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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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Phuket

Motorcyclist crushed by truck in Thalang

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Motorcyclist crushed by truck in Thalang | The Thaiger

A motorbike passenger has died following an incident with a truck in Thalang this morning.

Thalang Police were notified of the accident on Thepkasattri Road southbound in Mueang Mai, Thalang.

Police and rescue workers arrived to find the body of a woman, identified by police as Boonnam Thepnui from Pattalung.  Her body was taken to the Thalang Hospital.

A motorbike on the road and a truck waiting were found at the scene.

Thalang Police report that the truck, whose driver was Nikorn Pakpoe from Surat Thani, was heading from Thalang towards Phuket Town. The motorbike, whose driver was Kamron Tampueak from Krabi with Ms Boonnam, were heading from the same way. Kamron sustained only minor injuries in the incident.

The truck slightly tapped the motorbike and the motorbike fell down on the road. Ms Boonnam was crushed under the truck and died at the scene.

Police are further investigating the incident.

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South

If your motorbike is stolen, just wait a few days

The Thaiger & The Nation

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If your motorbike is stolen, just wait a few days | The Thaiger

Not only did he get his motorbike back, but he should go out and buy a lottery ticket. What are the chances…?

The owner of a stolen motorcycle got his transport back three days later after a man ran out of petrol just in front of him in Songkhla’s Muang district on Tuesday.

The owner of the motorcycle, identified only as Ken, and his friends briefly assaulted and captured the motorcyclist, identified only as 35 year old Piak, before handing over him to police.

But Piak was later released without charges after he claimed that he had borrowed the motorcycle from a friend. Police said they would later summon Piak’s friend for questioning.

Ken said his motorcycle was stolen from in front of his house in Songkhla’s Singha Nakhon district. He said he has been searching for it without success.

But he went to visit a friend in tambon Pawong in Songkhla’s Muang district and while he and several friends were eating there, Piak stopped in front of the house as the petrol ran out.

When Ken and friends came out to check whether Piak needed any help, Ken recognised his bike and captured the man.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Phuket

Phuket beach back to normal after oil-spill clean-up

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Phuket beach back to normal after oil-spill clean-up | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: The Phuket PR Office

A beach in Ao Makham is almost back to normal following a big cleanup was launched to clear a black oil spill that had polluted 300 metres of shoreline yesterday.

The oil spill was located along a beach at Ao Makham in Wichit over the weekend. It is believed to be from a big ship.

Read more about the discovery and clean-up HERE.

Navy officers along with hotel staff in the area were helping to clean the beach and remove oil-stained sand.  Beachgoers and tourists were still enjoying the beach during the clean-up operations, despite a strong smell coming from the oil.

The Phuket PR Office is reporting that the Phuket Marine Office has already filed a report to police in order to identify suspects who may have released the oil. They say they will face full legal action when identified as this oil affects the marine environment and tourism.

More efforts on fishing and tour boats management are also being considered in order to prevent any waste or oil releasing into the sea.

Phuket beach back to normal after oil-spill clean-up | News by The Thaiger

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