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Serial rapist confesses to Phuket Police

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Serial rapist confesses to Phuket Police | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: A serial rapist who preyed on young female members of the Phuket ethnic Nepali community is behind bars tonight after confessing to multiple charges of sexual assault, robbery and impersonating a policeman.

The accused, 30-year-old Phakpoom Maneerat, was presented to the media at a press conference at Patong Police Station at 10:30am.

The gravity of the case was evidenced by the fact that the gathering was presided over by Phuket Provincial Police Superintendent Pekat Thantipong.

For our previous story about Mr Phakphoom’s arrest in Phuket Town at noon yesterday, click here.

At the press conference, Mr Phakphoom admitted to abducting and raping six ethnic Nepalese women working in Patong, but police fear the number of victims may have been higher. They have encouraged other victims to contact them and file charges.

Mr Phakphoom confessed to impersonating a police officer to abduct the women, all employed in the tourist-oriented retail sales industry in Patong.

Some were taken to locations in Krabi and Nakhon Sri Thammarat, where they were confined and raped repeatedly over a period of days. Many also had valuables stolen, police said.

Mr Phakphoom was an unemployed resident of Phuket Town, police said.

Married with two children, his wife operated an unspecified private business in Phuket Town, they said.

Some 100 members of the local Nepali community turned up for this morning’s press conference, about the half number who appeared at Patong Police Station last night after the arrest was announced.

Led by Thai-Nepalese club president Phanuphong Limbuprasertkup, the Nepalese offered bouquets of flowers to arresting officers and their superiors to thank them for the arrest.

Also at the station was the rapist’s latest victim, a 25-year-old woman who told police she was walking with friends at about 10:30am on March 28 along Phang Muang Sai Kor Road, behind the Jungceylon shopping complex, when a Toyota Vigo pickup cut them off.

The accused emerged from the vehicle, asking all in the group to produce identification papers, she said.

When she was unable to do so, he ordered her into the vehicle and then took her to an unspecified location in Krabi, where she was held in captivity and raped repeatedly until she was returned to Patong by the accused on April 1.

Head held low throughout the press conference, Mr Phakphoom admitted he used the same modus operandi in each case, identifying himself as an officer of the law to abduct and then rape and rob his victims.

They were always approached in the same area, near Jungceylon or the nearby JJ Plaza, he confessed.

He declined to reply to questioning from Maj Gen Pekad as to why he preyed solely on ethnic Nepali women, when woman of so many other ethnicities, races and nationalities could be found in Patong.

He simply confirmed that all of the victims were young, Nepali woman.

Police would investigate further to try to find other victims and confirm that Mr Phakphoom acted alone, Maj Gen Pekad said.

Cases of Thai people posing as government officers to extort migrant workers from Burma and lands controlled by the Burmese junta have been numerous in Phuket in recent years.

Most Burmese workers in Phuket work in the low-pay construction, fishing and rubber tapping industries.

Ethnic Nepalese are well established in west-coast tourism destinations, where they usually work in the tourism-based retail sales industry – even though such work is legally restricted to Thais.

Although their sales tactics are a common source of complaint to the provincial office, they are seldom implicated in serious crimes on the island.

— A. Khamlo & S. Fein

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

Phuket

Phuket’s Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter

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Phuket’s Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | The Thaiger

The Soi Dog Foundation has officially opened its Humane Education Centre, the first of its kind in Thailand dedicated to the welfare of stray animals. The centre, located at the Soi Dog shelter in northern Phuket, forms part of the foundation’s Humane Education program. Rolled out in 2017, the program sees a team visit Thai schools to teach the next generation the basic principles of animal welfare and promote empathetic attitudes towards both owned pets and free-roaming strays.

The program has reached a total of 15,058 students and 861 teachers to date. With a dedicated classroom as well as educational tools and resources now on site at the shelter, Soi Dog will be able to expand the programme and reach an even greater number of young minds.

Co-founder and president of Soi Dog Foundation International John Dalley said, “The cornerstones of what we do – what I believe very firmly are the answers to the stray dog problem throughout Asia – are large-scale sterilisation of stray dogs and cats and education of, particularly, the next generation.

“We see all the time the problems that are being caused through us not respecting the environment and not respecting the other animals with whom we share this planet. That’s why education is so important.”

John also thanked the supporters and donors who made the construction of the centre possible. After cutting the ribbon, the students filed into the brand-new facility for the very first on-site class – a fun and interactive hour of roleplaying, brainstorming and problem solving.

