Thailand, China join hands to help poor women, children
BANGKOK,(NNT) - Thailand and China are collaborating on a project to
help less fortunate women and children with the objective of reducing
disability and mortality rates. The project focuses on providing medical
assistance and medicines for them.
Mr. Korn Dabbaransi, the president of the Thai-Chinese Friendship
Association, on Sunday attended an event to launch the Every Woman Every
Child Life Regenerative Action Project in Thailand. This project follows the
success of the U.N.’s Every Woman Every Child project that has helped more
than 1,000 poor women and child patients in China, Southeast Asia, East
Asia, Africa and South America.
The Every Woman Every Child Life Regenerative Action project is an effort to
increase the number of women and children receiving essential aid and an
expansion of convenient medical services. This five-year project is also
aimed at cutting disability and mortality rates resulting from burns and
untreated wounds among women and children all over the world.
The project provides training for local physicians and supports the
development of local economies. It hopes to elevate health standards and the
well-being of women, children and adolescents as well as strengthen China’s
relations with various countries.
Thailand’s North-Northeast remain inundated
BANGKOK,(NNT) - Parts of
Thailand’s North and Northeast remain under water as assistance continues to
be given to flood victims.
Flash floods from the Phetchabun mountains have affected several parts of
Tap Khlo District of Phichit Province while a similar situation has been
confirmed in Buriram Province after water from adjacent Maha Sarakham
submerged a village there.
As villagers call the flood the worst they have seen in 20 years, district
offices and local administrative organizations have set up a flood victim
center to help those in need, while organizing a round-the-clock
surveillance team to monitor the situation.
Permanent Secretary to the Prime Minister’s Office, Jirachai Moontongroy has
traveled to Buriram and Surin to get firsthand information about the floods
and assured local residents that the government stands ready to provide all
necessary assistance to people in need while inviting members of the public
to make donations to help flood victims.
In Phetchabun Province, a flash flood submerged six villages and more than
150 households were cut off from the outside world while hundreds of rai of
farmland have also been damaged in what villagers call the worst flood in 40
Chonburi launches canal cleanup in tribute to HM the King
CHONBURI,(NNT) - The Office of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation of
Chonburi province has carried out a canal cleanup in celebration of HM the
More than 1,000 civil workers and volunteers have converged on What Sri Phum
Bho in Sri Racha district to clean local canals. The seaside province plans
to dispose of 500 tons of water weeds to prevent and moderate the effects of
floods and drought in tribute to King Rama X.
Participants have joined in the making of organic fertilizers. The collected
weeds will be used to produce plant food which will be distributed to local
Update July 29 - 30, 2017
Flooding worsens as Sonca influence intensifies
SUKHOTHAI,(NNT) – The tropical storm Sonca is the cause of growing
concern over the weather situation in the north and northeast with Sukhothai
already seeing flooding along the Yom River.
Municipal authorities in Sukhothai have laid big bags along the shores of
the Yom River after some areas saw the waterway burst its banks. Residents
have been told to move their belongings to higher ground and relief measures
are being offered.
Small bridges in Khon Kaen province in the northeast have begun to suffer
damage from high and rapid flowing waters caused by days of heavy rain. The
severing of some river crossings has already stopped traffic and commuters
from being able to divert to other roads.
Residences along the Panom Dong Rak Mountain Range in Si Sa Ket province
have been subjected to intermittent forest run off with over 140 homes
already impacted. Temporary shelters have been set up to provide initial
In Ubon Ratchathani province, homes and shops alike have been affected by
rising waters in local rivers. Citizens of the province have been told to be
wary of more flooding as water is drained away.
Trapped water along roadways in Lopburi province has made some roads
impassable and authorities have had to employ flat bottom boats to assist
locals trying to reach dry land.
State Railway of Thailand meanwhile has diverted services through Nong Khai
province after phone poles were felled onto train tracks. It has asked
commuters to call 1690 for information.
