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Tourists raped, assaulted on Koh Samui

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Tourists raped, assaulted on Koh Samui | The Thaiger
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BANGKOK (AFP): Two female tourists from Britain and Ireland were sexually assaulted on the island resort of Koh Samui, police said yesterday. Deputy Police Chief Sant Sarutanond said a search had been mounted for two Thai men suspected of raping the British national and sexually abusing the Irish tourist over the weekend. Sant said he had asked local police to quickly locate the suspects because the crime was damaging to Thailand’s image as a safe holiday destination. “It affects the country’s image and tourism,” he said. “We will arrest the suspects as soon as possible.” The two tourists were attacked early Sunday near their hotel on Koh Samui’s Lamai Beach. Other tourists identified the attackers as Thais who spoke English well. Police said the women were injured while trying to fight off their attackers and were later taken to a local hospital for treatment. Two weeks ago, a Frenchman employed by one of Koh Samui’s leading hotels was murdered in the hotel’s parking lot. (See story at https://thethaiger.com/news/index.asp?fromsearch=yes&Id=1582)

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Crime

Surat Thani “cockle wars” are over, says navy chief

Jack Burton

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Surat Thani “cockle wars” are over, says navy chief | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Samui Times

The chief of the Royal Thai Navy says local figures wielding influence are being “neutralised” and the disruptive, sometimes violent dispute between cockle farmers and local small-boat fishermen is drawing to an end. Admiral Ruechai Ruddit says the conflict off the coast of Bandon Bay in the southern province of Surat Thani has eased, after cockle farmers began dismantling the roofed platforms they built to protect their illegal shellfish breeding grounds against raids by local fishermen. He says the various agencies involved are combining their efforts and enforcing relevant laws to tackle the problem.

“Progress is being made and the situation is improving. There will be no further disputes in the future.”

The navy chief says officials are to blame for allowing local big shots to “wield influence” over the sea, but this influence is now fading. The intervention of agencies which have teamed up as the “Sornchon task force” is creating a balance of power, and this will “naturally neutralise the influential figures.”

The admiral was commenting after inspecting the operations of the task force tackling the encroachment in Bandon Bay, in Surat Thani’s Mueang district.

Cockle farmers have been illegally occupying large areas of the sea, which is in the public domain.

The so-called “influential figures” reportedly laid claim to areas of the sea, then leased or “sold” them to people eager to invest in the profitable shellfish trade.

Investors occupied areas off Phunphin, Muang, Kanchanadit, Don Sak, Chaiya and Thachang districts, developing them as private farms breeding the profitable bivalve known as the blood clam. Coastal fishermen argue that the areas are public, and that they have the right to harvest the shellfish.

This has led to sometimes violent clashes.

Cockle farmers occupied an estimated 300,000 rai off the coast of the 6 districts, building roofed platforms in the sea, where they stood guard over their farms. There were a total of 1,010 platforms reported in the area.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Environment

More sea turtles lay eggs on Koh Samui

Caitlin Ashworth

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More sea turtles lay eggs on Koh Samui | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Post Today

It’s been years since sea turtles have been seen laying eggs on Koh Samui beaches. But this year more than a dozen sea turtle nests have popped up around the island’s coast. Just over the weekend, 70 eggs were found by villagers at Laem So beach by the Ban Sai Ree Hotel.

It’s rare for the turtles to come to Koh Samui, and especially busy beaches. Typically green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) don’t make their way to Koh Samui and are known to lay their eggs on remote shores in the Andaman Sea. 17 nests have been found on the island since February, and officials say they think there’s been more than 1,000 eggs altogether.

Around 100 metres from the newly-found nest, another nest is infant of the Villa Kalyana Koh Samui Hotel. Five nests have been discovered in front of the Banyan Tree Samui Hotel, which luckily has helped protect the nests, making enclosures to keep it safe from monitor lizards and other predators. In April, 200 turtles from 3 nests by the hotel hatched and baby turtles made their way into the Gulf of Thailand.

“The discovery means the ecology of the island might be revived to a level that sea turtles can return,” an expert in marine ecology told the Bangkok Post. Another marine ecologist made a post on Facebook about the nests, saying that because the coronavirus prevention measures, many beaches have been vacant, leading to animals like sea turtles to venture ashore. Some say national parks should be closed longer to allow more time for wildlife to rehabilitate.

“The villagers love the turtles. They always keep the beach clean. This discovery will only help strengthen the bond between islanders and their environment.”

SOURCES: Bangkok Post| Bangkok Post | Banyan Tree Resort

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Crime

Russian charged with credit card fraud on Koh Samui

Jack Burton

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Russian charged with credit card fraud on Koh Samui | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Khaosod

Police in Koh Samui, in the southern province of Surat Thani, have arrested a 35 year old Russian man for allegedly using counterfeit credit cards to buy goods on the resort island. When he was arrested there were 8 fake credit cards found on him.

The arrest comes after a bank employee told police of suspected irregularities in the use of credit cards on several occasions. Investigators found that counterfeit cards had been used to buy products on June 14 and 15 at the Banjo Pharmacy on Koh Samui on June 14 and 15.

Friday evening, Vadim Valeev was spotted getting ready to leave the island, reportedly heading for Phuket. Police searched his car and found 12 credit cards, 8 of them counterfeit. A card scanning device was also found.

Valeev claimed some of the cards belonged to him and his wife, while some belonged to other cardholders. He told officers the reader belonged to a friend he identified only as “Atom.”

Officers were not convinced by his story, as the investigation found he was the one who had used the cards. Valeev stands charged with possession of counterfeit electronic cards and has been handed over to Don Sak police in Surat Thani for further legal action.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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