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Around 9,000 people to face charges for allegedly defrauding travel subsidy scheme

Caitlin Ashworth

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Around 9,000 people to face charges for allegedly defrauding travel subsidy scheme | The Thaiger
PHOTO: MGR Online

Around 9,000 people will face criminal charges for allegedly defrauding the “We Travel Together” subsidy scheme which was launched to stimulate the economy and to help hotels and restaurants that were struggling after the lack of travel due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The national police chief Suwat Jangyodsuk says the police plan to prosecute around 9,000 people for conspiring with hotel operators and shop owners to cheat the government subsidy scheme. The scheme, launched by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, covered 40% of room rates and issued 600 baht and 900 baht food vouchers for food and travel.

Lower rates on rooms were intended to draw in more travellers, but a number of hoteliers allegedly raised their prices to get more subsidies. Some even created fake hotel bookings. Last month, TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn filed a complaint against 312 hotels and 202 shops for allegedly cheating the scheme, saying legal action needed to be taken before the launching the second phase of the scheme.

Yesterday, police arrested 50 people in raids in Chiayaphum and Phuket for allegedly cheating the scheme. Police say some suspects faked shopping receipts and inflated room rates.

Natchaya Resort in Chaiyaphum was raided by police after it made excessive room reservations and subsidy claims for unusually high spending at local shops.

Deputy commander for the Crime Suppression Division, Anek Taosupap, says Natchaya Resort has only 10 rooms, but since July, records show 9,263 people had checked in for a total of 92,028 room reservations. He says that amounts to 1,000 to 3,000 fake room reservations per day.

Police say the losses linked to the resort amount to around 14 million baht and the embezzlements linked to 101 local shops add up to 87 million baht.

Police arrested the hotel owner and 22 shop owners as well as people who allegedly controlled the beneficiaries’ accounts and people who allegedly opened bank accounts to embezzle money. Another person who recorded room reservations for the hotel was also arrested.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand

Restaurants to serve alcohol again, other restrictions to be eased

Caitlin Ashworth

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Restaurants to serve alcohol again, other restrictions to be eased | The Thaiger
Stock photo by Bence Boros for UnSplash

Go out and grab a beer this weekend… but at a restaurant. Bars in “red zones” are still closed. Restaurants will be able to go back to serving alcohol and can offer dine-in services until 11pm. The restrictions on restaurants, put in place to limit gathering to potentially prevent the spread of Covid-19, are being eased in all provinces except for Samut Sakhon, the epicentre of the new wave of infections. The ease on restrictions are set to be approved by a panel chaired by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha tomorrow.

While restaurants will be able to serve alcohol and host music performances, dancing is prohibited in provinces classified as “red zones” and “orange zones.” Restaurants must arrange place tables and chairs to comply with social distancing guidelines.

Bars, pubs and karaoke venues in “red zones,” which include Bangkok, Samut Prakan, Nonthaburi and Pathum Thani, must remain closed.

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration’s subcommittee on disease control restrictions agreed to adjust the measures in all provinces except Samut Sakhon where Covid-19 cases are still on the rise and health officials are rolling out a mass testing campaign.

Boxing matches will be allowed in “orange” and “red” zones, but without spectators. Meetings and seminars will be allowed, but with a limit of 100 attendees in “orange” and “red” zones. “Yellow” and “green” zones can have up to 300 attendees at conferences and boxing matches will be allowed to have limited spectators.

Public schools in Thailand, with the exception of Samut Sakhon, are allowed to reopen.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Ask The Thais | Road deaths, dating foreigners, and is ‘farang’ racist?

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Ask The Thais | Road deaths, dating foreigners, and is ‘farang’ racist? | The Thaiger

Ask The Thais” is a new segment on The Thaiger where we ask some of our Thai staff to explain some of the unusual and sometimes inexplicable little nuances of Thai culture. You have a question?

Send it in and we’ll get our MUCH BETTER LOOKING Thai staff to explain, from a Thai youth perspective, some of their culture and what they really think. Send us your questions below.

YouTube link to the Australian Transport Accident Commission video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2mf8DtWWd8

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