Thai bus driver lets young son take the wheel so he can chat on phone


A bus driver in Phuket has been criticised after video footage showed him letting his young son take the wheel so he could use his mobile phone.

Footage of the incident was uploaded to Facebook on Saturday.

The person who posted it said she booked a ticket with the Phatthalung Thaksin bus company on Friday to travel from Phuket to Phatthalung. When she made the booking she was told that the bus was fully booked but that the driver may be able to find extra seating room for her.

However, when she got on the bus there was only standing room. She complained to the driver and was told to sit on the ledge behind the driver’s seat, where three other passengers were already sitting.

During the journey, the woman noticed that the driver had his son sitting on his lap and that he appeared to be “teaching his son how to drive”.

To make matters worse, the driver later let the son take the wheel so he could make a video call on his mobile phone.

People commenting on the video criticised the driver and called on the authorities to take action.

Thai Visa

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Four-step plan issued to rid Thailand of garbage


The Pollution Control Department (PCD) has issued four guidelines for related agencies to achieve the country’s goal of eliminating 7.7 million tonnes of garbage within next year.

PCD director-general Pralong Damrongthai said on Friday that the drive to rid the country of 7.7 million tonnes of cumulative garbage was part of the National Solid Waste and Hazardous Waste Management Master Plan (2016 – 2021).

Prlong said his office has issued four guidelines for local administrative bodies and related agencies to effectively manage garbage and waste and minimise the negative impacts on people’s health.

First, the guideline for selection of appropriate technology for garbage and waste management includes various methods, such as a sanitary landfill, a semi-aerobic landfill, a fermentation for biogas production, a fermentation for fertiliser, a refuse derived fuel technology, and an incineration/combustion system.

Agencies would choose a suitable method to dispose of garbage as per the amount ranging from no more than 15 tonnes a day to more than 700 tonnes a day and other factors such as location, environmental impacts and community acceptance, he added.

Second, a guideline focusing on the incineration/combustion method, which will be divided into four groups; incinerators with a capacity to burn less than 3 tonnes of garbage a day; incinerators with a capacity to burn 3-30 tonnes of garbage a day; incinerators with a capacity to burn 30-50 tonnes of garbage a day; and incinerators with a capacity to burn more than 50 tonnes of garbage a day.

Third, a guideline on underlying characteristics for refuse derived fuel (RDF) made from garbage in communities would detail the physical attributions (such as net calorific value, moisture, and bulk density) and the chemical attributions (such as chlorine amount, ash, and mercury/cadmium/heavy metal amounts) as well as methods for sample collecting, analysis and testing and transporting.

And last, a guideline on basic design and construction of a community garbage-separating and processing for the RDF production and measures to prevent and reduce negative impacts on the environment, Pralong said.

The Nation 

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Phuket’s coastal eyesore construction is legal, confirms mayor


The building under construction on the coastal road to Krathing Cape, north of Nai Harn Beach, is legal, Rawai Mayor Aroon Solos has confirmed.

The news comes as the final touches to the construction of the building are being made.

The construction caused an international uproar last year over the structure spoiling one of the best sea views that tourists from around the world come to Phuket to enjoy.

Construction was ordered to stop on July 31 last year after it was found that the incomplete structures were already exceeding the building permit issued by Rawai Municipality.

Initial investigations overseen by Capt Boworn Phromgaewngam, Deputy Director of the Phuket branch of the Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc), confirmed that the project was on legally acquired private land – but also that the project had been issued a building permit allowing four three-level buildings to be built at the site. (See story here.)

Department of Special Investigation (DSI) investigators also inspected the site and noted that the land the building was “likely to be illegal”. However, no further remonstrations by the DSI against the project have been forthcoming.

Mayor Aroon confirmed to The Phuket News this week that redrafted construction plans were submitted – and approved – and are being adhered to.

“The modifications that were exceeding the building permit (an extra two floors) were removed some time ago and the construction has continued since,” he said. (See story here.)

“The construction now complies with all municipality regulations,” he added.

“I know this has affected people’s feelings. People keep complaining and saying many things about this project, but I have upheld my responsibility – the building is legal,” Mayor Aroon concluded.

The Phuket News

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Expat in Hua Hin to attempt to cross Gulf of Thailand on a paddle board


Russian man aims to cross the Gulf of Thailand from Hua Hin to Pattaya using only a stand up paddle board (SUP).