Department of Fisheries steps up measures against black chin tilapia
SAMUT SONGKRAM,(NNT) – The
Department of Fisheries is addressing the issue of black chin tilapia in
Samut Songkram, recommending locals to remove the infesting breed from
natural water sources and mulling a ban on their import and export.
Director-General of the Department of Fisheries Adisorn Phromthep has held a
meeting on dealing with a spread of black chin tilapia in the long term as
the alien breed has infested farms in Samut Songkram and Petchburi
provinces, resulting in widespread damage. He noted that locals often sell
the fish after they have infested their farms and are calling for his
department to buy them at 30 baht a kilogram, an approach he said he does
not agree with as the fish have little resale value. The director-general
said other measures will be sought and that any purchases will be done at a
more appropriate price. He expects it will take 1-2 months to remove the
species from waterways before rehabilitation can begin.
The department is also considering banning the import and export of the fish
and possibly possession of it to protect against future outbreaks. It is now
seeking out those that introduced the species to Thailand for legal
prosecution and will launch a damage assessment in Samut Songkram.
Prime Minister orders inspection of wrongly graded rice
BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Prime Minister has ordered an investigation
following reports that a mill in Ang Thong province labeled high quality
rice as low grade, asserting that the evaluation and auctioning of state
rice stocks must be transparent.
Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has stated his government has made it a
priority to process rice stocks in a just and transparent fashion and that
any lapses in supervision will be investigated. He labeled accusations of
corruption so far as politically motivated.
Director-General of the Department of Foreign Trade Duangporn Rodphaya
explained that inspections have taken place after reports that 1 in 5 rice
mounds in Ang Thong were wrongly graded according to standards set by the
Rice Policy and Management Commission in January. Authorities have found
that rice not adhering to grading standards was auctioned off in March. She
added that rice from the Worachote Silo was put up for auction using
outdated grading criteria but there were no bidders at the auction.
The director-general confirmed that her department is keeping a close eye on
the situation as an oversupply in the market has made consumers sensitive to
wrongly graded rice.
Purple Line connection to Blue Line to begin operation August 11
BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Ministry of
Transport has announced that the Blue and Purple rail line connection at Tao
Pun Station will begin operation on August 11.
Minister of Transport Arkom Termpittayapaisit has advised the public that
the Purple Line railway from Bang Sue to Tao Pun will be connected to the
Blue Line railway on August 11 with a ceremony to be attended by the Prime
Minister. Once the connection is opened, a section of the Blue Line will
become operational on a trial basis.
Commuters on the Purple Line will now be able to continue their journey
along the Blue Line. Initially, fares will remain between 14-29 baht on
weekdays and 15 baht along the entire line on weekends. A re-evaluation of
the pricing will take place early next year. The extended service is
predicted to add 30 percent more users to the entire train line.
In August, the Ministry of Transport is planning to suggest the Cabinet
allow registered low-income earners to use the rail line free of charge,
expecting the welfare measure to be available starting October.
Lower Central Provincial Cluster 1 displays goods in Kanchanaburi
KANCHANABURI (NNT) - The Kanchanaburi Commerce Provincial Office and
the Lower Central Provincial Cluster 1 has jointly organized a product fair
called Miracle of the West to promote OTOP goods by local state enterprise
communities and other countries.
Kanchanaburi Vice Governor, Ronnachai Jitwiset presided over the opening
ceremony of the product fair where he was also joined by local commerce
officials from provinces in the Lower Central Provincial Cluster 1, which
consists of Nakhon Phatom, Ratchaburi and Suphanburi, and Myanmar
The objective of the fair is to increase market opportunities for locally
made products from the Lower Central Provincial Cluster 1 and strengthen
tourism and trade relations between Kanchanaburi and the Myanmar city of
Dawei as well as the Chinese city of Guangxi.
Visitors will get to see a wide variety of goods from 300 vendors and can
visit an exhibition to learn more about the economic potential of the Lower
Central Provincial Cluster 1.