Humane Education Manager Nuttawut “Film” Kumngern. said… “We want to encourage kindness toward animals, especially free-roaming dogs and cats, and teach youngsters to be responsible pet owners. This will sustainably reduce animal cruelty and pet abandonment.”

“We hope to one day see animal welfare incorporated into the curriculum in Thai schools, and our education centre is a great start.”

Soi Dog is ready to welcome school groups from Phuket and other provinces to the centre which can accommodate up to 40 students at any one time. Schools interested in participating are encouraged to email film@soidog.org

Phuket's Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | News by The ThaigerPhuket's Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | News by The Thaiger

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International Schools

Police have yet to investigate illegal hiring of foreign teachers at international school in Phuket

The Thaiger

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Police have yet to investigate illegal hiring of foreign teachers at international school in Phuket | The Thaiger

Chalong police in Phuket say they have yet to start investigating the illegal hiring of foreign teachers at an international school in Rawai, south of the island. Palm House International School allegedly hired foreign teachers illegally in which 2 were arrested by Phuket Immigration police on November 4.

Somkiet Sarasin, the leading investigator of the case, says the 2 Brits were informed that police were processing a charge of working illegally in the country against them, in which both denied the charges. Somkiet says the 2 were released on bail, but did not confirm the amount of bail that was set by the police.

“They are still staying in Thailand. I am not worried. I have their passports. I am not available to explain [any details] because the investigation is still ongoing.”

“This is normal for an investigation when the suspects deny the charge against them. I have to check more information against their claims. This case will probably be concluded next month.”

However, the investigation has yet to begin, with Somkiet saying he has not even questioned the owner of the school, despite his claims the case would be finished next month.

“The investigation into the school will take time. The investigation into the two British people must be finished first.”

Such allegations of foreign teachers working illegally have recently been in the news after Sarasas Witaed Sainoi Pitiyakarn School, in the central province of Nonthaburi, saw 7 foreign teachers probed for being hired illegally. That school, along with others in its private network, made nationwide news after CCTV caught a Thai teacher hitting, pushing and dragging a young student in the classroom. Such widespread violence against students has long been a sad component of many Thai schools, in which some of the teachers are unqualified and unlicensed to teach, but are hired anyway.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Tourism

Phuket sees 300 million baht boost over long holiday weekend

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Phuket sees 300 million baht boost over long holiday weekend | The Thaiger

The Tourism Authority of Thailand says that Phuket has received a much-needed 300 million baht boost over the 4 day long weekend with around 54,000 tourists flocking to the island from last Thursday through to yesterday.

Phuket Office Director Nanthasiri Ronnasiri, reports that the average expenditure per visitor was about 5,500 baht, which was higher than the average spend for a Thai tourist to Phuket 2 years ago. She also noted that random checks on hotels showed that occupancy rates climbed to about 35%, with most guests staying 2 nights. But most of Phuket’s hotels remain closed.

Nanthasiri also says that many of the tourists concentrated themselves in the Phuket Old Town area, especially around Thalang Road, Phang Nga Road, and Dibuk Road in order to enjoy at the Sino-Portuguese shophouse architecture and historical locations. In fact much of Phuket Town, including its many markets and alley eateries, were doing roaring business, The Thaiger can vouch for the heavy traffic, on the roads and footpaths, over the past 4 days.

“This special holiday made Phuket tourism livelier, even though it was not as same as the situation before the Covid-19 pandemic.”

In fact, despite the welcome surge of visitors, it was still a long, long way from its previous tourist levels with much of the west coast, which has largely catered for the international tourist traffic, was still very quiet in places like Patong, Kata and Karon.

Phuket wasnt the only destination that has profited off of the long weekend as Chiang Mai saw droves of Thai tourists visiting its Royal Park Rajapruek as well as the northern city’s other nearby national parks and tourist areas. Visitors came from all over to see the blossoming of flowers in a beautiful display at the park as well as enjoying the air-purifying flowers as they relaxed. Tourists were able to rent a bicycle for 60 baht if they wanted to exercise while taking in the scenery and could also pay a visit to the orchid greenhouse, which hosts a variety of orchids in bloom. TripAdvisor recommends to set aside 2 hours to visit the park.

Next holiday weekend, on November 27 and 28, Pattaya is expected to get a tourism boost as its annual fireworks festivalis set to bring in travellers who have taken advantage of package deals offered by some beachside hotels. Such packages were offered for advance bookings, where holidaymakers could view the firework shows on the rooftops of their hotels. The firework displays are said to be long with breaks of entertainment-packed shows, featuring live music and student bands amongst others.

Phuket sees 300 million baht boost over long holiday weekend | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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