Vladimir Kruchinin, 37, will attempt 110km journey on Monday 17th December, after bad weather last week forced him to reschedule.

Vladimir told Thaivisa how he has lived in Hua Hin with his wife and son since 2012.

Having only first tried paddle boarding in 2016 he became hooked after renting a board from a resort at Sam Roi Yot beach.

Despite it taking him “at least twenty times to get up on the board” he eventually managed to get the hang of it.

“At that moment, I fell in love with SUP completely and within a week I had my own first board”, Vladimir told Thaivisa.

“Since that time, the sport plays a major role in my life. Thanks to SUP, I have improved my physique, have discovered many interesting places and have found new friends”.

“With the SUP, I like to explore new places and I enjoy paddling long distance. I can literally paddle all day.

“Usually in the daytime, I travel around 20 to 40 kms. When you are surrounded by such beautiful scenery in Thailand, a long way doesn’t seem so far. The first time I paddled over 70 km in one day, I realised that much greater lengths were possible. I

“I had a dream of crossing the Gulf of Thailand from Pattaya to Hua Hin. At first, I was scared at the thought, but now I am determined to do it. The path will take me across about 110 km. I’m yet to achieve such distances in a day but I believe I am capable”.

Other long distances paddled by Vladimir include more than 70 kms around Kaeng Kachan and 80kms in nearby Cha Am.

But he believes the 110km crossing to Pattaya is possible and says he is inspired by his favourite explorer Fyodor Konyukhov.

“My plan is to cross the Gulf of Thailand on my NSP 14’x26″ Puma Carbon Pro – and I am sure that with it I will succeed!”, Vladimir said.

Everyone at Thaivisa wishes Vladimir good luck with his attempt, which we will bring you more news about on Monday.

Thai Visa

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British man drugged and robbed by woman he met on the street in Pattaya


A British man in Pattaya says he was drugged and robbed after meeting a woman on the street and taking her back to his room.

Mr George Andrew Lerce, 56, told police he had been out drinking on Friday night and went to 7-Eleven before returning to his condo room.

However, outside 7-Eleven he was approached by two women, one of which asked to go with him.

He said that one of the women claimed she had nowhere to stay and asked if she could stay in his room. He agreed and took the “very nice” looking woman back to his room.
But when he woke up on Saturday morning he found more than £1,000 and 3,000 baht in cash, as well as jewelry worth more than 100,000 baht was missing from his room and the lady friend he met outside 7-Eleven was nowhere to be seen.

Mr Lerce also found a small plastic bag which appeared to contain sleeping tablets.

Mr Lerce said the woman must have spiked his drink with the pills, waited until he fell asleep and stole the items from his room.

Police said they are searching for the woman and have released an image of her obtained from the condo CCTV.

They also said they are trying to determine what exactly the pills are that were found in Mr Lerce’s room.

Thai Visa

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Phuket on lookout for narcotics smuggling


The southern province of Phuket is cracking down on drug smuggling, monitoring all potential transportation routes.

Anupong Wawongmul, the Permanent Secretary of Phuket province, chaired a meeting with related agencies to keep them updated on the drug control situation. Anupong said heroin and cocaine are spreading in Phuket as prices of both drugs are falling and that the number of drug arrests has surged since the beginning of this month. The quantity of drugs seized also increased.

He said all potential narcotics transportation routes, over land or water, are being watched 24 hours a day, adding that most drugs are transported in small boats from nearby provinces. He then urged members of the public to contact authorities immediately should they suspect any drug-related activities were taking place.

NNT Thailand

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Russian in Pattaya told police he had HIV in attempt to avoid theft charges


A Russian man who stole a computer from a friend in Pattaya told police he had HIV in an attempt to avoid being arrested.

Artem Kuliasov, 29, was arrested at his condominium on Saturday following a complaint from fellow Russian Aleksand Kuznetsov, 35, that items had been stolen from his room.

Mr Kuznetsov told police that he returned to his room at Sombat Condominium to find it ransacked and items missing.

After checking CCTV, police discovered that Kuliasov had come to visit Mr Kuznetsov at his condo only to find the room unlocked and his friend not there.
Kuliasov then stole a Lenovo laptop and some personal documents before escaping on a Honda Click motorcycle.

The stolen items were later found in Kuliasov’s condo.

As he was being arrested Kuliasov pleaded with officers saying: “Please don’t arrest me, I have HIV”.

