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Thai Navy in Fake $US Probe; Embassy Warns Tourists; Weapons Phuket Bound; Tackling Phuket Mafia

Saturday, September 20, 2014
Updating All Day, Every Day

telegraph.co.uk Thailand's most senior police official has insisted his country is safe for tourists despite the police's failure to catch or even identify the killers of two British tourists.

bernama Thailand risks facing trade sanctions under the Convention on International Trade on Endangered Species (CITES) if it fails to deal with illegal ivory trade by March 2015, Thai News Agency (TNA) reported.

nytimes.com A Texas man who scaled the White House fence made it through the North Portico doors on Friday night before being apprehended, the Secret Service said.

bangkokpost.com The Royal Thai Navy has suspended two officers and a civilian arrested in Cambodia with $7 million in fake US currency, and threatened to axe them if they are found guilty.
http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/433311/navy-red-faced-over-fake-dollar-case

PhuketWATCH Daily Media Wrap

PHUKET: The daily wrap of Thailand news, with a Phuket perspective, plus relevant reports from national and international media. Beware of inconsistent imitations.

Today's Top News Items


theguardian.com Police in Thailand have admitted the investigation into the murders of two British tourists is proving ''quite difficult'' as they revealed they did not know how many people were involved in the killings.

nationmultimedia.com Police will request help from the Federation (sic) Bureau of Investigation to test semen found in the body of a female British backpacker brutally murdered on the resort island of Koh Tao this week. DNA testing technology in Thailand could only identify whether human secretions came from a male or female, said deputy police chief General Somyot Pumpunmuang, while the FBI had ''sophisticated technology''.

wsj.com Thai police officials now privately concede they may have to start from scratch in the investigation of the killings, which have rocked this small resort island and threatened to tarnish Thailand's multibillion-dollar tourism industry.

bangkokpost.com Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has demanded fast action to improve tourist safety, saying the country would have ''no future'' if more incidents such as the Koh Tao murders occur. Foreign tourist arrivals for the first eight months of this year were down 10.7 percent from the same period a year ago.

ttrweekly.com The British Embassy in Bangkok issued a statement on behalf of the UK warning citizens to exercise caution while travelling in Thailand after two British tourists were murdered on Tao island in Surat Thani. Western tourists have also been victims of vicious, unprovoked attacks by gangs on Koh Phangan. These attacks are particularly common around the time of the Full Moon parties and at late night bars at Haad Rin bay on Koh Phangan.

Latest on the Ebola Outbreak


reuters President Ernest Bai Koroma urged people to heed the emergency measures as health workers, some clad in protective biohazard suits, went house to house in Sierra Leone, checking on residents and marking each doorway they visited with chalk.

Phuket World of People


nationmultimedia.com Police are investigating three parcels found at Suvarnabhumi airport that reportedly contained weapons, including an M67 grenade, a BB gun, a pistol and ammunition. ''Their stated destination is Phuket,'' a police officer said

bangkokpost.com Perhaps more than any other province, Phuket has lived in fear of mafia-style gangs preying on tourists and business operators for several decades. But since the coup of May 22, the influence of these gangs has been severely eroded after the junta launched a massive blitz to wipe them out.
http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/politics/433247/the-revival-of-phuket

nationmultimedia.com The Tourism Authority of Thailand this week publicised new destinations to the Russian tourist market, encouraging travellers to look beyond Pattaya, Phuket and Samui, in an effort to lure 9 percent more Russians next year.

bbc.com France has carried out its first air strikes against Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq. The president's office said French aircraft had hit jihadist positions in the north-east, adding that there would be further raids in the coming days.

reuters Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's (BABA.N) shares soared 38 percent in their first day of trading on Friday as investors jumped at the chance for a piece of what is likely to rank as the largest IPO in history, in a massive bet on China's burgeoning middle class.

nnt US ambassador to Thailand Kristie Kenney visited the southern province of Phang Nga, severely destroyed by the devastating Indian Ocean Tsunami on December 26, 2004. She also paid a visit to the Sea Turtle Preservation Project located at the Tablamu Naval Base.

cambodiadaily.com The body of Canadian Dave Walker, which was found in May inside the Angkor archaeological park more than two months after the journalist and filmmaker mysteriously disappeared from his guesthouse in Siem Reap City, was cremated in Bangkok, according to a close friend of the deceased.

reuters China fined GlaxoSmithKline Plc a record 3 billion yuan ($489 million) for paying bribes to doctors to use its drugs, underlining the risks of doing business there while also ending a damaging chapter for the British drugmaker.

Around the Asean Region


AP An American man has confessed that he killed his girlfriend's mother in a luxury hotel on Indonesia's Bali island, and the girlfriend has acknowledged helping him stuff the body into a suitcase, police said.

straitstimes.com Air quality in Singapore has worsened, prompting authorities to write to Indonesia expressing ''deep concern'' over the situation.

AP Crews will resume the underwater hunt for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 at the end of the month, and will begin the search in an area farther south than initially planned, a senior search official said.

theaustralian.com.au Embattled Malaysia Airlines is giving away Rolex watches and return airfares to Europe and Asia to travel agents in a bid to incentivise them into selling more flights.

foxnews.com Indonesian authorities have publicly caned eight men who were convicted of gambling in conservative Aceh province. About a thousand people watched.

Phuket World of Sport


afp Pop star Psy kicked off the Asian Games in an energetic, K-Pop-fuelled ceremony as North Korean athletes received loud cheers from South Korean fans.

scmp.com Li Na, the two-time grand slam champion from China who took tennis in Asia to a new level, has announced her retirement.

Coming Events on Phuket 2014


September 24-October 2 Vegetarian Festival, Phuket

October 23 Chulalongkorn Memorial Day

November 1-3 Patong Carnival

November 6 Loy Kratong

November 14-21 Fourth Asia Beach Games, Phuket

December 5 King's Birthday

December 10 Constitution Day

December 25 Christmas Day

December 26 10th Anniversary, 2004 Tsunami

December 31 New Year's Eve

Coming Events on Phuket 2015


February 13-15 Phuket Yacht Show

Comments

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"Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has demanded fast action to improve tourist safety, saying the country would have ''no future'' if more incidents such as the Koh Tao murders occur. Foreign tourist arrivals for the first eight months of this year were down 10.7 percent from the same period a year ago"

Sometimes it takes tragic high profile cases to initiate change, as authorities have been aware of the problem for a long time - but better late than never. Better impetus than stasis.

One would hope that the 11% drop in tourists wouldn't be the significant force for improved safety.

Probably a combination.

Posted by farang888 on September 20, 2014 08:03

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If the Thai DNA testing capabilities are indeed so limited, I can't help but to wonder about the credibility of previous cases where DNA is said to have cleared suspects.

Even in this case it was said DNA tests did the same.

Something is definitely not right here.

Posted by Herbert on September 20, 2014 09:25

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"DNA testing technology in Thailand could only identify whether human secretions came from a male or female..."
Surely he is joking or does not know what DNA testing actually is. Maybe he thinks it is " Does Not Appear" ( to be) testing.

Now, let's test to see whether the semen is male or female!!!

I cannot imagine how the relatives would feel after reading this statement.

Posted by Manowar on September 20, 2014 19:51


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