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Insurgents murder teacher and use his vehicle as a car bomb

The Thaiger & The Nation

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by Somchai Samart & Supitcha Rattana

A car bomb explosion in Songkhla’s Thepa district yesterday has shocked locals after insurgents are suspected of killing a 62 year old school teacher and stealing his pickup to be used in the the attack.

Security officials collecting evidence at the scene of the explosion checked the totally destroyed vehicle and found that it belonged to a retired teacher. The teacher was identified as Amata Samotantawee.

When officials visited his house no one answered the door. So they broke in to find Amata in the toilet, hanged from his neck. He was blindfolded, gagged and his hands were tied.

At this stage police believe the attackers killed Amata, stole his pickup and packed it with explosives.

Amata’s relatives told police that they had talked to him the previous night, leading police to conclude that the murder happened sometime early Tuesday.

Yesterday’s blast on a road in Tambon Tamuang wounded two police officers: Pol Colonel Sineenart Kongput, who suffered injuries to the chest and Pol Lieutenant Somnuk Kaewmun, who had a cut that required 10 stitches.

Security and bomb squad officials rushed to the scene and found Amata’s Isuzu pickup in a mangled mess from the impact of the explosion. Evidence at the scene led officials to believe that the attackers hid the explosives inside the car and triggered them with a timer.

Pol Maj-General Pairoj Thamtam, a Songkhla commander, said his unit was tipped off about possible attacks in the area. He believed that the target of yesterday’s attack was a Songkhla task force, as the attack spot was on a road that was close to the officials’ accommodation.

In a similar instance, Southern militants in 2017 murdered a merchant from Yala province after luring him with a promise of business before stealing his pickup and using it to bomb a Big C department store. In August 2016, insurgents killed a mother and her young daughter to lay hands on their motorcycle and use it to launch an attack in October.

At this stage Pairoj has identified the militants behind the explosion as allied with Bukorie Lumsoh, who has been active in the area.

“Now the officers are putting pressure on his father in order to reach him,” he said.

Meanwhile, Colonel Pramote Prom-in, the spokesman of the Internal Security Operations Command Region 4, says the attackers had placed improvised explosive devices in two 15 kilogram cylinders together with cut iron bars that would act as shrapnel.

The vehicle was believed to have been placed at the site before sunrise, according to investigators.

Another bomb exploded on Monday morning. Read about that incident in Pattani HERE.

Insurgents murder teacher and use his vehicle as a car bomb | News by The ThaigerInsurgents murder teacher and use his vehicle as a car bomb | News by The ThaigerInsurgents murder teacher and use his vehicle as a car bomb | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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Visa

100+ foreigners ripped off in education visa scam on Koh Pha Ngan

The Thaiger

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100+ foreigners ripped off in education visa scam on Koh Pha Ngan | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Manager Online

A language school in Koh Pha Ngan has ripped off more than 100 tourists claiming that they were able to issue them with a 1 year education visa.

A group of the victims have made an official report with the local police over the scam. The tourists were from the US, UK, Germany, France and Russia. Manager Online report that more than 100 people had been allegedly conned by the school in the Sri Thanu area of the island. The report explained that the people had originally heard about the school being able to get them a 1 year education visa from teachers working there.

The group have now made an official report, sending documentation to Koh Phangan district chief Poonsak Sophonpathumrak and the island’s chief of police Pol Col Phisit Wisetwong and Immigration police.

They allege that they had been asked for 40,000 baht each for courses at the school on the understanding that the school would issue visas for them, changing their Non-B into an ED-Visa, as a way of extending their time in Thailand.

They told police that they had put down a 50% down payment tot eh school. Their visas were promised five weeks ago. But when no paperwork turned up they headed to the mainland Surat Thani immigration office where they were told it wasn’t possible to change a Non-B into an education (ED) visa. When they confronted the school they were told there would be no refunds.

This isn’t the only case of institutions and bogus visa agents taking advantage of the current confusion on visa amnesties and extensions. Immigration police are sorting through a range of similar cases.

Police assure the victims that they are investigation the case.

SOURCE: Manager | Thai Visa

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Tourism

Ang Thong National Park – Thailand’s most beautiful islands?

The Thaiger

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Ang Thong National Park – Thailand’s most beautiful islands? | The Thaiger

Today Manit takes you to Thailand’s second-largest island Koh Samui and then on to the stunning Ang Thong National Marine Park off the coast of Surat Thani in the Gulf of Thailand to seek the answer to the question… are the Ang Thong National Marine Park islands Thailand’s most beautiful.

Then we will explore a magnificent turquoise lagoon, enjoy paddling a kayak in Koh Sam Sao, a beach fire show at night and a few adventures along the way. The Thaiger is teaming up with Manit Monsur so you can see more of Thailand and share his talent and adventures.

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Tourism

Bangkok Airways add 3 new local routes to their schedule

The Thaiger

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Bangkok Airways add 3 new local routes to their schedule | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Bangkok Airways' ATR72, servicing the re-introduced routes

Some domestic routes are being added as local routes continue to expand. This time Bangkok Airways has announced it’s resuming its Samui-Phuket, Phuket-Hat Yai and Phuket-Pattaya/Rayong (U-Tapao) flights.

The first additions to the schedule will be the Phuket-Samui flights resuming this Sunday, October 25, and the Phuket-Pattaya flights start again next Tuesday, October 27. The Phuket-Samui flights will be operating on Sundays and Wednesdays only on the airlines’ ATR72 turbo prop regional planes, same as before.

A casual search on the Bangkok Airways website, for a return flight from Phuket to Samui on November 1, then back to Phuket on November 8 indicates the cheapest fare (promo) is 2,430 baht. Coming back, the cheapest fare we found, again labelled ‘promo’, was 2,630 baht. Bangkok Airways operate as a “full service” airline and don’t compete with the country’s discount airlines. But they operate these three routes exclusively – like it or leave it.

Bangkok Airways say that the flights will be operated “with the highest preventive measures and standards”. Around the country the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand have eased a few of the onboard restrictions, including the start of catering services which were originally banned under the initial flight rules when domestic routes started flying again at the start of July.

The daily direct services between Phuket and Hat Yai are also being operated on the ATR72 aircraft. The flight to Ha Yai leaves Phuket at 8.40am and arrives at Hat Yai at 9:.45am. The return flights leave Hat Yai back to Phuket at 10.25am each day. The route was very popular for the airline before the ‘disruption’ when airlines had their fleets grounded in April.

The service between Phuket and U-Tapao, linking the party city with the party island, will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, again with the ATR72. Phuket to U-Tapao will leave at 12.10pm and then from U-Tapao to Phuket at 4pm on the three days. U-Tapao is about a 50 minute drive from Pattaya and the airport also serves the greater Rayong area.

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