However, police told reporters they have been unable to find any evidence that Kuliasov has been receiving treatment or taking medication for HIV.

Kuliasov remains in custody at Pattaya police station.

Thai Visa

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Prayut comes under blistering attack as political bans are lifted


PRIME MINISTER Prayut Chan-o-cha and his government yesterday came under attack from politicians taking advantage of the junta’s lifting of political restrictions on Tuesday.

Key figures of many parties slammed what they said were the many problems this junta-led administration had created over the four years it has been in power. They were in agreement that a change of government was needed.

Most of the parties who spoke up yesterday are linked to former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who has been living in self-imposed exile overseas since 2008.

On Tuesday, the ruling National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) partially repealed nine of its previous orders that restricted political activities since the 2014 military coup. The NCPO effectively lifted the ban on political gatherings of five or more and allowed parties to hold meetings and other activities of a political nature.

Veteran politician Chaturon Chaisang said the country had been at a standstill for many years.

“The country is ruled by a leader who lacks maturity and cannot be scrutinised. People have no right to air their sufferings. The leader keeps yelling at them,” he said.

Chaturon, who heads the election strategy committee of Thai Raksa Chart Party, said Thais should no longer tolerate the sufferings inflicted by the junta, which includes the widening gap between the rich and the poor. Also, he said, Thailand needs a democratically elected government if it is to restore international confidence.

“Dictatorship must be replaced with democracy. We cannot change General Prayut’s thoughts, so the only way out is to change the government,” he said. The politician, who recently left the Thaksin-linked Pheu Thai Party, claimed his new party knows how to solve the country’s problems.

Chaturon also asked Prayut to state clearly that he will not issue any more orders as junta chief in the run-up to the election that will put a pro-NCPO party at an advantage.

Thai Raksa Chart’s meeting for election candidates was held yesterday at Muang Thong Thani in Nonthaburi province. Present at the event were the party’s executives and key figures, including its young leader Preechapol Pongpanit.

Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan, who leads Pheu Thai Party’s election strategy committee, said yesterday that it was time for “people who can work” to run the country.

“Over the past four to five years, people have been suffering and falling under the burden of debt. It is time to allow political parties that can make money to run the country. We don’t want people who can only spend money,” she said.

The Nation 

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Arrest warrants issued for suspects in Bt10m gem theft


Arrest warrants were issued on Thursday for two male suspects in the theft of a Bt10 million diamond from a fake jewelry shop on Tuesday.

Bang Rak deputy inspector Lieutenant Chanachat Charoenpol said the warrant was issued for Pipatpongpat Suksawatpipat, 59, and his accomplice, who served as a getaway mortorcyclist.

Bang Rak precinct superintendent Pol Colonel Duangchote Suwancharat said police was confident that the suspect was still in Thailand and still has the diamond in his possession.

The suspect was captured by CCTV footage as he fled on a waiting motorcycle from the front of his fake jewelry shop on Si Phraya Road.

Police say Pipatpongpat got hold of the gem after posing as a jewelry trader and left the diamond owner, Indian businessman Jain Vaiphav, 44, locked in the shop.

Vaiphav, who smashed a glass panel to get out and sustained a 20-stitch gash on his arm, had advertised the diamond for sale on a website. Police suspect this gave the thieves the idea to steal it by setting up a fake jewelry shop and luring the Indian businessman to hand over the gem during purchase negotiations.

The Nation 

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Karaoke shop in Pattaya was front for underage sex with tourists


Chonburi immigration chief Pol Col Songprote Sirisukha, local law enforcement and child protection services conducted a sting yesterday at a Karaoke lounge called Krua Lakhana in Bang Lamung.

The establishment was found to have two girls under the age of 18 available at 1,500 baht a time for sex.

Daily News reported that Krua Lakhana was frequented by both foreign and Thai tourists.

Arrested was manager in charge Lakhana Patthama, 46, who will be charged with human trafficking.

Karaoke was just a front for what was really going on. Customers were allowed to fondle the ladies and buy them drinks. Sex was also on the menu.

They charged 120 baht for ladies drinks of which the lady got 80 baht with the shop keeping the rest. For sex it cost 1,500 baht with the girl keeping 1,000 baht.

Taken into evidence was the money used in the sting after an officer arranged for an underage girl to be taken to a hotel.

Thai Visa / Daily News

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