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Karon residents receive financial assistance for last month’s floods in Phuket

The Thaiger

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Karon residents receive financial assistance for last month’s floods in Phuket | The Thaiger

PHOTO: siangtai.com

Following the unexpected localised floods around Phuket on October 31, particularly around the Karon area, affecting 400 houses, a group of government officials, local businesses and monks pooled their resources to help the victims.

The organising group consisted of the village chief, sub-district chief, Karon business owners and hotel entrepreneurs, the Abbot of Suwan Kirikhet Temple (Karon Temple) and more local government officials, who shared donated monies to the flood victims.

The money was divided into two parts; the first part is for the group of people who have their names registered in Karon sub-district…

They would receive 5,000 baht from the abbot of Suwan Kirikhet Temple and another 2,000 Baht from the Karon business and hotel entrepreneurs as well as local government officials. The Karon residents received 7,000 Baht per person in total and there were 56 houses that received the money.

The second part was for the group of people who were affected by the flooding but do not have their names included in house registration in Karon, or people who rent a house in Karon. They would receive 2,000 Baht from the abbot and another 2,000 Baht from businesses and hotel entrepreneurs, as well as local government officials.

So they each received 4,000 Baht – there were 67 houses that received the money.

Phra Kru Suwan Thammawinit, the Abbot of Suwan Kirikhet Temple said that during the flood, he saw that a lot of people were in trouble and the temple turned into an emergency help centre. Some victims couldn’t go back to live in their houses so the temple became their temporary shelter.

“We have helped flood victims all around the country as well, using the donations we receive at our temple. This time is different as it happened in our local area.”

“When we saw that the locals needed help, we held a meeting and agreed that we would give 5,000 Baht for the residents and 2,000 Baht for the victims who don’t have their names registered in Karon.”

Another 50,000 Baht donation was received from the Nai Harn Temple head Abbot.

SOURCE: Siangtai.com

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Business

“Phuket’s economy is shrinking” – University report

Greeley Pulitzer

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“Phuket’s economy is shrinking” – University report | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Rocket Bird Travel Company

“Phuket’s economy is shrinking.”

A report released by the local Prince of Songkla University reveals some disturbing trends for the once-booming tropical paradise. Chayanon Phucharoen, the university’s associate dean of research and graduate study says that Phuket’s economy is undergoing a transformation. He blames the strong Thai baht and says digital disruption is funnelling tourist services and income toward online platforms controlled by outsiders, instead of the income going into local pockets.

Strong competition by the many new hotels and accommodation-sharing apps is pushing down prices across the island. Most of the new hotel rooms and tour destinations over the past five years are outside of the traditional favourite, Patong.

“Other factors included beaches degraded by pollution and poor road safety.”

Chayanon cited a survey by the Bank of Thailand showing a drop in the number of Phuket tourism operators, despite rising arrivals. The last two decades have seen an average growth in tourism numbers but this year the numbers have cooled off with a growth of only 4% and a swing in tourist demographics and preferred areas of the island to visit.

One of the biggest losers is Patong where the popular party town has been slow to adapt to the changing tourist mix. The report says that tourists are now sick of being ripped off by tuk tuks, touts and scams.

“Phuket needs to to create new tourism experiences instead of relying on its reputation for ‘sea, sand and sun. The sector can be improved in many ways, such as offering new experiences like cultural activities.”

“This would not only increase tourist numbers but also better disperse tourists, and tourism revenue, throughout the island.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Phuket

Baby dumped on the steps of a bank in Rawai, Phuket

The Thaiger

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Baby dumped on the steps of a bank in Rawai, Phuket | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Phuket Newshawk/Phuket Hotnews

On December 13, at about 4pm, Chalong police received a report about a baby found abandoned in front of Siam Commercial Bank, in Rawai.

At the scene, police found a baby boy with fair skin and appeared like a mix caucasian/Asian. The infant was crying but the witnesses who called police were trying to hold, comfort and feed the baby. The witnesses and the baby were escorted to Chalong police station. The people who found the baby told the police that they saw a couple fighting in front of the bank.

The man was western and the woman was Thai, which the witnesses believe were the parents of the baby. The man walked away before the woman put the baby down on the steps, in front of the bank, and then left the scene as well.

So the witnesses went to look after the baby and called the police.

Police sent the baby to Chalong Hospital for a checkup. The results indicate the baby boy is healthy and well. They also contacted Phuket children and family shelter, Ministry of Social Development and Human Security to pick up the baby for further care while the police look for the parents.

Chalong police are currently checking the CCTV camera footage to try and identify the woman who abandoned the baby in front of the bank and believe that they will find the couple soon.

A big thanks to the people who found the baby and contacted the police.

STORY: Phuket Hotnews

Baby dumped on the steps of a bank in Rawai, Phuket | News by The Thaiger Baby dumped on the steps of a bank in Rawai, Phuket | News by The Thaiger

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Crime

Chonburi police arrest nine Chinese nationals for alleged amulet scam

May Taylor

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Chonburi police arrest nine Chinese nationals for alleged amulet scam | The Thaiger

Police have arrested nine Chinese nationals in an investigation into alleged amulet fraud in Chonburi, eastern Thailand.

The Nation reports that the accused were running a shop at a Chonburi temple, where they sold fake amulets and Buddha images for prices that ranged from 1,000 baht to over 10,000 baht. They are accused of working with tour agents to target Chinese tourists and part them from their cash.

The suspects all entered Thailand on tourist visas and rented the store at the temple from December 6. Some of the men also pretended to be employed by the temple and would offer to help Chinese tourists take part in a religious ceremony if they paid a fee.

The chief of the Immigration Police says the men’s actions have had a negative impact on Thailand’s reputation. They have now been transferred to local police custody for processing.

This time last year a similar scam was uncovered by The Thaiger in Kathu, Phuket but little seems to have been done about it and the Chinese buses keep racking up each day – rinse and repeat.

Also read about the fake plastic amulets sold in Phuket HERE.

SOURCE: The Nation

Chonburi police arrest nine Chinese nationals for alleged amulet scam | News by The Thaiger

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