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Six arrested in 10 million baht Andaman tour scam

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Six arrested in 10 million baht Andaman tour scam | The Thaiger

Police have arrested six female suspects linked to a tour company that allegedly swindled customers of 10 million baht for bogus tour packages, Deputy Tourist Police chief Maj-General Surachet Hakpan told a press conference in Bangkok on Monday.

The suspects named as executives of the tour company were Thanyarat Sansangwal, Nawanat Phosuk, Kwanreuthai Monkaew, Sathaporn Thongphrom, Thanipa Kanhachat and Monthathip Ployprapasmuk. All suspects were aged between 22 and 42.

The six women were arrested on Sunday under warrants issued on April 11 by the Satun Court over charges of public fraud and illegally operating a tour business resulting in damages to tourists.

The case also has two male suspects – company owner, 51 year old Thorn Kaewkrai who was arrested on March 26, and the elusive company manager, 43 year old Pratheep Kaewnont.
Surachet said the police investigation discovered that the company was owned by Thaworn.

They learned that Pratheep was wanted in a series of other public fraud cases and had served a 2014 jail term over fraud committed when he managed a Krabi resort.

Prathep served as the tour company’s manager and reportedly was the key player in this recent wrongdoing, Surachet said. The case at first stemmed from a police complaint filed on March 24 by 44 Thai tourists at Satun’s Koh Lipe police station. The complaint claimed that the tourists were allegedly duped into buying a tour package to visit Koh Lipe from Thai Alfa Andaman Co via its Facebook page but they didn’t get the services as advertised, Surachet said.

The police probe later found that up to 1,600 people (including the 44 plaintiffs) might have been victimised in the alleged fraud, resulting in damages worth 10 million baht, he said.

To date, 200 people have stepped forwards to file fraud complaints, resulting in the arrest being issued. One victim in her 30s, Benjaporn (last name withheld), recalled that she and four friends wanted to visit Koh Lipe. They found the tour company online with 150,000 “followers” and some 100 good “reviews” of services and so had bought a tour package for 7,990 baht with a “buy 1 get 1 free” promotion. The group paid about 20,000 baht in total for the March 23-25 visit, said the victim.

The group were picked up by a van at an airport and sent to a pier to board a ferry to the island and took in a diving session at Koh Khai, she said. Their hotel later told them that the company had not paid for their accommodation and they were therefore on the hook for paying from their own pockets, as well as the van and ferry fares, and diving service fee for a total 23,000 baht. This meant they had paid 43,000 baht for the trip, she said.

They found another five groups totally 39 people who had a similar experience with the company. Their inquiry to the company’s office received a reply that the company owner and executives had disappeared and not paid their employees, she said. Thaworn told her by telephone that he was experiencing financial problems and so was asking customers to cover the expenses and he would pay them back, she said. After that, they lodged the police complaint.

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Krabi

Four metre, 15 kilogram king cobra found in a Krabi village

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Four metre, 15 kilogram king cobra found in a Krabi village | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Kapook.com

On October 13, Krabi Pitak Pracha Foundation, a local volunteer rescue team, received a report requiring (probably screaming) for help from a house project security guard to help catch a ‘big snake’ that lived inside the drain of the village.

Kapook reports that the rescue team arrived at the village where the security guard guided them to the drain. They even prayed with the land spirit to bless them on the job ahead of them before entering inside the drain.

They explained that it was difficult and dangerous job, had to be very careful and move fast. They finally found the snake and it took about an hour to catch the giant reptile. The rescue team said that the snake is actually a king cobra that was four-metres long and weighed 15 kilograms.

Meanwhile, the village security guard said that the king cobra had lived inside the village drain for a while and sometimes came up above ground and the village’s public area,s which frightened the residents, so he had to reach out to the rescue team for help.

