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Tourist dead in suspected suicide

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Tourist dead in suspected suicide | Thaiger

CHALONG: A South African man apparently took his own life on Wednesday, by putting a plastic bag over his head and breathing in LPG gas from a cooking fuel cylinder.

The deceased was listed in the Chalong Police daily log as Joeachem Hendrik Smit, 46. His passport, recovered at the scene, showed that he had last entered Thailand on September 15 on a one-month tourist visa.

According to the police log and witness accounts, Smit’s body was discovered in his rented room at about 1 pm. The address of the room was given as 107/39 Soi Boonlert, off Patak Rd, in Chalong Village 10.

The discovery was made by a friend of the deceased, Nathawan Phromsinlapaporn, who reported the death to Chalong Police.

Nanthawan, in her 30s, said she had gone to visit Smit. The police log recorded her as saying that when she arrived at his room, she smelled gas. Entering, she found Smit sitting motionless with his back against the bathroom door.

There was a plastic bag over his head and a hose from a nearby LPG cylinder running over his shoulder and under the bag. Thinking he was still alive, she removed the hose and bag and closed the cylinder valve. Then, realizing her friend was dead, she left the room, closed the door and notified police.

The Gazette spoke to Smit’s landlord, Junt Panyakeaw, who said that Smit had rented the room three months ago at a rate of 3,000 baht a month, after being taken there by two Thai friends.

“He didn’t have much money and said he only wanted to stay for a few months, so I didn’t ask to see any documents,” she said, adding that Smit always greeted her with a smile. However, they were unable to communicate further because Smit could not speak Thai.

On the morning of Smit’s death, Junt said she saw him go to the Roongnapa Minimart across the street, returning with some bottles of beer.

Junt said she also saw Nanthawan that morning, but did not speak to her. It was only after the police arrived that Junt became aware of Smit’s death, she said.

 

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

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid-19 infections cast doubt on plan to reopen Phuket July 1

Neill Fronde

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FILE PHOTO: Phuket may not be ready to welcome back visitors July 1st.

With surging Covid-19 infections, the original plan for Phuket to reopen the international border to tourism on July 1st without quarantine may be unlikely. The governor warned today that the plan may be in jeopardy if they don’t reach the proposed May 15 goal of reducing infections to less than 10 each day. Governor Narong Woonciew called on everyone to work together to keep the infections down as the current rate of 10 to 15 per day will almost definitely delay the sandbox plan for international visitors to arrive in Phuket without quarantine in July.

Daily infections are on the rise in Phuket and high-risk people in local quarantine are still spreading infections, according to the provincial health officer’s assessment of the Covid-19 situation. During proactive screening an active case finding, new clusters of infections continue to be uncovered, a problem that has been attributed to continued partying and social gatherings that violate current Covid-19 restrictions. The health officials warned that, as a result, more aggressive actions may be necessary to control the spread of the Coronavirus in Phuket if it is to reopen in July.

Under the current restrictions of the Covid-19 emergency decree, even two people that aren’t from the same household joining together for socializing or mingling could be considered a gathering and punishable with legal action. Officials are speaking out about the threat of more Covid-19 outbreaks due to large gatherings, citing several events that were broken up recently.

One such group in Phuket garnered a lot of attention online with many people surprised that it was considered a gathering and busted up. A group of six British and Thai people that the police raided yesterday at a home in Thalang were reportedly drinking and celebrating. This is a violation of the disease decree and local Covid-19 safety measures, and 2 British nationals were charged a 6000 baht fine each.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

 

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Patong

30 year old Thai woman found dead in car in Patong from apparent suicide

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Photo via The Phuket News

A 30 year old Thai woman has been found dead in her car, in Patong, from an apparent suicide. The woman’s car was parked by the side of the Sirirat Road, which links Patong and Karon. Police and rescue workers arrived at the scene to find the body of Kanokwan Chuenaka, slumped backwards in the driver’s seat of a Phuket-registered gray Honda Jazz vehicle.

Police say they found an electric pan with burnt charcoal behind the driver’s seat in the back. They say this was the cause of death as she likely died from asphyxiation. They also say they found a suicide letter, written in 2 different parts with a pen and pencil.

The heartbreaking note in blue pen said:

“To dad and mum, please forgive me, your daughter. Ney [Kanokwan’s nickname] has hurt dad and mum many times. Please take care of Pokpong [Kanokwan’s son]. Love him. Don’t let Pokpong feel bad for not having his mum beside him. Don’t waste your money holding a funeral for me. Think of Pokpong often.”

