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Six arrested in 10 million baht Andaman tour scam

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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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South

Eight fishing tour boats destroyed at southern pier

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Eight fishing tour boats destroyed at southern pier | The Thaiger

FILE PHOTO

A fire has destroyed eight tourist fishing boats in Satun province earlier today.

Police report that the fire broke out at the Pak Bara pier and spread quickly from a fishing boat to seven other adjacent boats. The boats were used to take tourists out to fish in the sea. The pier is the take-off point for boats heading from the Satun mainland out to the nearby islands.

La-ngu district chief Thani Hayimasa rushed to the scene to direct the firefighting operation but the eight boats were completely gutted before he arrived.

The cause of the fire is being investigated.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Chiang Mai

Police investigating death of 33 year old Australian in Chiang Mai hotel

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Police investigating death of 33 year old Australian in Chiang Mai hotel | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Chiang Mai News

Police are still investigating the death of a 33 year old Australian man in Chiang Mai during the week. The man’s body was sent for autopsy whilst police speculate a drug overdose may have been the cause.

The body of the man, identified as Daniel Thomas Janse was found at 4pm on April 17 at a hotel in the Chang Phueak area, according to the Chiang Mai News.

Police say there was no sign of a struggle in the room and suspect the man may have died of a drug overdose. The man’s body was sent to Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital for autopsy.

Thai language social media in Chiang Mai have responded to the news of a dead foreigner being found in a hotel room by mostly asking the name of the hotel to avoid the deceased’s ghost.

SOURCE: Chiang Mai News

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Bangkok

Newborn baby dumped beside garbage bins

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Newborn baby dumped beside garbage bins | The Thaiger

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A newborn baby has been found abandoned near rubbish bins in Chon Buri province, south-east of Bangkok, earlier today.

18 year old city sanitation worker, Anucha Boonkhai, has told police that he had loaded garbage from all the bins on Soi 4 of Ban Kao village in Tambon Ban Kao, Muang district, when he spotted a pile of towels. He checked and found a baby boy, whose umbilical cord was still attached still smudged with blood, wrapped in one of the towels.

The baby was alive but had been bitten by mosquitoes and insects so he called an emergency unit of a hospital and then informed police.

Police are now checking footage from security and CCTV cameras in the area to try to identify the mother or person who had dumped the newborn baby.

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