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Reward offered for alleged Phuket tour company fraudster

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Reward offered for alleged Phuket tour company fraudster | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: A 10,000-baht reward has been put on the head of a man who left hundreds of tourists stranded on their holiday, and is now wanted for allegedly defrauding a Phuket tour company of about 1.5 million baht.

Peerapat ‘Deer’ Singhon, 25, was working as a freelance sales representative for Phuket Diamond Tours as he sold extraordinarily cheap holiday packages through his website Phuket Reviews.

Concerns of the alleged fraud first surfaced after about 100 customers booked tours to Phuket and Phang Nga through Mr Peeraphat’s website, believing they had booked their tours with Phuket Diamond Tours.

However, nno services were rendered and the clients were left abandoned at the airport, leading them to file a complaint to the Ministry of Tourism and Sports (MOTS) Phuket office.

“I was alerted to the issue last week, when I received a call from MOTS Phuket director Santi Pawai about customers filing complaints, claiming that they had been cheated by Phuket Diamond Tours,” said the 27-year-old owner of the company, Arinrada Sirirak.

“Phuket Review was run by Mr Peerapat. We are innocent. However, we are looking at what we can do to help the tourists.”

All of the contact information for the website run by Mr Peerapat, as well as the brochures he created, had only his contact information, Ms Arinrada said.

“He was a younger fellow undergraduate at the university where I studied, and at the beginning we saw no issues,” Ms Arinrada said.

“He had been with us for only about a year, but once he started to understand the business, he made his own sales material and provided very cheap packages in our name. He eventually had customers paying directly into his bank account.”

Ms Arinrada went on to explain that the tours offered by Mr Peerapat were nearly half-price and included additional services, such as two nights’ stay at a four-star hotel, free transfers and a day trip to Koh Tachai.

One settlement meeting between 30 customers and the company was held last week. Another one to be led by Mr Santi will be on April 7.

“They may very well get free tours, as they had paid Mr Peerapat,” Mr Arinrada said. “He is ruining my company and my family’s reputation. We established this company about four years ago and we have worked hard to build it – I will do whatever it takes to bring him to justice.”

Ms Arinrada last week filed a formal complaint to Phuket City Police and Wichit Police. Police have since issued a summons for Mr Peerapat to present himself by April 7.

Police believe two more people were involved in the scam. However, their names have yet to be released.

“I am sorry for the customers, but I hope they understand that we had nothing to do with the packages sold by Mr Peerapat. He was paid by them directly, our company was never paid,” Ms Arinrada said.

“I have no intention of taking any tour bookings while this case is ongoing. I recommend anyone wanting to take an island tour to contact Love Andaman.”

— Chutharat Plerin

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Tourism

Phuket prepares to welcome first Chinese tourists in over 6 months

Maya Taylor

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Phuket prepares to welcome first Chinese tourists in over 6 months | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Jing Daily

The first group of tourists to arrive under Thailand’s new Special Tourist Visa scheme are expected to land in Phuket on October 8. The Bangkok Post reports that a flight from Guangzhou in southern China will carry 120 tourists, who will spend their first 14 days in alternative state quarantine. They are reported to be travelling under the government’s new STV.

Arrivals who do not pass the initial health screening will be transferred to specially chosen hospitals, as “Patients under Investigation”. Those who do pass the screening will be transported to alternative state quarantine once they’ve gone through immigration processing.

A Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration spokesperson says the resort islands of Phuket and Koh Samui will be the first to welcome travellers under the Special Tourist Via scheme. He pointed out that Guangzhou has not recorded any new cases of the Covid-19 virus for a prolonged period, meaning next week’s tourist arrivals are deemed “low risk”. His assertion is confirmed from the official figures at worldometer.info website recording world Covid-19 cases.

The CCSA reports that there will be a limit of 300 foreign tourists admitted each week, but this will be reviewed after the first phase of the re-opening. All arrivals will be subject to 14 day quarantine, although the Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn has suggested reducing this to 7 days eventually. The CCSA says they are not considering reducing the quarantine time at this stage.

Thiravat Hemachudha from the Thai Red Cross Emerging Infectious Disease Health Science Centre is not opposed to the idea.

“We can study this with foreign visitors who will arrive next month. During the 14 day quarantine they will be tested on the first, the seventh and the fourteenth day. If they are free of infections, we can shorten the quarantine to 7 days.”

However, not all are in agreement, with a doctor from Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University cautioning against any shortening of the quarantine period.

Meanwhile, Phuket governor, Narong Woonsiew, says the province is ready to welcome the new arrivals, with Covid-19 labs in place at Phuket airport, and officials due to carry out a full dress rehearsal today.

Thanit Sermkaew, chief of the Phuket Public Health Office, says over 1,200 rooms at 9 hotels have been chosen as alternative state quarantine properties, with a total of 73 hotels, providing over 5,800 rooms, applying for consideration.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Phuket

Woman arrested for abandoning newborn baby on a bench in Phuket

Caitlin Ashworth

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Woman arrested for abandoning newborn baby on a bench in Phuket | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Siangtai/Newshawk Phuket

Police tracked down and arrested a Burmese woman who allegedly left her newborn baby on a bench in Phuket’s Patong area last week. The mother faces charges of abandoning a baby.

The newborn was left in a reusable shopping bag on a bench behind a Krungthai Bank branch. A woman in the area heard the baby crying and found the newborn in the bag along with a bottle of milk, diapers and clothing. Police reviewed surveillance camera footage shows a woman, police later identified as Ei Ei Phyu, leaving the bag on the bench.

Police say the woman gave birth on September 9 at a local hospital in Surat Thani’s Phun Phin district. Ei Ei allegedly took a van from Surat Thani to Phuket on September 22 and stayed with a friend in Patong. The early the next morning, she allegedly left her baby on the bench before boarding a bus back to Surat Thani.

Burmese workers in the Patong area told police Ei Ei used to work at a local Indian food restaurant before she moved to Surat Thani to work as a rubber tapper. Ei Ei allegedly told police she is not in the position to raise a child.

In earlier reports, police said the baby is healthy and does not appear to have any injuries.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand

Phuket police arrest 6 after finding large amounts of methamphetamine in raid

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Phuket police arrest 6 after finding large amounts of methamphetamine in raid | The Thaiger

Phuket Provincial Police have arrested 6 people after finding large amounts of methamphetamine and other drugs during a raid. One suspect alone allegedly had 7.6 kilograms of crystal meth (ya ice) and over 12,500 methamphetamine pills (ya bah). 29 year old Surasak ‘Bank’ Wijit and 27 year old Panida ‘Mei’ Saeyang were arrested at an apartment car park in Soi Lookkaew, Moo 6, Rassada, in eastern Phuket, after they were found in possession of the drugs.

Police also found 2 mobile phones and a red Honda PCX, registered in Phuket, as evidence. Both suspects have been charged with posessing a Category 1 drug with the intent to sell.

Other suspects arrested at the same time include 36 year old from Chiang Rai, 42 year old Sarawut ‘An’ Srichanon, from Ranong and 31 year old Pornthep ‘Iew’ Thepchampa, who were charged with the same crimes in Chalong after police found more drugs in their possession. 33 year old Kamon ‘Kung’ Sae-ngow, was arrested as well after police found kratom juice and leaves at a house in Rassada. He was taken to Phuket City Police station and was charged with a Category 5 drug possession.

SOURCE:The Phuket News

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