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Tourism Council of Thailand promises to raise standards of tourist safety

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Tourism Council of Thailand promises to raise standards of tourist safety | The Thaiger

By Chadamas Chinmaneevong, ttgasia.com

The Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT) says they are “joining hands with state agencies including the Department of Land Transport, Marine Department and Tourism Authority of Thailand to improve tourist safety standards nationwide and overturn perceptions of the country as a dangerous tourist destination.”

The project is a reaction to the many, many safety related incidents that occur, and are reported overseas, to tourists visiting Thailand.

The Tourism Council of Thailand says that countries like UK and China are expressing concerns about their citizens heading to Thailand for holidays.

ttgasia.com reports that the first round of new safety standards will be implemented for tourist buses this April. Apart from vehicle checks, bus drivers must be trained regarding tour services, have limited driving hours and drive responsibly.

TCT’s vice president Wasuchet Sophonsathien says that at least 1,000 tour buses out of 15,000 buses nationwide should meet the standards within this year. (Just doing the maths, that’s 14,000 buses nationwide that WON’T be checked this year?)

Wasuchet, who is also the president of the Thai Transportation Operators Association, added that certified tour buses would also receive a safety standard logo. Government bodies like the TAT, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, and Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau, will promote the logo and set an example by using these certified buses.

The logo will be publicised through Chinese government websites as well, he noted.

In addition, TCT members in popular beach destinations including Pattaya, Phuket and Krabi have been working closely with the Thai Marine Department and local tour operators to look for illegal tour boats and unlicensed captains since the Phuket boat tragedy last July.

Wasuchet further revealed TCT will be launching tour boat standards by the end of this year. Plans for the next two years include getting tour boat operators to install GPS devices and providing GPS tracking wristbands to their passengers.

“This will help to upgrade Thai tourism standards concretely, and is the most important project of the council this year,” said TCT president Chairat Triratanajarasporn.

“Apart from improving land and marine transportation standards, TCT will also focus on other aspects of tourism safety such as food, accommodation, tour guides and cybersecurity. It will also set up a technology subcommittee to help tourism operators keep up to date with the latest technology.”

Tourism Council of Thailand promises to raise standards of tourist safety | News by The Thaiger



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800 million baht of drugs seized in three recent busts

The Thaiger & The Nation

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800 million baht of drugs seized in three recent busts | The Thaiger

by Jessada Chantharak

Police have seized a total of eight million methamphetamine pills, 2,070 grams of crystal methamphetamine and 1,546 grams of cocaine with an estimated street value of 800 million baht from three recent drug busts.

Four suspects were arrested and a fifth was killed during arrest.

The report from the national police deputy commissioner Pol General Chalermkiat Srivorakan.

In the first case, police arrested three hill tribe men aged between 23-27

27 year old Boonsong Wusueku was killed in a gunfight with police during the arrests.

Eight million meth pills, three pick-up trucks, a pistol and five cell phones were seized in the March 16 bust in Chiang Rai province.

The three men had been charged with having illicit drugs in their possession with intent to sell.

In the second case police and customs officials arrested 47 year old Bamba Adama, from Ivory Coast, who allegedly smuggled 1,546 grams of cocaine in his stomach at the Suvarnabhumi Airport.

He has been charged with smuggling cocaine into Thailand and possessing cocaine with intent to sell.

In the third case, a 28 year old Thai man, Anucha Krinwongsa from Nan, was arrested on March 19 with 2,070 grams of crystal methamphetamine at Suvarnabhumi Airport.

His arrests followed a tip-off a day earlier about a batch of drugs to be smuggled out of the country via the airport.

Anucha was apprehended after officers found the “ice” hidden in his luggage. He was charged with drug possession with intent to sell and attempting to smuggle drugs out of the country.

800 million baht of drugs seized in three recent busts | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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Election

Foreign Affairs denies attempts to extradite Thaksin from Hong Kong

The Thaiger

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Foreign Affairs denies attempts to extradite Thaksin from Hong Kong | The Thaiger

PHOTO: The happy couple and ‘dad’, in HK for tomorrow’s wedding

The director of the foreign affairs department of the public prosecutor’s office in Thailand says media reports that the Thai officials are trying to extradite former PM and fugitive Thaksin Shinawatra in Hong Kong, are wrong.

Daily News reports that Chatchachom Akkhapin says there was no truth in stories of efforts to extradite Thaksin from Hong Kong.

Thaksin is in Hong Kong from tomorrow (Friday) to attend the wedding of his youngest daughter Paetongtarn “Ing” Shinawatra to a commercial pilot.

Chatchachom says no contact had been made with Hong Kong authorities but he concedes that, even  though Thailand and Hong Kong have no formal extradition treaty, it would still be possible to request the return of a wanted fugitive if the evidence presented was sufficient.

In the first instance he says they would need to ascertain the address of Thaksin in Hong Kong and the public prosecutor’s office don’t know where Thaksin is staying.

The denial follows a post on “Thaksinlive” on Instagram earlier this week that indicated Thaksin would be in Hong Kong for “Ing’s” wedding on March 22.

Read The Thaiger’s report, that the Department has now denied, HERE.

SOURCE: Daily News

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Thungyai wildlife chief could appeal for a heavier penalty for Premchai

The Thaiger

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Thungyai wildlife chief could appeal for a heavier penalty for Premchai | The Thaiger

Thungyai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary chief Wichien Chinnawong, hailed as a hero for standing up to Premchai and taking his case to court, says, while he respects the verdict of the Thong Pha Phume provincial court on Italian-Thai Development boss Premchai Karnasuta, he believes the billionaire deserved a heavier penalty.

A panel discussion organised by the Seub Nakhasathien Foundation and environment reporters’ club yesterday heard from the Wildlife Sanctuary chief in his first extended comments following the Wednesday verdict.

Mr. Wichien said he spoke to his immediate superior, Mr. Chaiwat Limlikitaksorn, director of the 10th Conservation Area Management Office, and says they both agreed that the verdicts and/or punishments should be appealed.

However, they say they want to study the full text of the court’s verdict first.

Thai PBS reports that the wildlife sanctuary chief, who arrested Premchai and his party, said that all big cats in Thailand’s wilderness have tremendous ecological value, much more than the two million baht compensation demanded by the court.

Premchai was found guilty of carrying weapons in public without a permit, being in possession of a grey pheasant carcass and abetting others in illegal hunting.  He was acquitted of the charges of illegal hunting and of being in possession of a panther carcass.

Mr. Kosonwat Inthuchanyong, deputy spokesman of the Office of the Attorney-General, said the public prosecutor in charge of the case would have to study the full text of the court’s verdict before deciding whether to appeal.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

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