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Australian travel media coming to BKK for annual conference

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Thailand is hosting the AGM of the Australian Society of Travel Writers From August 16-19 , 2018. The ASTW has already held its AGM twice in Thailand (1999 and 2009).

A total of 113 ASTW members have registered, to date, including writers, photographers, editors, bloggers, influencers, public relations officers, and representatives of various hotel groups and national tourism boards.

The event is hosted by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) with the support of Thai Airways and Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort. The ASTW meeting is designed to generate positive publicity for Thailand across Australia’s media channels.

Australia is described by the TAT as a small-population, medium-haul source market with a high average length of stay (13.78 days in 2016). In 2017, Thailand received 65 billion Baht in tourism revenue from the Australian market. The TAT says that, because Australia is not a high-volume market, TAT concentrates its promotions at specific niche markets; such as, female travellers and millennials, both classified as middle-class with high purchasing power.

In line with the its current branding, ‘Open to the New Shades’, the TAT say they will enhance awareness of local experiences during the meeting.

Australian travel media coming to BKK for annual conference | News by Thaiger

Delegates will be involved in tours that will cover several secondary cities and local communities as part of the policy to give more marketing exposure to the emerging provincial destinations. Apart from Bangkok, the tours will cover Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phrae and Nan, Kanchanaburi, Samut Songkhram, Trat, Phang Nga, and Krabi.

Delegates on the Kanchanaburi tour will travel the infamous Death Railway from the River Kwai Bridge, visit Hellfire Pass, visit an elephant sanctuary and go on a firefly night cruise in Samut Songkhram, while those on the Krabi tour will visit the charming Muslim enclave of Ko Klang, learn to fish with the locals, and go island-hopping.

In Trat, an unknown gem in the Gulf of Thailand near the Cambodian border, delegates will learn how to make Ya Na crackers, weave ‘Ngop’ (farmer’s hats) with palm leaves, and cruise to small islands within the Mu Ko Chang National Park. While in Chiang Rai, delegates will visit the White Temple to marvel at its wild murals and travel through beautiful mountain scenery in Doi Mae Salong.

Over many years, TAT has extended significant support to Australian media representatives, members of the Society and individual members in organising fam trips, running destination marketing, advertising and promotional campaigns and regularly attending ASTW events.

Australian travel media coming to BKK for annual conference | News by Thaiger

SOURCE: TAT

 

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Crime

Man arrested for allegedly exchanging fake US bills for 1.2 million baht

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A man was arrested in Bangkok for allegedly exchanging counterfeit foreign bank notes at a currency exchange kiosk, taking off with 1.2 million baht.

Police say Thanat Amatawimut, a 42 year old building contractor, exchanged 360 fake $100 USD bills for 1.2 million baht at a kiosk in Bangkok back in 2019. The staff accepted the cash, but later realised the bills were fake and attempted to contact Thanat. A complaint was later filed at the Lumpini police station. The Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant last October.

Thanat was arrested in Bangkok’s Chatuchak district yesterday. He denied the charges.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Bangkok Covid clusters prompt inoculation goal of 5 million by end of July

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As 28 new Covid-19 clusters hit Thailand’s capital of Bangkok, The Public Health Ministry says it is planning to vaccinate 5 million people by the end of July. The capital yesterday saw the highest number of daily new infections at 1,843 out of the nationwide high of 9,635. The unusually high amount of infections comes after 12 prisons in Thailand were found to be infected with Covid, accounting for 6,853 of the daily new infections.

Taweesilp Visanuyothin, the spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, says the CCSA is monitoring the clusters in Bangkok, which are spread out over 19 districts. The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has separated the clusters into 4 categories which are comprised of local transmission rates and daily new infections.

The district level clusters include:

Din Daeng

Watthana

Klong Toey

Laksi

Lat Phrao

Ratchathewi

Phra Nakhon

Pomprap Sattruphai

Suan Luang

Pathumwan

Sathon

Samphanthawong

Chatuchak

Bang Rak

Prawet

Wang Thonglang

Ramkhamhaeng

Bangkok Noi

Huai Khwang

Laksi, Din Daeng, and Pomprap Sattruphai districts saw the most amount of clusters as a construction worker camp saw 885 infections. Authorities say there were 11 subcontractors working at the site, with workers being spread out across 8 camps nearby. 6 camps featuring 6,000 residents were told to take Covid precautions, as the entire construction site has been sealed off.

Opas Karnkawinpong, the director-general of the Department of Disease Control, says the DDC will set aside enough vaccines for the BMA to make sure that 70% of the capital’s residents were vaccinated by the end of July. Opas says as soon as AstraZeneca vaccines arrive next month, the mass vaccination drive will start. He says the blueprint for the drive has already been approved by Bangkok’s Covid-19 coordination committee that was set in place by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha.