In pencil, the note went on to say:

“Nobody loves Ney. I thought getting married would bring me happiness like other people. I have not even had a family trip, like dad, mum, and son.”

Kanokwan’s mother Boonlap Chuenaka says that she has accepted her daughter’s death to be from suicide. Her body was taken to Patong Hospital for further examination as a standard protocol before police can release it to her relatives for a funeral.

It is not known whether the Covid pandemic had any effect on Kanokwan, but notably, the pandemic has caused increased hardship and mental health issues for many in Thailand. Job losses, bankruptcies, sickness and fear are just a few of the side-affects felt by the Covid-19 pandemic. For many in Thailand and all over the world, this has a profound impact on the mental health of everyday people. The suicide rate in Thailand has also seen a spike, with 22% more suicides recorded in the first half of 2020 when compared to the same period in 2019. A sharp increase not witnessed since the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis.

Even before the pandemic struck, Thailand was on record as having the most suicides of any country in SE Asia. As per WHO data, in 2019 Thailand’s suicide rate was 14.4 per 100k population, compared to a global average of 10.5 per 100k population.

If you or anyone you know is in emotional distress, please contact the Samaritans of Thailand at their 24-hour hotline 02-713-6791 (English), 02713-6793 (Thai) or Thai Mental Health Hotline at 1323 (Thai).

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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Phuket

British citizens fined 6,000 baht each for illegal ‘party’ in Phuket

Tim Newton

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An unedited video circulating, showing Phuket police raiding an illegal gathering in Cherngtalay, ended up with 2 UK citizens, working in Phuket, being fined 6,000 baht each. The Cherngtalay police are also calling on another 4 foreigners attending the party to present themselves to the police station to be charged as well.

Cherngtalay Police descended on the property around 5pm on Sunday following a tip-off from residents in the same street.

The video shows the police at the front gate of the property demanding entry… “Open, open, open the door… now!” The people inside the gate shouted back “no party”. The policeman leading the raid was Capt Prasan Ketsaro. Despite a number of other foreigners, and Thais, at the gathering, only the 2 British people attending the event were fined after being taken to the station.

British citizens fined 6,000 baht each for illegal 'party' in Phuket | News by ThaigerThey were officially charged with “acting against the Communicable Diseases Act, BE 2558 and the Phuket Provincial Order #2284/2564 Section 5,” according to the police report.

At the end of April the Phuket governor made an announcement, tightening restrictions for the island province.

“For social activities, all people must refrain gathering for celebration, such as birthday parties, welcome or farewell parties, or others, except traditional events, such as funerals, weddings, or ordination.”

At the time the vice governor of Phuket said that foreigners breaking the rule could also be subject to being deported. Foreign consular officials were also invited to the provincial offices with Governor asking them to ensure the citizens they represented would abide by the current rules and restrictions.

The video of what appears to be an afternoon soirée, complete with alcoholic drinks and a barbecue, was deemed by the attending police to be in clear contravention of the current restrictions, a point that the lead police officer, doing all the talking, kept making as he beckoned everyone inside the house to come out.

“Everybody, outside. Come one, come on, outside!”

None of the foreigners were wearing face masks in the early phases of the video although the Thai people inside the property either were, or were quick to put them on as the cameras were rolling.

The police kept berating and accusing the people inside the property… “you come for party”. They pointed to a pile of iced drinks on the verandah of the property (which contained wine, beer and other beverages)… “what is this, what is this?”

Any conversation was a bit one-sided with the Captain doing most of the talking whilst the owners of the property, and their guests, were at least trying to explain their situation.

The accusations were flying thick and fast “Why party?! You party!”

The foreigners insisted it wasn’t a party and were trying to reason with the police about the intentions of the afternoon’s gathering but the police had already made up their mind.

The lead police told the accused that they could take photos of the ‘raid’. The Thaiger has decided not to air the video but have shared some edited screenshots.

British citizens fined 6,000 baht each for illegal 'party' in Phuket | News by ThaigerBritish citizens fined 6,000 baht each for illegal 'party' in Phuket | News by ThaigerBritish citizens fined 6,000 baht each for illegal 'party' in Phuket | News by Thaiger

A lot of the social media commentary about the incident has focussed on whether the gathering was a “party” or not and accusations that the attending police were just after some tea money.

“The high crimes and misdemeanours of having drinks and a BBQ in your garden “

“What party? Even the mosque in Bang Tao is packed everyday, local Thai restaurants are packed – this it outrageous.”

“Pretty strange…. a good way to make money.”

“What a country this place is turning into.”

“The video is on all the Thai news site… and it not look like a party at all.”

The names of the people involved in the raid have been published in other media.

 

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