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Two gibbon touts arrested on Samui – three gibbons rescued

The Thaiger

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Two gibbon touts arrested on Samui – three gibbons rescued | The Thaiger

Yesterday we posted the story about Samui beach touts hawking a baby gibbon for tourist photos – a lucrative little cash business at 100 baht per photo. But the practice is frowned upon my may westerners these days and remains illegal in Thailand. Facebook blogger Arkadiy Kulev was keen to see the touts arrested.

Today (Thursday), Samui police have arrested two men and seized three gibbons after the clip provided evidence of a man letting foreign tourists take photos with the gibbons in exchange for money, leading to an outpouring of anger on Facebook.

23 year old Ruangwit Aolueknoi and 35 year old Ismail Thalang were arrested at their rented house in Borphud at 5pm last night (Wednesday).

Pol Col Thongchana Harnkittikanchana, acting Borphud police chief, ordered an investigation after an expatriate, Arkadiy Kulev, posted a clip on the Samui “Rent & Buy & Sell For Free” Facebook group late Tuesday night.

Video from Arkadiy Kulev

The clip showed one of the suspects approaching foreign tourists and offering to let them hold and cuddle the gibbons for a photo in exchange for a fee of 100 to 200 baht, prompting many people to cry foul on the Facebook page.

Two gibbons were found in a cage at Ruangwit’s house and the other was seized from Ismail. Ismail admitted that he was the man in the clip, which was shot two days before the arrest. He said he bought the gibbons from a man in Ranong. The two men have been charged with having protected wild animals in their possession without a license.

The three gibbons were given to national park officials who will take charge of their welfare.

Two gibbon touts arrested on Samui - three gibbons rescued | News by The Thaiger

STORY: The Nation

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Koh Samui

Koh Samui to start Covid-19 vaccinations early next month

Caitlin Ashworth

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Koh Samui to start Covid-19 vaccinations early next month | The Thaiger
Stock photo by Alexandr Podvalny for Pexels

Covid-19 vaccinations on Koh Samui will start early next month with 2,500 doses planned to be given to 1,250 people on the island, according to Surat Thani governor Wichawut Jinto. Island authorities are also proposing that foreign visitors be allowed to quarantine on their yacht, at a villa hotel or at a wellness centre.

The tourist island off the coast of Surat Thani in the Gulf of Thailand is deemed as an area of “economic significance” and is included in the first phase of the country’s immunisation plan. The first doses will be given to disease control officials and those in the tourism sector.

The vaccines, which just arrived from overseas yesterday, are expected to be delivered to the island before the end of the month and vaccinations are set to start in early March.

Half of the vaccines are reserved for those in the healthcare field as well as local government officials. Around 26% of the doses would be given to local health volunteers and the general public. 22% of the doses would be given to workers in the tourism industry, including airport employees and hotel quarantine employees. 2% of the doses will go to Covid-19 inspectors.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

4 top tourist destinations to be prioritised for Covid-19 vaccine distribution

Maya Taylor

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4 top tourist destinations to be prioritised for Covid-19 vaccine distribution | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration says 4 of Thailand’s major tourism destinations are to be prioritised in the distribution of vaccines. They are Phuket, Chon Buri, Chiang Mai and Surat Thani. In addition, a further 9 provinces with significant infection numbers are being prioritised in the rollout of the first vaccine doses arriving in the Kingdom today.

Taweesin Visanuyothin from the CCSA says 70,000 doses will go to the hard-hit “highest control” area of Samut Sakhon, where Thailand’s second outbreak began late last year. 8,000 doses are being set aside for medical officials in the central province, along with 6,000 for frontline healthcare workers, 46,000 doses for seriously ill patients, and 10,000 doses for migrant workers and local residents.

Another 105,000 doses will be distributed to similar groups in Bangkok, in the central provinces of Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Nakhon Pathom, Samut Songkram and Samut Prakan, and in the western province of Ratchaburi and the Mae Sot district of Tak.

The Pattaya News reports that 14,700 doses will be sent to 4 major tourist destinations, with 4,700 going to the eastern province of Chon Buri, 4,000 to the southern island of Phuket, 3,500 to the northern province of Chiang Mai, and 2,500 going to the island of Samui in the southern province of Surat Thani.

In the case of the vaccines going to tourism spots, it is not yet known which groups will be vaccinated first, with that decision being left to the Provincial Communicable Disease Committee and other related authorities.

Meanwhile, the CCSA says other plans for the 4 tourism destinations are being considered, including the possibility of “area quarantine”, which would allow vaccinated foreign arrivals to remain within certain boundaries during their quarantine period. The Tourism Authority of Thailand has been pushing for a vaccine passport policy for vaccinated visitors, while PM Prayut Chan-o-cha says the government may consider lifting quarantine restrictions for vaccinated tourists.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Crime

Police raid “Hippie Festival Samui,” arrest French musicians for allegedly working without a permit

Caitlin Ashworth

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Police raid “Hippie Festival Samui,” arrest French musicians for allegedly working without a permit | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Bangkok Times

Police on Koh Samui broke up the “Hippie Festival Samui” at a restaurant on Lamai Beach and arrested 4 French musicians, who were performing at the event, for allegedly working without a work permit. The manager of the restaurant, 48 year old Kannika Thongreuang, was arrested for selling alcohol during hours when alcohol sales are prohibited.

Around 100 Thai and foreign customers at the event, according to Thai media. Bo Phut police checked passports and took 2 bottles of beer as well as a some bills as “evidence” of the alcohol sales. The musicians – a drummer, saxophone player, bass player and guitar player – were all taken to the Bo Phut police station. Thai Visa says police had received complaints about an “illegal party.”

Just last month, on neighbouring Koh Pha Ngan, police broke up a party at the ThreeSixtyBar and arrested 111 people, including 89 foreigners, for allegedly breaking a number of laws relating to Thailand’s Emergency Decree put in place to combat the spread of Covid-19.

Koh Pha Ngan and Koh Samui are part of a trio of popular islands off the Surat Thani coast in the Gulf of Thailand.

Police raid “Hippie Festival Samui,” arrest French musicians for allegedly working without a permit | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Bangkok Times

Police raid “Hippie Festival Samui,” arrest French musicians for allegedly working without a permit | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Bangkok Times

SOURCE: Thai Visa

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