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Phuket officials reveal B20mn fund for tourist victims

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket officials reveal B20mn fund for tourist victims | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: Phuket officials today revealed that a national fund of 20 million baht to assist tourist victims of crime and natural disasters was finally available for tourists in Phuket.

The news was announced today, when it was disclosed that 44-year-old Antonio Papaleo, a victim of a stabbing attack in Phuket, became the first tourist in Phuket to receive assistance from the fund, which is operated by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports (MOTS).

Mr Papaleo was awarded 100,000 baht to cover his medical costs after he was stabbed twice in the abdomen during a bungled bag snatch on July 3 (story here).

He was put immediately under police protection, as he had just arrived in Phuket after testifying in a Hong Kong mafia corruption trial, during which he had repeatedly received death threats (story here).

“Ten days after Mr Papaleo was released from hospital, he was transferred to a safe location off the island,” said Karon Police Superintendent Natthapakin Kwanchaipruk.

“We thought that the victim should receive some form of compensation. What happened was not his fault, so why should he have to pay for medical costs?

“I contacted the Phuket Tourism Association [PTA] to find out if they had a budget to cover such incidents. If it turned out that they didn’t have one, police had already decided to donate money for him after discussing our options with Phuket Provincial Police Commander Krajang Suwannarat.”

Officials from the PTA then contacted the MOTS Phuket office, which revealed that the MOTS sets aside a total of 20 million baht per year to compensate all tourists in the country who have been affected by crimes or natural disasters.

“Although the fund was set up many years ago, it has not been advertised to Phuket tourists, which is why not many people know about it,” Santi Pawai, director of the Phuket MOTS office, said.

However, Mr Santi noted that tourists in Pattaya were often compensated through the fund. He explained that the best way for tourists to apply for assistance from the fund is to talk to the police investigator in charge of their particular case.

“The police can file the necessary paperwork and send it to the ministry,” said Mr Santi. “It will then be considered and approved by a committee led by a Tourism & Sports permanent secretary.”

Tourists can also contact the MOTS in Bangkok at 02-356 0650, the MOTS Phuket office at 076-327100, the Tourist Police at 1155 or the PTA at 076-610365-5, Mr Santi added.

Sathirapong Na Takuatoong, the PTA’s recently installed president, said that his organization supported publicizing the fund in Phuket, but added that more could be done to improve tourists’ feelings of comfort and safety while holidaying on the island.

“I think 20mn baht per year, compared with the 18mn tourists who come to Thailand each year, is not enough,” Mr Sathirapong said. “We should start by reducing the number of crimes that occur, so that we won’t have to dip into the fund in the first place.”

Mr Sathirapong said that his association does support the Phuket Police.

“We support police and the Tourist Care Team, a special unit of 58 officers that patrol beaches 24 hours a day, by providing food for them to eat for free in all of our member hotels,” he said.

“No Phuket business owners want crime on our island. It destroys Phuket’s image and affects our tourism industry.”

Any foreign tourist can request assistance from the fund, but only under the following conditions:
Victim of natural disaster
Victim of terrorism
Victim of attack
Victim of rape
Victim of vehicle accident in which the tourist was not at fault
Tourist who faces unexpected financial trouble, for example, if they were robbed of all their belongings or money and unable to make the trip home

The standard rates for assistance are as follows:
Death or loss of vital organs: up to 300,000 baht per person
Medical costs, including transfer costs in Thailand: up to 100,000 baht per person
Emergencies that prevent convenient transport, such as road blockades: 2,000 baht per day up to 20,000 baht per person
Rape: up to 20,000 baht per victim
Robbery: from 2,000 per day to cover food and accommodation costs, up to 20,000 baht per person

— Saran Mitrarat

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

Pattaya

Pattaya bike rider injured after plunging into large construction hole in road

Maya Taylor

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Pattaya bike rider injured after plunging into large construction hole in road | The Thaiger
PHOTO: The Pattaya News

A motorbike driver has been injured after his bike plunged into a 2-metre deep construction pit in the Naklua area of Pattaya. The Pattaya News reports that the accident occurred around 4am on Thursday morning, with rescue workers arriving to find the bike at the bottom of the pit.

