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Phuket

Rang Hill rogues terrorize tourists

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Rang Hill rogues terrorize tourists | The Thaiger

PHUKET CITY: Two rogue monkeys are wreaking havoc atop Rang Hill, where they have been terrorizing tourists, stealing food from diners in a hillside restaurant – and even biting people.

News of the primate pests was reported to the Kusoldharm Foundation volunteer rescue service by staff at the Tunk-ka Cafe on January 26, months after the monkeys first appeared.

Sukontip Kitsubun, who has a concession to run a small retail shop in the park there, told the Gazette that there are two groups of monkeys living atop Rang Hill. The first is a colony of about 10 monkeys that has lived there for a long time without creating any bother.

About three months ago, however, trouble arrived in the form of three pigtailed macaques (Macaca nemestrina), easily recognizable by their bright red bottoms. Not long after their arrival, the macaques began biting and scratching tourists, especially those who tried to feed them, she told the Gazette.

“One child was bitten or scratched in the face, and a man suffered a nasty wound from a bite to his ankle,” she said.

Last month, one of the three macaques – the only male – died in the most unexpected fashion for a monkey: he fell from a tree.

K. Sukontip said it is a mystery how the macaques had found their way into the municipal park.

“Those monkeys are a lot different from the ones in the other group. I think some people must have dumped them here. That’s so rude,” she commented.

And the macaques are every bit as rude as the people who abandoned them, she added.

“Those monkeys are always rude, always biting tourists and grabbing their food,” she said, adding that the animals appeared thin and malnourished.

“Last November I called the Phuket City Municipality’s Environmental Division about this problem. They told me to call the fire station. When I did, they said they would take care of the problem – but that was months ago and nothing has happened,” she said.

Rang Hill is popular with tour guides, who often conduct busloads of tourists to the park so they can enjoy its impressive views over the city. The tour guides view the two remaining macaques as a threat to tourism.

“One tour guide tried to help us by calling the police emergency hotline. The police asked: ‘What do you expect us to do? Bring our guns and shoot them dead?'” she said.

Aikachai Chuwong of the Kusoldharm Foundation told the Gazette that three foundation staffers went to Rang Hill on January 26 in an attempt to catch the two monkeys and remove them to Toh Sae Hill or Koh Sireh. The effort failed, however, when one staff member was bitten while trying to catch the primates.

K. Aikachai said the Phuket Provincial Livestock Office (PPLO) should step in to solve the problem.

When contacted by the Gazette, PPLO Chief Sunart Wongchawalit said responsibility for the problem falls on the Municipality, but that the PPLO would be glad to provide its help and expertise if the city asked for it.



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Phuket

Police searching for the killer after shooting near Saphan Hin

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Police searching for the killer after shooting near Saphan Hin | The Thaiger

A Thai man has been shot dead near Saphan Hin in eastern Phuket earlier today. The arrest warrant has already been issued for the suspect.

The Wichit Police were notified of the incident on Rattanakosin 200 pi Road near Saphan Hin at 3.40am this morning.

Police and rescue workers arrived to find the body of 30 year old Teerasak Saeong from Phuket covered with blood and laying on the road. Two bullet wounds were found on his right and left temple.

Seven bullets were also found around Mr Teerasak’s body. Nearby they found a motorbike. His body was taken to Vachira Phuket Hospital for full autopsy and identification.

Witnesses told police that Mr Teerasak was stopped on his motorbike and was talking with the suspect who was in a black car. The suspect shot at Mr Teerasak and sped away.

Mr Teerasak was the son of a member of Rassada’s Municipal Council. At this stage police believe that the two had personal conflicts. Police are now searching for the driver of the vehicle who shot Mr Teerasak.

Police searching for the killer after shooting near Saphan Hin | News by The Thaiger Police searching for the killer after shooting near Saphan Hin | News by The Thaiger Police searching for the killer after shooting near Saphan Hin | News by The Thaiger

 

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Phuket

Danish tourist dies in Phuket road accident

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Danish tourist dies in Phuket road accident | The Thaiger

A male Danish tourist, driving a motorbike, has died after colliding with a truck in front of a market in Kathu.

The Kathu Police were notified of the incident on Phra Phuket Keaw Road in front of the new outdoor Vintage Market in Kathu at 3am yesterday morning.

Police and Kusoldharm rescue workers arrived at the U-turn to find the truck and driver waiting. The driver of the truck was 36 year old Sontaya Suchata waiting in the middle of the U-turn area.

Nearby they found a damaged Honda PCX and 51 year old Claus Pathuel Jensen, a Danish national from Glostrup. He was found unconscious under the truck. He was rushed to Vachira Phuket Hospital but was pronounced dead upon arrival.

Police report that the truck was going to take a U-turn outside the market area. The truck driver says he was unaware that Mr Jensen was coming from behind in the right lane. The motorbike was unable to avoid the collision with the truck and Mr Jensen PCX ploughed into the rear of the vehicle.

Danish tourist dies in Phuket road accident | News by The Thaiger Danish tourist dies in Phuket road accident | News by The Thaiger Danish tourist dies in Phuket road accident | News by The Thaiger Danish tourist dies in Phuket road accident | News by The Thaiger

 

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Phuket

Australian woman deported for overstaying visa by over 100 days

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Australian woman deported for overstaying visa by over 100 days | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Facebook/Claire Johnson

An Australian woman, who was caught overstaying her visa by 111 days, will be released from detention and deported by Thai authorities tonight.

She came to the media’s attention on Monday after sending urgent messages to a friend saying that she was being taken to a detention centre and that “they are taking my phone”.

46 year old Claire Amelia Johnson is an Australian Gold Coast resident. She will depart Bangkok on a QANTAS flight scheduled to arrive in Sydney tomorrow (Friday) morning.

She was due to return to Australia more than a week ago but on Monday evening sent messages to her friend Juliet Potter and told her that she was in an immigration detention centre in Bangkok and begged her to please “help me”.

Read The Thaiger story about her desperate pleas HERE.

Ms Johnson had been running a medical tourism business called Cosmetic Holidays International that offered cosmetic packages in Phuket”.

The business was voluntarily deregistered with the Australian Securities Commission in May 2017, after five years of operation, but her social media accounts continued to promote her cosmetic-surgery tourism business.

Thailand’s immigration chief, Surachate Hakparn, told Australia’s Fairfax media that Ms Johnson had been arrested, as well as fined, and would be deported after overstaying her tourist visa by more than 100 days.

“My Immigration Department will send her to Australia. She leaves tonight.”

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade would say only that it was “providing consular assistance to an Australian woman detained in Thailand”, without naming Claire.

Australian woman deported for overstaying visa by over 100 days | News by The Thaiger

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