It is hoped that the fair will transform the region into a center of
innovative food and tourism, as well as leading health and wellness
opportunities. The Miracle of the West is being held now until the end of
the month at Kleeb Bua Sports Stadium located in the municipality.
BOI approves 128 billion baht in investment aid
BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Board of Investment of Thailand (BOI) has
approved some 128 billion baht in aid for five investment projects.
BOI Secretary-General Hirunya Suchinai said the BOI board chaired by Prime
Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has approved the promotional measures for the
five projects with the 128.17 billion baht in funding.
It will be granted to Triumph Motorcycles Thailand to promote the
manufacturing of big bikes at factories in Amata Nakorn Industrial Estate,
Chonburi, using raw material from domestic sources; as well as to Toyota
Motor Thailand for the expansion of Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV)
production line to produce 70,000 HEVs per year, and 70,000 batteries per
The Bangkok Expressway and Metro (BEM) has also received the financial
support for the operation of metro services on the MRT Blue Line extensions
on the 27-kilometer Hua Lamphong - Bang Kae and Bang Sue - Tha Phra
BOI is also providing support for Northern Bangkok Monorail company
responsible for the operations on Pink Line metro on the 34.5-kilometer Kae
Rai - Minburi section, and Eastern Bangkok Monorail company responsible for
the Yellow Line metro on the 30.4-kilometer Lad Phrao - Samrong section.
Mahidol professor wins 2017 Outstanding Scientist award
BANGKOK,(NNT) - A Mahidol astrophysicist has won the 2017 Outstanding
Scientist award from the Foundation for the Promotion of Science and
Technology under Royal Patronage.
The foundation recently recognized Dr. David Ruffolo, a professor at the
Department of Physics, Faculty of Science at Mahidol University, with this
year's Outstanding Scientist award for his exemplary work.
The professor excels in the field of global radiation and cosmic rays, which
are high-energy particles created by solar storms in space. Dr. Ruffolo
developed a computer program that simulates cosmic activity and predicts the
effects of a solar storm on the Earth. The software has received
international recognition and is considered his crowning achievement.
According to the Thailand 4.0 agenda, economic reform relies on accomplished
scientists, innovations, and scientific research and development, especially
in the fields of energy, environment, premium grade materials, digital
technology and biotechnology.
Thailand showcases globetrotting tuk-tuk at the Hungarian Formula 1 2017
The “The Amazing Thailand Pit Stop” was popular
with Formula 1 lovers when it appeared at the Japanese Grand Prix in 2016
Bangkok,In a move to create more visibility and awareness of the
desirability of Thailand as a preferred tourist destination in Eastern
Europe and to promote self-drive holidays in the kingdom, the Tourism
Authority of Thailand (TAT) has announced its first-ever participation at
the Hungarian Formula 1 to be held from 28th to 30th July, 2017.
Mr. Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, TAT’s Deputy Governor for Marketing
Communications, said, “This will be our fourth venture into the F1 community
of fans, as TAT has already been associated with the Monaco, Australian and
Japanese races. We are happy to announce our participation inside the
exclusive confines of the Hungarian F1 Village and show off the charms of
“With the Hungarian F1, we want to deliver something unique and memorable.
We have managed to track down a Thai icon – a Tuk-Tuk – that was driven from
Bangkok to Prague in the Czech Republic by an adventurous young man Martin Méchura.
So Martin and his tuk-tuk, will be the star attraction at the Amazing
Thailand Pit Stop marquee.”
The theme for the Amazing Thailand Pit Stop Hungarian Grand Prix is all
about the opportunities that a driving holiday in Thailand offers the more
“As much as Thailand has a world-class airline, train and bus networks that
reaches into every corner of the Kingdom, we’re encouraging visitors to
consider ‘self-drive’ holidays that enable our guests to stop along the way
and take in the local culture, food and the natural Thai hospitality that is
pervasive throughout Thailand,” said Mr. Chattan.
Mr. Martin Méchura, who purchased and drove the Tuk-tuk around Thailand
before deciding on a whim to drive it all the way home to Prague, said “I
came to Thailand to explore more off-the-beaten track destinations, and this
Tuk-tuk allowed me to do just that.
