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Vale Chef Ronnie

Tim Newton

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Filipino celebrity chef Ronnie Macuja, who opened ultra chic VSet Restaurant and Bar at Chalong Pier showcasing his modern Mediterranean/Asian cuisine, as well as Higher Restaurant at Seduction nightclub in Patong, and more recently at Café Del Mar, died suddenly in the early hours of Friday morning.

Ronnie’s chef career started at the Manila Hilton. They offered him a two year apprenticeship program followed by exams which he easily passed. He became a part of a team who won top prizes in culinary competitions against teams from other hotels. It was no surprise that we was then offered the post of a Commis Chef at the Hyatt Regency in Auckland. After that we worked as Chef de Cuisine at one of Auckland’s top restaurants. He then moved to Phuket and was invited to take part in Thailand’s Iron Chef TV program in 2012.

Known on the island as a true gentleman with incredible talent in the kitchen, as well as an infectious laugh, he was also very charitable, involved in Six of the Best at Paresa and supporting young chef initiatives like QSI Masterchef kids.

He will be missed by all who knew him.

- Tim Newton

Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2012. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for nearly 40 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program, presented 3,200 radio news bulletins in Thailand alone, hosted 360 daily TV news programs, produced 1,800 videos, TV commercials and documentaries and now produces digital media for The Thaiger - Website, Radio, TV, Instagram and Facebook.

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Chiang Rai

British divers reveal more details – VIDEO interview John Volanthen

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Whilst the Mu Pa 13 team, along with some Thai Navy Seals, doctors and psychiatrists have participated in a group interview in Chiang Rai tonight, some of the British divers have related their stories to the British press.

Three of the British divers involved in the extraordinary rescue of 12 boys and their football coach who were trapped inside the flooded Tham Luang cave have revealed more details about the dangerous operation.

Richard Stanton who was one of the first divers to find the boys revealed how he first smelt the boys, adding “then they obviously heard us talking, and we saw our lights, and then they started coming down this slope one by one. They were kind of on this ramp around the corner,” he said.

“It was incredible. I wasn’t convinced that they were all going to be OK. But they were all OK,” he added.

Meanwhile, diver Jason Mallinson played down praise of the divers being heroes.

“We just did what we’re… not trained to do, but what we’ve experienced over the last 25 years – we’re happy that we can use that skill set to go and help people, he said.

Meanwhile, in his only solo interview, British diver John Volanthen, who was the other diver along with Richard Stanton to find the group told the BBC just how “remarkable” the rescue was.

SOURCE: The Nation, BBC

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Phuket

Thais, Chinese and Burmese arrested over Phuket’s 13 million baht ‘call centre’ gang

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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“Police seized 8 laptops, 4 wi-fi routers, 150 mobile phones, 4 iPad tablets, one money counting machine, 135 credit cards, 6 ATM cards, 52 SIM cards, 13,568,570 baht in cash, 3,800 yuan cash and one new Mercedes Benz CLA 200.”

Representatives of the Tourist Police Bureau, based in Bangkok, have arrested 2 Thais, 22 Chinese and 1 Burmese who were allegedly working for a call-centre scam gang that has stolen some 13 million baht to date. The arrests happened in Patong today.

The arrests come after the Tourist Police were notified by Jilin Police in China that Jilin City has been badly affected by call centre gangs. Some victims have committed suicide over losses from gangs, some of them based in Patong, Phuket.  Jilin Police have worked with Thai Tourist Police to crack down on the call centre gangs in Thailand.

Local Tourist Police Bureau have conducted an investigation and found that many Chinese have been involved in the gangs and are the heading up the setting up of scams in Thailand.

A team of Tourist Police Bureau, led by Deputy Commander of the Tourist Police Bureau, Maj Gen Surachete Hakparn, Jilin Police from China, the Phuket Tourist Police and Patong Tourist Police, totaling 80 officers, raided six targeted locations in Patong today.

2 Thais, 22 Chinese and 1 Burmese were found to be involved with the local call centre gang.

5 Chinese and the 1 Burmese have also been arrested for over-staying their visas.

Police seized 8 laptops, 4 wi-fi routers, 150 mobile phones, 4 iPad tablets, one money counting machine, 135 credit cards, 6 ATM cards, 52 SIM cards, 13,568,570 baht in cash, 3,800 yuan cash and one new Mercedes Benz CLA 200.

Maj Gen Surachet says, “This is a large and sophisticated ‘call centre’ gang. We have had good international co-operation, especially with our Chinese counterparts. We are continuing to crack down on other call center gangs. ”

 

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Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai: 26 injured in tour bus accident

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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File Photo

Thai PBS is reporting that 25 French tourists plus one Thai guide have been injured after a tour bus overturned on a secondary road in Mae Lao district of Chiang Rai province yesterday (Tuesday). The road conditions were reported to be ‘poor’ at the time.

Emergency responders report that most of the tourists sustained bruises and were discharged after given first-aid treatment at Mae Lao district hospital. 4-5 of them were in a serious condition

The accident took place in Ban Huey Sarn Yao in Tambon Dong Mada, Mae Lao district as the tour bus was travelling from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai.

Natthapol Klinchuen, the tour bus driver, who escaped unhurt, waited for the police at the scene of the accident.  He reportedly told the police that he lost control of the bus when it arrived at a curve which was slippery due to rainfall.

The bus then smashed into a kilometre marker and then into roadside bushes before it overturned, said the driver, adding that he did not accelerate the speed nor was there any car trying to overtake his bus which might cause the accident.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Thai PBS

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