Today, Thailand is reporting 2,473 new infections and 35 Covid-related deaths. The number of active cases continues to rise. Yesterday the state recorded 35,055 people still under care in hospitals or field hospitals. Most of these people remain asymptomatic.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Thailand

UPDATE: 2 Americans and a Thai arrested over Bangkok kidnap attempt, Thai policeman involved | VIDEO

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Screenshot: THAICRIME

UPDATE:

Following up from the earlier story involving 2 Americans, a Thai, a Taiwanese businessman, and an Israeli security goon, we have the following update (original story below)…

Police have examined CCTV from the restaurant in Thong Lor where the Taiwanese businessman was kidnapped. It’s also been revealed that a “senior Thai policeman” was involved in the alleged abduction case. The abduction took place on March 28.

The meeting had been called to “resolve” some disagreements over a large purchase of rubber gloves that had gone wrong.

After arriving at a meeting at the L’Oliva restaurant in Sukhumvit Soi 26, Mr. Wen Yu Chung was manhandled, put in a headlock and dragged out of the premises. Daily News reports that a “lieutenant colonel” ranked Thai policeman was also captured on the CCTV supervising the events as they happened inside the restaurant. He is reported as being a former traffic policeman.

Mr. Chung was then held to ransom at the condo NT Court. Attempts were made to contact Mr Chung’s family and business associates to extract a ransom – allegedly 1 and 2 million baht – but they refused to pay.

The 3 men have been identified as 41 year old Jeremy Hughes Manchester, 52 year old Louis William Ziskin, both Americans, and Ekbodin Prasitnarit, Thai.

Mr Louis Ziskin has a somewhat chequered history with his story catalogued on Wikipedia. Summarised…

Ziskin was taken into custody in December 7, 2000 and charged over transactions from November 1999 to December 22, 1999. Ziskin was convicted of smuggling 700 pounds of ecstasy into Southern California via FedEx and other various shipping companies, the largest-ever US government seizure of the drug. There was another indictment a year later.

Following his incarceration, Ziskin lost a double jeopardy appeal for the second indictment. The US government settled all claims against Ziskin for a 188 month sentence and a US$9 million fine.

Daily News also reported a man ‘Mike’ who allegedly invited the policeman to be involved in the incident. Earlier this man was described as “Mr. Michael Greenberg, an Israeli operating a detective company”.

Here’s video showing the arrest of Mr. Ziskin…

EARLIER STORY:

Thai police have arrested 2 American citizens and a Thai for the alleged kidnap of a Taiwanese businessman for ransom. 5 other arrest warrants are also waiting to be executed over the incident. Police allege a “business conflict” over the purchase of plastic ‘nitrile’ gloves as the motive.

The 3 men have been identified as 41 year old Jeremy Hughes Manchester, 52 year old Louis William Ziskin, both Americans, and Ekbodin Prasitnarit, Thai. All 3 have denied the charges including illegal assembly, attempted murder, abduction for ransom and extortion. They were formally charged at the Thong Lor police.

According to Bangkok Post, in late 2020 Mr Ziskin appointed the Collection Company to negotiate the purchase of a large quantity of plastic gloves with the Paddy The Room Trading Company.

Police allege that there was an ongoing conflict between the two sides which was responsible for Mr Ziskin accumulating 93 million baht in damages.. So, according to police, Mr Ziskin hired Mr. Michael Greenberg, an Israeli operating a detective company in Thailand to negotiate and retrieve the losses.

Police allege that Mr Greenberg hired Thai and foreign collaborators to plan an abduction as leverage in the retrieval of their losses. They contacted a 60 year old Taiwanese man from the Collection Company in Thailand to procure a supply of rubber gloves from Paddy The Room Trading Company.

They made an appointment to meet Wen Yu Chung at a restaurant in Bangkok’s in Bangkok’s Tong Lor are off Sukhumvit Road on March 28. Police allege that Mr Greenberg and hired associates arrived, handcuffed the Taiwanese businessman and then took him to the NT Place, 200 metres further south down the same Soi, Sukhumvit 36.

They then called Mr Chung’s boss demanding US$2 million, and then called the man’s family demanding another US$1 million. Both contacted police and did nothing to accede to the demands for ransom..

The abductors then headed to a restaurant in Soi 24, with Mr. Chung, eventually letting him go. The Taiwanese man went, first to hospital, then to Thong Lor police station to relate his story. Eventually 8 arrest warrants were issued over the alleged abduction. Soon after police arrested Mr Manchester, Mr Ziskin and Mr Ekbodin.

We’ll continue to follow this story.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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