“Everywhere I went, I was met with smiles and laughter that a ‘farang’
(foreigner) was driving a traditional Thai ‘taxi’. I drove thousands of
kilometers throughout Thailand and bar a few mechanical issues, it was one
of those bucket-list moments in time – and it was surreal that even in the
deserts of India or the back roads of Romania, people asked me if I had come
from Thailand – she is that recognised as a symbol of Thailand”.
Mrs. Wiyada Srirangkul, Director of TAT Prague Office, stated that “the
Eastern European market is becoming more affluent, adventurous and there’s a
wanderlust that Thailand is tapping into. So, given the Hungarian F1
attracts visitors from Hungary, the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia, and
Austria, it’s a natural marketing venue for us.”
“The Amazing Thailand Pit Stop has always been a crowd pleaser wherever we
take the concept,” said Mr. Chattan, “and this year with the Tuk-tuk, it
will be a photographic and conversation focal-point for the 160,000 fans of
F1 in attendance.”
Thailand secures better status at money-laundering issue
BANGKOK,(NNT) – Thailand has received a better status given by the
Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT).
Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO) Secretary-General Chaiya Siriampankul
revealed the outcome of Thailand's AML/CFT's evaluation during 15-21 July
2017 as the country has complied with the international standards in 26 out
of a total of 40 money-laundering topics.
The figure shows a significant improvement compared to a previous evaluation
in 2007 when Thailand only received 31 percent score. That means Thailand
will not be listed as a country with money-laundering risks, he said.
The AMLO chief said the latest evaluation reflects the determination of the
government to suppress money laundering, including amendment of laws.
The latest AML/CFT evaluation was the first since the international standard
was adjusted in 2012. Thailand was reported to have performed exceptionally
well in four out of 11 areas of evaluation.
The AMLO chief added Thailand needs to address other weaknesses to improve
the performance, and must still improve its law to further comply with the
international standards and to prepare for the increasing risks of
NBTC unveils app that prevents cold calls
BANGKOK,(NNT) - The National
Broadcasting Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has launched a mobile
application called ‘Kan Kuan’ to keep cold calls at bay.
NBTC Deputy Secretary-General Korkit Danchaiwijit said the application would
protect the privacy of mobile phone users by blocking phone numbers of
insurance and direct sales companies.
Unlike other organizations, financial institutions will not be blocked by
the application. However, they can only contact their clients within working
hours and during the week.
The NBTC will punish businesses that cold call people by either blocking
their numbers for three months or completely terminating the numbers if the
A cold call is an unsolicited telephone call made by someone trying to sell
goods or services.
Both IOS and Android mobile phone users can download the Kan Kuan
Application via App Store. After the download is completed, users are
required to provide personal details before the application can be
ICAO acknowledges progress in Thai aviation sector
BANGKOK,(NNT) – International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has
acknowledged that its latest assessment of Thailand’s civil aviation sector
found no security concerns but has issued a list of 49 recommendations for
Director of the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) Chula Sukmanop
that an ICAO evaluation of the Kingdom’s public flight sector under the
USAP-CMA program, which took place between July 11-21, found no issues for
concern over security even with a 463 point check-list. It noted that most
areas in need of improvement are currently undergoing development and listed
only 49 recommendations for further work.
Thailand will be able to contest any points of the assessment over the next
30 days and then submit a revised improvement plan to the ICAO.
Among the 49 suggestions, was a call for more security personnel both from
CAAT and for airports themselves to avoid fatigue among the present
personnel. Specific security plans for each airport in the nation were also
suggested, as only 38 currently exist.
Products and services for handicapped people to be upgraded
BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Department of Empowerment of Persons with
Disabilities and Valaya Alongkorn Rajabhat University have signed a
memorandum of understanding (MOU) to improve the lives of people with
Department Director-General Somchai Charoen-umnuaisuke said today the MOU
also aims to develop products and services specifically for people with
disabilities. Working together with Valaya Alongkorn Rajabhat University
will help the department troubleshoot the products and market them for wider
The department will promote these products and services at 22 organizations
under its supervision.
