back to Chiang Rai arrived home on 2 passenger coaches today and were immediately placed in 14 day quarantine. The 26 arrived at the Wiang Indra Riverside Resort in Chiang Rai province (by the way, it looks VERY nice!).

The Deputy provincial governor of Chiang Rai welcomed them and asked them to adhere to the precautionary measures set by the health department. Thorough screening was reportedly conducted by Chiang Rai health officials and they were also reminded to eat only well cooked food, use a personal serving spoon when eating, wash their hands regularly, practice social distancing and most importantly wear face masks at all times.

Meanwhile a group of 400 Thais returnees from foreign countries were placed in state quarantine facilities in Chonburi province yesterday. 7 hotels in Pattaya City have been designated state quarantine facilities. The hotels have been approved by the health department for Thais returning from abroad. Around 2,000 returnees are now being quarantined there. Yesterday’s 400 returnees, that had been stranded in Italy, Malaysia, Japan and Taiwan, arrived at Suvarnabhumi Airport before travelling to the quarantine facilities in Chon Buri.

Health officials today reported 11 returnees from overseas tested positive for Covid-19. The 11, 5 of them masseurs, raised Thailand’s total cases to 3,065 since the outbreak began.

“We can say that there are no new locally infected Covid-19 cases as far as official reports are concerned. Even more, all the new cases reported daily were infected in other countries.”

Of the 3,065 accumulated cases, 2,945 (96%) have recovered, with 14 more patients released over the previous 24 hours. Just 63 patients remained in hospital. The death toll remains at 57.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Mayor’s statement sparks hope Chonburi beaches may reopen soon

Maya Taylor

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Mayor’s statement sparks hope Chonburi beaches may reopen soon | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Bang Saen beach, Chonburi - Wikimedia

A Facebook post from the mayor of Saen Suk, home to the renowned Bangsaen beach, says beaches “may” reopen from June 1. (Before you ask, there is currently no official information on when Bangsaen, Pattaya or Phuket’s beaches may actually reopen.)

Beaches in the eastern province of Chonburi were closed nearly two months ago as authorities enacted strict lockdown measures to control the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Chonburi has now had no new reported cases of the virus for more than 30 days and residents are getting antsy over the ongoing beach closures.

Authorities continue to state that the closures are to prevent unlawful gatherings and the risk of people travelling from nearby provinces, such as Bangkok, thereby causing a second wave of infections. Bangkok has the highest number of Covid-19 cases in the country. Despite this, local expats and Thais are demanding that Chonburi’s beaches be reopened, particularly in light of this happening in other resort areas such as Hua Hin.

The Pattaya News reports that Bangsaen beach reopening does not necessarily mean Pattaya’s beaches could also reopen as that decision lies with Pattaya’s civic officials. Despite Pattaya not having any new reported cases of the virus for over 40 days now, Pattaya City Hall authorities remain concerned about mass gatherings, the consumption of alcohol and the risk that social distancing measures would not be adhered to were they to reopen the city’s beaches.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Phuket

Bangkok mother, daughter swindled out of 1.8 million baht, suspect arrested

Jack Burton

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Bangkok mother, daughter swindled out of 1.8 million baht, suspect arrested | The Thaiger
PHOTO: VateekhaoWeekly

Authorities in the southern province of Phuket have arrested a man wanted in Bangkok for swindling a woman and her mother out of nearly 2 million baht. Police in the island’s party town of Patong report that officers received a request from police in Bangkok to arrest 23 year old Narathip Sukprasert, originally from Lop Buri province, about 150 kilometres to Bangkok’s northeast.

Narathip was wanted for fraud on an arrest warrant issued back on January 6. Patong Police managed to track him down, and together with officers from Bangkok, arrested him on Monday. Authorities say he used the names “Nook Tha Prachan” or “Wayu Tha Prachan” and dealt in Buddha amulets.

“He deceived his female victim by pretending to be romantically attracted to her. When the woman said she wanted things, he would buy them and pay by using his credit card. He later told the woman that he had problems with his credit card because he had spent too much, so his victim gave him cash to pay for his alleged credit card bill,” according to the report in Phuket News.

The woman transferred money to Narathip’s account many times, totalling nearly 250,000 baht. After swindling money out of the woman, Narathip deceived her mother as well, claiming that she too would be held legally responsible for the debt and that the bank would sue her.

“The victim’s mother believed this, and gave him money several times. Altogether he deceived the women out of more than 1.8 million baht.”

Narathip was taken to Bang Na Police Station in Bangkok.

SOURCE: Phuket News

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