PhuketWATCH Taxi Driver Belts Aussie; Tourist Numbers Soar; Trafficking Trials Open; Phuket Missing Man Found in Jail

bangkokpost.com An Australian was assaulted by a taxi driver on Tuesday night at Suvarnabhumi airport after a “misunderstanding”- and as a result missed his flight and could not attend his grandmother’s funeral in Australia. John Lucas Schofield sustained a head injury. The driver, who has a bad record, was charged with assault.
reuters Fourteen people died and a further 27 were rescued by Turkish authorities after their boat sank on its way to the Greek island of Lesbos, Dogan news agency reported.

sbr.com.sg ”We look forward to launching our second Noku Roxy hotel in Phuket in 2018,” said Chris Teo, Managing Director of Roxy-Pacific, opening the first Noku Roxy in Kyodo, Japan.

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bangkokpost.com Tourist arrivals for the first 10 months of 2015 rose nearly 25 percent year-on-year, as the industry showed resilience while other areas of the economy struggle. Passengers travelling on low-cost carriers through Thailand’s six main airports shot up by 34.1 percent in the first nine months of this year to hit a record 33.4 million. nationmultimedia.com The Tourism Authority of Thailand will promote the luxury-tourism market as a part of its issue-based promotion strategy for the coming year. Surveys will be conducted among tour agencies in Bangkok, Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai and Phuket with private jets, helicopters and elephant rides. bangkokpost.com The top general in charge of building historic Rajabhakti Park insists there was no corruption in the ”transparent” project – while police beg to differ. Ed: All allegations of corruption in the military – especially human trafficking – must be independently investigated. Officers should voluntarily open their bank accounts.

reuters A Thai court’s examination of 500 witnesses in a case against 88 suspected human traffickers will take as long as two years, a court official said, meaning verdicts in a case that sparked an international outcry are even further away.

benarnews.com Trafficking investigation chief Police Maj. Gen. Paween Pongsirin told a local newspaper that he has quit out of fear he might be targeted for reprisals in his unexpected reposting to the Deep South, which is infamous as a transit route for human trafficking into neighboring Malaysia. Paween’s transfer raises questions about the government’s seriousness and commitment in halting human trafficking, Angkhana Neelapaijit, a member of Thailand’s National Human Rights Commission, told BenarNews. bbc.com An investigation by the BBC’s Jonathan Head has found entire communities in Thailand helping the traffickers. afp Among those who appeared in a Bangkok court for the procedural hearing was senior army general Manas Kongpan who is charged with being a linchpin of the trade.

At least four other military officers have been implicated, two of whom have yet to be arrested.

worcesternews.co.uk Peopleton family’s mission to free Thailand’s captive elephants from the cruel tourist trade: ”As soon as we were there we realised the scale of the problem. It is sad that one of the biggest threats to the elephant population in Thailand is the tourist industry. It is a profitable industry and they will kill a whole herd to get a baby. It is acceptable to do that there,” said Sarah.

Phuket Update The Tourist Police search for an Irish teacher who ”disappeared” on Phuket on Saturday night ended when Patong Police revealed that the 35-year-old man had been locked up for drunk driving. Eion Cahill, a teacher at Satree Phuket School, was released on bail. The school is investigating.

bangkokpost.com Photos of outdoor urinals with pipes leading out to sea have circulated on social media, generating a wave of critical comment. The photos were reportedly taken at Bang Saen beach during 11th Bangsaen Bike Week last weekend. Net users slammed organisers as being irresponsible and causing pollution, and questioned the local authorities’ handling of the issue.

Phuket Update Foul black water that flowed across Karon beach last week was not connected to any hotel discharging wastewater, officials said. However, it was untreated wastewater caused by broken pipes and a spillage from a poorly managed treatment plant – a plant where spillages occur too often, blackening Phuket’s tourism reputation. bangkokpost.com The spiritual head of Islam in Thailand wants an investigation of a monk’s ”hate speech” that calls for destruction of mosques when Buddhists are killed.

Phuket Update Phuket traffice officer Sergeant Sudhat Songmuang,killed by a drunk driver near Phuket International Airport, has been recommended for posthumous promotion for giving his life in the line of duty. He was the father of two young children. Phuket Update Latest formal request filed by President of the Patong Entertainment Association Weerawit Kuresombat called on the Ministry of Interior to consider expanding the entertainment zones at Bangla Road in Patong and along Taina Road in Karon, as well as consider new zones elsewhere on the island.

Phuket Update As Phuketwan reported last week, authorities are looking to ban destructive dive practices that have been developed on Phi Phi Island to cater to mass tourism. Officials are specifically looking to ban a practice they call ‘Try Diving’. bangkokpost.com Dutchman Johan van Laarhoven, 55, will spend 20 years behind bars serving 43 concurrent sentences. He was arrested with his Thai wife last year in Pattaya after a raid that saw the seizure of more than 100 million baht in assets and has been sentenced to 103 years in prison for money laundering. afp Former West German chancellor Helmut Schmidt, who died aged 96, was an inveterate European, master of realpolitik, and straight-talking elder statesman who commanded respect and headlines into his twilight years. bbc.com Up to 190 jobs may be lost at Alton Towers theme park following a rollercoaster crash which seriously injured five people.

Two women needed leg amputations after the Smiler ride crashed into an empty carriage in front of it on June 2.

ibtimes.co.uk For the Rohingya, Suu Kyi’s election victory is hollow. Her silence on our plight has been documented. For Myanmar’s 1.3 million oppressed Rohingya, it is the first time in the country’s history that not a single Muslim candidate will be elected to parliament.

skynews.com.au Russia has rejected as ‘groundless’ accusations of widespread doping and corruption in athletics and promised a rapid response to avoid suspension from the 2016 Olympics.

November 20 Laguna Phuket Triathlon

November 25 Loy Kratong festival November 29 Challenge Laguna Phuket 2015 November 29 Phuket King’s Cup Regatta

December 5 HM The King’s Birthday

December 26 Tsunami memorial ceremonies

January 7-10 Phuket International Boat Show

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