Bangkok flood tunnel project forces canalside communities to relocate
BANGKOK, (NNT) - Two canalside communities in Ladphrao of Bangkok
district have agreed to relocate to make way for the Bangkok Metropolitan
Administration (BMA)’s flood relief project.
Deputy Governor of Bangkok Chakkapan Piew-ngam and representatives of
related agencies have surveyed the construction of the capital’s flood
relief tunnel, which is 20% complete.
More than 200 homes overhanging the canal at Khlong Latphrao 45 are
preparing to relocate to properties in the same neighborhood leased by the
Treasury Department. Wang Thonglang District Office has been assigned to
arrange additional storage for their belongings.
Meanwhile, residents in Ladphrao 80 have voiced their concern about the
construction of a u-turn under Pracha Uthit Bridge will affect the
construction of new homes in the area. The BMA Department of Public Works
will review blueprints for the new homes, which will be completed by next
Public health offices prepare for medical emergencies during flooding
BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Ministry of Public Health has instructed its
provincial offices and hospitals nationwide to prepare for possible
flooding, as a tropical storm moves across the country.
Public Health Minister Dr. Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn told public health
offices and hospitals nationwide, especially those in 28 flood-prone
provinces, to brace for heavy rains after the Meteorological Department
issued a tropical storm warning. They have been told to ensure the
efficiency of their drainage systems and to safeguard all medical equipment
against flooding. Extra medical and food supplies, as well as backup power
generators and oxygen tanks, should be obtained in case of emergency.
Mobile units must also be set up to provide medical attention to bed-ridden
patients or the elderly who cannot travel to hospital. The Ministry of
Public Health has also prepared 400,000 first aid kits for the general
public, should hospitals become inaccessible.
People have also been warned to stay away from large trees and street signs,
which could be knocked over in the storm. Those in need of medical
assistance can call the 24-hour hotline 1669.
Employment centers facilitate compliance with foreign labor decree
TRAT,(NNT) - Various agencies
under the Ministry of Labor have established a center in Trat province to
facilitate the registration of undocumented foreign workers.
The center was established at the indoor sports stadium by the Provincial
Department of Employment, Department of Skill Development, Department of
Labor, Department of Labor Protection and Welfare, and the Social Security
The center's opening day saw many employers arriving to register their
foreign staff, who did not possess identification cards or work permits. The
center is open every day from July 24th to August 7th and offers counseling
and data-processing services, before it enters its screening phase from
August 8th to September 6th.
The 2017 royal decree on foreign labor management stipulates penalties for
employment violations, roiling the private sector. The National Council for
Peace and Order has therefore called for policies to better facilitate
compliance with the new law.
Employment centers across the country are meant to service businesses who
employ undocumented Cambodian, Laos, and Myanmar nationals.
IEAT opens new cargo ship port in Maptaphut
RAYONG,(NNT) – The Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) has
opened a new cargo shipping dock at the Maptaphut Industrial Port, to
support Thailand in its role as ASEAN's naval cargo hub targeting the key
industries of petrochemical, chemical, fertilizers, and steel manufacturing.
IEAT Vice Governor Vitoon Uthim has presided over the opening of a new cargo
dock in Maptaphut Industrial Port, Rayong, welcoming a Japanese cargo ship
docking at the port for the first time.
The new cargo dock, called MIT, will facilitate goods imports and exports,
boosting developments in the country, specifically in the Eastern Economic
Corridor, improving Thailand's logistics infrastructure to become the
logistics hub of ASEAN.
