Thailand Video News | Thai-EU visa-free agreement in the works, Motorbike and Car taxi drivers brawl in Pattaya

In this video, Alex and Jay delve into a series of recent events capturing Thailand’s dynamic landscape. From diplomatic negotiations to local conflicts and legal crackdowns, Thailand is experiencing a whirlwind of headlines. Join us as we explore Thailand’s pursuit of a visa-free agreement with the EU, clashes between cabbies and their customers in Pattaya, a traffic accident involving massive vehicles resulting in nearly 30 injuries, charges faced by a French Rolex counterfeiter, the arrest of a loan shark for exorbitant interest rates, and the closure of an illegal beauty clinic operated by Russians in Koh Samui.

Thailand is pursuing a visa-free agreement with the EU

Thailand Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin’s recent announcement following discussions with French President Emmanuel Macron aims to boost Thailand’s tourism industry and strengthen international relationships. During a prestigious meeting at the Élysée Palace in Paris, the leaders discussed a visa-free agreement with the Schengen area, a strategic initiative supported by France and anticipated to be considered post the 2024 European Parliament elections. This agreement promises to significantly enhance tourism and business interactions between Thailand and the 27 Schengen nations, alongside fostering collaboration in military cooperation and the Thailand-European Union free trade negotiations expected to conclude within 18 months. The inclusion of Thai silk into the French fashion industry was also highlighted as a potential area of synergy. Both leaders expressed optimism for the visa-free initiative’s role in strengthening bilateral ties, augmenting tourism, and promoting economic growth, reflecting a significant step towards enhancing mutual understanding and broadening cooperation beyond tourism to include military and trade sectors.


Cabbies and their customers clash in Pattaya

A violent encounter involving motorbike taxi riders and a taxi driver near North Pattaya’s bus station was captured on video, showcasing the motorbike taxi riders, in their orange vests, attacking a taxi driver while his passengers watched in horror. The conflict escalated when the taxi driver armed himself with a golf club, and a motorbike taxi rider countered with a broomstick. The altercation was rooted in the motorbike taxi riders’ concerns over their livelihoods being threatened by the taxi. Participants Mag and Pop highlighted the tensions, with Mag accusing the taxi driver of poaching passengers and Pop admitting to using the broomstick in defense. Despite the clash, there were no injuries or police reports. Both sides called for respect and peaceful coexistence, emphasizing the impact of app-based services on their earnings, which average around 300 baht a day.


A traffic accident involving massive vehicles leaves nearly 30 injured

A severe accident on the Burapha Withi Expressway near Bang Pakong, Chon Buri, involving a bus and a truck, resulted in significant damage and numerous injuries. The collision, occurring between kilometres 45 and 46, trapped several passengers and injured nearly 30 individuals, including Chinese tourists, underscoring the incident’s impact on international visitors. Emergency services quickly responded to the scene to assist the injured and clear the wreckage, with the bus’s front end being notably crushed, highlighting the collision’s intensity. The cause of the accident is currently under investigation, with a focus on the welfare of the injured and the importance of public transportation safety measures to prevent similar incidents in the future.


A French Rolex counterfeiter is facing charges in Thailand

Julien V, a Frenchman known as “the prince of fake,” admitted to running an extensive counterfeit watch operation from Thailand, producing up to 10 fake Rolex watches daily and achieving a turnover of 3 million euros between 2019 and 2022. Watch expert Michel Vittini suggests the operation was even larger, with at least 50,000 counterfeit Rolexes sold, some nearly identical to real ones. Julien V prided himself on crafting high-quality replicas, drawing the attention of Swiss watchmakers who employed private investigators to expose the scheme. His operation involved discreet sales through WhatsApp and smuggling the watches into France via Germany. Born in 1994 in Nice, Julien V amassed significant wealth by 25, including 4 million euros in bitcoin, luxury cars, and properties in Thailand. Co-defendant Florian R detailed their business model, buying fake Rolexes for 200 euros and selling them for 400 euros. Facing trial and representing himself, Julien V maintains his innocence, with a verdict expected on March 20.


A loan shark has been arrested after charging exorbitant interest rates

In Hat Yai, a 62-year-old loan shark was arrested for providing covert loans at exorbitant interest rates of up to 120% per year, using land title deeds as collateral and threatening borrowers. The operation, led by Major General Warawut Watnakornbancha and other officers, resulted in the seizure of various collateral items and unregistered loan agreements. The arrest on March 7 followed complaints from locals about the unregulated lender’s practices, including seizing land title deeds and demanding excessive interest. The police investigation revealed that the suspect, known as Ten or Tee, had been operating as a loan shark for years, using intermediaries to offer loans with interest rates far exceeding the legal limit and disguising contracts as purchases to circumvent regulations. The evidence collected led to Ten’s arrest and charges for operating a personal loan business without a permit and concealing the nature of the loan agreements.


An illegal beauty clinic run by Russians in Koh Samui has been raided and shut down

In Koh Samui, a raid led by the Immigration Bureau and police forces uncovered an illegal beauty clinic run by a Russian national, Yulia, offering dangerous treatments like blood platelet injections. Conducted at the ALSPA BEAUTY CLINIC, the operation revealed unregistered medications and controlled substances, highlighting the clinic’s operation without proper medical registration within a hotel. Heavily promoted on social media, the clinic attracted both Thai and foreign clients for procedures that posed significant health risks. Two foreigners, Liliya and Alexander, were found providing beauty treatments and massages without proper work permits. A search revealed unregistered drugs and a plasma centrifuge used for the risky blood platelet procedures. Charges have been pressed against the individuals involved for operating without work permits, exceeding visa conditions, running an unlicensed medical establishment, and distributing unregistered drugs.

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