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Police investigating possible Thai links to Rohingya boatpeople marooned on Rawi Island

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Police investigating possible Thai links to Rohingya boatpeople marooned on Rawi Island | The Thaiger
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PHOTO: Thai PBS

65 Rohingya were discovered yesterday on Koh Rawi off the coast of Satun province, north-west of Malaysia’s Langkawi island, after their boat’s engine broke down on its way, presumably to Malaysia. One Thai national was identified amongst the group. Authorities are questioning the man into possible involvement in human trafficking.

The boat was found 500 metres away from the Tarutao national park office. Park officers initially offered food and drinking water to the 65 people. Among them 31 men, 30 women and 4 children.

Back in May 2015, a boat carrying 300 Rohingya was found near Koh Sarai off Satun province which led to a suppression campaign against the human trafficking of Rohingya by alleged Thai traffickers.

Authorities say the boat was damaged when it tried to land at the beach and had to be towed to Langu for repairs. A meeting was convened yesterday by local governor Jaruwat Kliangkao to discuss the next steps with the handling of the boat people.

The Rohingya will most likely be deported back to Myanmar.

Police investigating possible Thai links to Rohingya boatpeople marooned on Rawi Island | News by The ThaigerPolice investigating possible Thai links to Rohingya boatpeople marooned on Rawi Island | News by The ThaigerPolice investigating possible Thai links to Rohingya boatpeople marooned on Rawi Island | News by The Thaiger

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Visa

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

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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?

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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

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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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