SOURCE: Kapook.com

Four metre, 15 kilogram king cobra found in a Krabi village | News by The Thaiger Four metre, 15 kilogram king cobra found in a Krabi village | News by The Thaiger Four metre, 15 kilogram king cobra found in a Krabi village | News by The Thaiger

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People

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people

Nattha Thepbamrung

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‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | The Thaiger

On October 18, the ‘Always Smile Journey’ group and its partners will host an exhibition with plenty of fun activities at the Yak Yai Market, near Chalong Circle, in Phuket. This event was designed to raise funds to provide free English classes for underprivileged people on the island of Phuket on Saturdays and Sundays. The group does not accept donations but aims to raise money through the sales of the products available at the event.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

From 2 pm to 8 pm, there will be a number of artists, musicians and performers who will keep the attendees entertained along the way. There will be a short film about His Majesty King Rama 9 as well as fun activities and games for kids and families, which are all free of charge.

The big bike crew is also a part of this event. They will ride a parade from Rawai Beach heading to the market and showcase their gorgeous two-wheel buddies.

One of the highlights of the Always Smile Journey exhibition is the ‘Happening’ artists group, who will draw and paint a picture of the His Majesty King Rama 9 under the name ‘Street Art King Bhumibol’ on a 4×10 meter sign live at the event so the guests will experience this large-scale art in action. The Happening will also offer portrait sketching for the participants.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

One of the works created by the Happening team; a painting of HM the King Rama 9 on a huge wall (Photo credit: Chawat Chumpasan)

There will also be some western menus available at the event which will be donated to underprivileged children.

This free English class project has over seven years of experience through its cooperation working with individuals and other charity organizations. Throughout the years, the group visited several areas such as Ban Laem Hoy School, Ban Bopud School and Ban Angthong School in Samui, Surat Thani province, Ban Bueng Ao Oun School and Ban Kakoh Rayong, in Surin province, Jalae Village of Lahu (Muser) in Chiang Rai province, as well as community education centers in Siem Reap, Cambodia and in Luang Prabang, in Laos.

This event is a cooperation between several groups, including Happening, Yak Yai Market and Arrow Media, Tattoo artist group, Thonburi Art School Alumni, International School of Tourism, Suratthani Rajabhat University, big bike group from Phuket, artists/performers/musicians from many provinces as well as several businesses across Phuket.

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Bangkok

Thai High Speed Railway linking airports now to be signed off on October 25

The Thaiger

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Thai High Speed Railway linking airports now to be signed off on October 25 | The Thaiger

The State Railway of Thailand and the Charoen Pokphand Group-led consortium are putting pen to paper and signing the contract for the high-speed train project on October 25.

The much-discussed high speed railway will link Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang and U-Tapao international airports. The new SRT board was approved by the Thai cabinet today.

Deputy PM Anutin Charnvirakul says he is confident the contract will now be signed, adding that he has already met with Supachai Chearavanont, CEO of the CP group, and assured him of the government’s full cooperation and support.

The Charoen Pokphand-led consortium won the bid to develop the 224-billion baht high-speed train infrastructure as a signature project for the government’s flagship Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) high-tech investment hub. The train service is scheduled to be operational in 2024 (The Thaiger is taking bets now).

Recently, however, the CP-led consortium raised concerns over land expropriation and eviction problems and asked for the government to share the risk on this issue. The Transport Ministry has already rejected the request putting the onus on CP as part of the proposal.

Mr. Anutin explained that, in any large infrastructure project involving expropriation of land, it is usual for the government or state agency not to be able to hand over the land to the contractor all at once. In such cases, the contracted completion date can be moved back.

He said the CP-led consortium should proceed with the high-speed train project without further delay because 70% of the land is ready to be handed over.

Meanwhile, the deputy PM admits that he didn’t know why the entire SRT board resigned en masse, delaying the signing of the contract, and denied that he had put pressure on the board to quit. He also denied that Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob, also of the Bhumjaithai party, objected to the SRT board’s mass resignation because the latter wanted the contract to be signed quickly.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

Thai High Speed Railway linking airports now to be signed off on October 25 | News by The Thaiger

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