Pattaya bike rider injured after plunging into large construction hole in road | News by The Thaiger

The driver, 39 year old Wassapon Thataworn, had managed to climb out of the hole, despite his injuries, and was transported to a local hospital for treatment. His friend, who has not been named, says he was following Wassapon on another bike, when the accident happened. He claims the hole was not well-lit.

However, the police disagree with his assessment, saying there were barriers around the pit, as well as several neon white lights. It is not known if anyone will face legal charges over the accident.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Events

Pattaya firework party lights up the weekend | VIDEO

The Thaiger

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Pattaya firework party lights up the weekend | VIDEO | The Thaiger

After much anticipation, the Pattaya Fireworks Festival lit up the sky this past weekend, delighting spectators with beautiful night beachside spectacle. More importantly, it was the first time Pattaya was packed with tourists since March this year, albeit mostly Thai tourists.

The event program was packed with long fireworks shows with hotels offering promotions for advanced bookings in an attempt to provide a much-needed boost to the local economy over the weekend.

To watch some of last night’s events from Mike Bridge, click HEREand HERE.

The annual festival saw Thais and foreigners taking part in the festivities as local bars, pubs, restaurants, and food vendors enjoying a bit more padding in their pockets. Organisers didn’t disappoint as they carried out their assurances to provide a world-class show with 4 fireworks shows per night. Such titles as “Shining in Sky,” “Paradise Pattaya, Everyday for Everyone,” “Pattaya Twilight, Decorated Stars,” and “Light is Life,” summed up the shows’ themes.

During one of the shows’ breaks, a 45 minute concert by popular Thai artist “Mean” graced the ears of onlookers, while an elephant show, by the Pattaya Elephant Camp, proved to be a sight for sore eyes. Marching bands featuring local Thai students started from the North Pattaya area and parading down Beach Road to the main stage area, located near Central Festival Mall filled the air with music, along with tiger shows and an art show by Nong Nooch Botanical Garden rounding up the schedule.

The popular Thai rock band “Big Ass” wrapped up the last fireworks show at 9:30 pm, with another popular Thai band “Boom Boom Cash” rocking out the night.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Pattaya

City officials plan to demolish abandoned Pattaya condo project

Maya Taylor

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City officials plan to demolish abandoned Pattaya condo project | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Sophon Cable TV / The Pattaya News

After years of talks, threats, and complaints, the abandoned Waterfront condo development at Pattaya’s Bali Hai pier looks set to be demolished. The Waterfront Suites and Residence is a half-finished condo project that was stalled in 2014 after safety inspectors discovered that the building’s fire escapes and elevator systems designs varied from the already approved construction designs. Read an earlier story about the eyesore HERE.

Pattaya’s mayor, Sonthaya Khunplume, says officials plan to tear down what many have condemned as an eyesore, “as soon as possible” – and charge the owners for it. According to a Pattaya News report, the date of the demolition, along with the name of the company being hired to carry out the work, have not yet been confirmed.

The controversy surrounding the development dates back to 2014, when construction was halted following multiple legal threats and complaints from local residents. The Israeli-owned development company, Bali Hai, are accused of violating building regulations, by building a structure that exceeds the legal height limit, as well as restrictions on proximity to the beach. Local residents have also complained that the development obstructs the panoramic vista of the bay from Pattaya Hill, and the view of the memorial to the renowned Admiral Abhakara Kiartivongse, Prince of Chumphon.

For their part, the developers insist they have complied with all regulations and had the necessary paperwork and permits for the project. It seems however, that Pattaya officials have had enough, and, ignoring the developer’s claims of bankruptcy, they say the whole Waterfront saga must end. They say the demolition will not affect lawsuits being brought by those who paid for condo units that never materialised, insisting that court hearings can still go ahead, regardless of the condition of the building.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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