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Ten monks held in drug bust

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Ten monks held in drug bust | The Thaiger

BANGKOK (AFP): Five Thai monks have been defrocked after confessing to using methamphetamines (‘ya bah’), while another five caught in a drug raid also face being ousted from religious life, police said this morning. Acting on a complaint from local worshippers, police yesterday carried out urine tests on 26 monks living at a temple in the central province of Ratchaburi. They found that 10 of them had drugs in their system. Five confessed immediately and further tests were being carried out to confirm the guilt of the remaining five, according to Lieutenant Colonel Krisana Sapdej of Ratchburi police. The confirmed drug users have been sent to a provincial hospital for rehabilitation, Col Krisana said, adding that they had been taking drugs before they entered monkhood. Krisana said drug abuse was a widespread problem among monks because parents often sent their drug-addicted sons to temples in the belief that they would give up once they entered religious life. Thailand is facing an enormous drug addiction crisis fed by methamphetamines which are churned out in clandestine factories along the Burmese border. Authorities say that the amount of drugs flowing into Thailand has skyrocketed over the past three years, despite efforts to curb trafficking. Some 700 million amphetamine tablets are expected to enter Thailand this year, an enormous jump from the 100 million tablets estimated for 1998. About six percent of the nation’s population of 62 million is believed to be addicted to drugs. Religious Affairs Department official Manop Polpairin said earlier this year that some ten percent of Thailand’s 300,000 monks and novices have fallen prey to drug abuse and sought treatment at rehabilitation centers.



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Phuket

Phuket Town Beauty spa shooter kills himself in Saphan Hin

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Phuket Town Beauty spa shooter kills himself in Saphan Hin | The Thaiger

UPDATE: The suspect in this morning’s shootings, 53 year old Chana Rodket from Songkhla, has shot and killed himself in Saphan His this afternoon. He was a housekeeper a the beauty spa where the shooting took place.

Earlier, a South Korean man and Thai woman were injured in a shooting at a beauty spa near Naka Market in Phuket Town.

The two sustained serious injuries from bullet wounds. Wichit Police reports that they was notified of the incident at ‘The Beauty Spa’ at 10.30am.

Police and emergency responders arrived at the scene to find two injuried from gun shots. Blood-stained towels were found around the scene of the shooting.

The two people shot were 74 year old South Korean man, Kwang Hee Kim (father of Ms Eun Mi Kim, the owner of the Beauty Spa) and a 56 year old Thai woman named as Somsri Chuatonghua, a staff member at the spa.

Both taken to Vachira Phuket Hospital.

Phuket Town Beauty spa shooter kills himself in Saphan Hin | News by The Thaiger

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Two shot in Phuket Town beauty spa this morning

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Two shot in Phuket Town beauty spa this morning | The Thaiger

A South Korean man and Thai woman have been injured in spa shooting in Phuket Town.

The two sustained serious injuries from bullet wounds after having been shot at the spa in Wichit today.

Wichit Police reports that they was notified of an incident at ‘The Beauty Spa’ in Wichit at 10.30am this morning.

Police and emergency responders arrived at the scene to find two injuried from gun shots – a 74 year old South Korean man, Kwang Hee Kim, and father of Ms Eun Mi Kim, the owner of the Beauty Spa.

The other person injured was a 56 year old Thai woman named as Somsri Chuatonghua who is staff at the spa.

They were both taken to Vachira Phuket Hospital. The suspect, Somphon, a house-keeper at the spa, is currently being sought by police.

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Bangkok

TAT expects 2.3 million tourists for this year’s Songkran

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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TAT expects 2.3 million tourists for this year’s Songkran | The Thaiger

The Tourism Authority of Thailand is expecting more than 2.3 million local and foreign tourists will join the various Songkran celebrations this year. They say that should generate 20 billion baht+ in revenue for tourism and tourism-related services.

TAT’s Governor Yuthasak Supasorn says 300,000 international arrivals are expected to celebrate the five day festival starting April 12, along with two million locals who will travel to celebrate Songkran this year. Songkran falling on a weekend this year will also bolster local tourism numbers.

The number of Songkran-specific visitors is up this year, partly because of the growing popularity of the festival internationally and the government extending the holiday to five days this year, now starting on April 12 (although ‘Songkran, the Thai New Year, is actually on April 13).

Songkran festival extended HERE.

He admits that the bad publicity about the poor air quality in the northern regions is a problem, especially around Chiang Mai which has become a big international visitor favorite over recent yers.

Chiang Mai is one of nine provinces in the North struggling with smoke haze, mostly because of open-air burning of farm waste and rubbish, and localised bush fires. The heavy smog has caused temporary suspension of flights between Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son although flights into Chiang Mai have been unaffected so far.

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