Savika “Pinky” Chaiyadej, a famous actress, was released on bail for 5 million baht yesterday after being detained for over three months inside Central Women’s Correctional Institution in Bangkok. Thailand’s Criminal Court granted bail to Pinky on the condition that she does not leave the country, must inform the court within seven days if she changes her address, and must report to the court every month.Pinky and 19 other defendants still face trial on fraud charges for their alleged involvement in a huge Forex 3D “Ponzi” scam that defrauded over 14,000 victims of almost 2 billion baht. Pinky didn’t give an interview but looked happy as she exited the prison’s gates in her lawyer’s white Toyota Fortuner at around 7.15pm, holding up a heart, a wave, and a wai for the cameras. Famous actress “Pinky” faces up to 20 years in prison for fraud for her involvement in a Forex-3D “Ponzi” scam that defrauded over 14,000 victims. Pinky, her mother, and her brother are still detained as they await trial. Committing fraud carries up to five years imprisonment for each victim in Thailand, causing speculation in Thai media that Pinky could face a 50,000-year prison sentence if she is found guilty of defrauding say, 10,000 victims. However, Thai law stipulates that fraudsters can be imprisoned for a maximum of 20 years in Thailand, no matter the number of victims. Pinky, her mother, and her brother are accused of committing fraud as well as other charges of violating the Computer Crimes Act (2007). All three were denied bail.
South Thailand’s holiday hotspot islands are reeling in tourists once again. The islands of Koh Samui, Koh Tao, and Koh Pha Ngan have seen 2.3 million tourists arrive on their shores in the past 10 months, according to the director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)’s office for the islands. This has generated over 40 billion baht in revenue. The islands off the Surat Thani coast are set for a 60% rise in arrivals compared to the middle of the year. Meanwhile, Maya Bay, a major natural attraction in Krabi, has seen an average of 4,100 visitors a day, according to numbers from Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park. The park’s chief called the numbers a “positive sign,” since the bay had been closed for environmental restoration from August to September. The park maintains strict rules for tourists, including no swimming in the sea, and only applying reef-safe sunscreen. Several of Thailand’s known vacation havens are seeing a comeback in tourism. This week, Thai immigration reported 934,164 tourists in Phuket from May 1 to November 27. Of those tourists, 914,746 are foreigners, and 19,418 are Thai. Phuket’s tourists can be seen flocking to the Phuket Walking Street Sunday Market, also well known as ‘Laad Yai.’ Russians made up Phuket’s largest foreign tourist demographic in November. Last month, Koh Larn island off Pattaya saw at least 20,000 tourists over one weekend. The cluster of young and old tourists swarmed to the island, flocking to its Ta Waen Beach. The tourists enjoyed traditional Thai massage, as well as food, umbrellas, and other services offered at the beach. Pattaya City has also built a viewpoint over the beach for tourists to take photos. Phang Nga’s millionth foreign tourist, a woman from Slovakia, was welcomed with gifts from tourism officials on November 6. Now, Phang Nga has set a goal of drawing up to 10 million tourists next year.
A missing teacher on Koh Samui island has been found alive, but her current condition is unknown. The Australian woman, Jessica Desai, 38, is of Indian descent and was reported missing since November 25. Desai is a teacher at Oonrak International School in Koh Samui. Her information was posted to numerous Koh Samui Facebook groups with hopes of finding her. In what may be a scary situation for all when someone goes missing, friends say she has been found. However, the reasons for her disappearance remain unclear and it is not known what happened to her when she went missing. Friends say she was last seen on a Friday after school but had been missing ever since. She reportedly had not contacted family or friends, while her social media accounts went dark.
Two Thai men and a Cambodian man were arrested in Cambodia after using Thailand’s Internet connection to broadcast the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar and operating a football betting syndicate. Under a Royal Thai Police (RTP)exercise to prevent the operation of football betting during the World Cup, officers across the country stumbled on criminals using an illegal link to watch the prestigious tournament near the Aranyaprathate district of the Isaan province of Sa Kaeo. The area is located near the Thai-Cambodian border town of Poipet, where many gambling houses operate. During the investigation, police discovered a Thai Internet connection in Poipet was being used to broadcast the World Cup on a football betting website. After being notified by RTP, the Cambodian police conducted a further investigation and raided a building in the town of Poipet where they found three suspects managing the gambling website. Internet transmission equipment was seized from the building as part of the evidence. The suspects were a Cambodian man named Jao Chain, and two Thai men, Theerawat Angsusorn and Sarawut Tangha. The three men were charged with smuggling an Internet connection from Thailand into the country without permission according to the Cambodian law. All of the suspects will be sentenced and punished in Cambodia. The penalty suggested by the charge has not been reported. Thai authorities did not report whether the Internet connection theft was related to the broadcasting signal security issue FIFA warned Thailand about. The investigation continues.
Tuhou the alleged Chinese drug tycoon and his gang of “businessmen” bought 50 houses in a luxury village in Bangkok – with cash, police say. The gangs’ constant partying drove all 16 remaining Thai households out of the village. Bangkok South Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant to search an entire village in Bangkok’s Soi Laselle area after finding evidence that Tuhao’s gangsters were selling drugs there. There are 66 luxury properties in the village valued between 35-60 million baht each. Since 2020, over 50 houses were bought by Chinese buyers through Thai agents, with cash. The remaining 16 houses were owned by Thais who gradually sold their properties and left the village. The Thai residents couldn’t stand the noisy, constant parties. One resident complained of a van that whipped around the village all night carrying “pretty girls” to service the gangsters. More and more details about Tuhao’s notorious criminal network are emerging since Chaiyanat “Tuhao” Kornchayanat – a Chinese man with a Thai ID – surrendered to the police last week. He turned himself in after the court put out a warrant for his arrest under suspicion of, “conspiring to commit drug offences and possessing and selling psychotropic substances.” Tuhao’s Thai wife, who is a police officer for the foreign affairs division, swears she knows nothing about her husband’s alleged drug trafficking. The police said they will photograph the village tomorrow and publicise the images. Earlier today, police seized 400 million baht in assets from Tuhao and his gang including three luxury homes, a penthouse and 10 luxury cars. Tuhao came into the spotlight when he was found to be connected to the illegal Jinling pub raided by police in Bangkok last month. Turns out Jinling was just the tip of the iceberg. The recent uptick in arrests of Chinese criminals in Thailand could have something to do with Chuwit’s calling on the Ministry of Justice to investigate Chinese gangs laundering money through “grey businesses” in the kingdom.