MIT will help facilitate goods transport via the eastern seaboard worth a
volume of 7 million tons annually, relieving congestion at Maptaphut
Maptaphut Industrial Port is now serving the shipping of liquids and gas,
steel products, chemical fertilizers, as well as goods in the sodium
Thailand to send back trafficking victims, assist on migration to third country
BANGKOK,(NNT) – Thailand has
prioritized on human trafficking cases involving Rohingya people in
accordance to human rights principles, and is set to return trafficking
victims to their country of origin, says the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Ministry of Foreign Affair's Director-General of the Department of
Information Busadee Santipitaks has addressed the return of Rohingya people
involved in human trafficking cases back to their country of origin, saying
that the Thai government has been providing protection to the victims and
has provided them with healthcare, occupation opportunities, and is working
to assist their return home or their migration to a third country.
She has said trafficking victims are legally allowed to stay in Thailand for
2 years after the conclusion of case proceedings, according to the Cabinet's
resolution on 13 December 2017.
The Thai government has been working with the country of origin to send back
trafficking victims who chose to return, and has been collaborating with the
United Nations High Commissioner For Refugee (UNHCR) and International
Organization for Migration (IOM) for victims who wishes to migrate to a
Thailand has also provided 245 translators to assist the victims including
people from Myanmar, Rohingya, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, and Vietnam. The
Thai government has also given special priority to the protection of child
trafficking victims by providing special training to related officials.
100 service centers for undocumented migrant workers to open
BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Ministry of Labour will be opening service
centers nationwide for undocumented migrant workers today at 100 locations
nationwide, says official.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Labour (MOL) Puntrik Smiti has
revealed the MOL will be launching 100 service centers nationwide to
facilitate employers experiencing problems with undocumented migrant
workers. The centers will facilitate the legal technicalities regarding
their migrant workers during the grace period, after the enactment of the
new migrant workers management law.
The centers will operate daily from 24 July - 7 August 2017, and will focus
only on assisting existing employees, not newly employed employees after the
effective date of the law. The process will require relevant documents and
forms to be submitted to the center during 24 July - 7 August 2017. The
documents can be submitted by any person who will receive back a receipt.
Employers and employees will then be required to meet with officials during
8 August - 9 September 2017 to verify their relations.
Employees will then need to obtain their Certification of Identity (CI)
document at the One Stop Service Center where officials from Myanmar and
Cambodia will be providing the service, while Lao nationals are required to
travel back to obtain their passport before returning to Thailand to obtain
work visas and permit.
Employers can also opt to send documents online. The center is aimed to
provide a continuous service at the rate of 15 minutes per person.
Forums are available on www.doe.go.th or www.doe.go.th/alien from which
users can download and fill out in advance. For more information, please
Update July 22 - 23, 2017
Thailand welcomes new Turkish Airlines flights to Phuket
Mrs. Pataraporn Sithivanich (4th from left), TAT
Executive Director for Europe, Africa and Middle East Region; H.E. Mrs.
Evren Dagdelen Akgn (3rd from left), Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey
in Thailand; and Mr. Bilal Eksi (5th from left), Deputy Chairman and CEO of
the Turkish Airlines as well as representatives from leading Thai and
Turkish tourism organisations.
Phuket,–The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is pleased to welcome
the launch of new Turkish Airlines flights to Phuket in Southern Thailand.
Phuket, one of the world’s best known beach destinations with a number of
award-winning beaches voted for by tourists, will host the airline’s four
direct flights per week from Istanbul.
Mrs. Pataraporn Sithivanich, TAT Executive Director for Europe, Africa and
the Middle East Region said, “This new Istanbul-Phuket service is part of
the collaboration between TAT and Turkish Airlines to meet the growing
demand for travel to Thailand from holiday-makers from Turkey, Europe and
Latin America. In addition, 2018 marks 60 years of Thai-Turkish relations,
and TAT is planning to organise cultural and tourism activities in
cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey in Thailand.”
Turkish Airlines inaugurated its Istanbul-Phuket route on 17 July with the
first flight carrying 210 passengers, including 20 members of the media from
Turkey. The journalists and writers also got the chance to visit important
attractions in Phuket and nearby provinces, including Phuket Old Town, Wat
Chalong, Siam Niramit Phuket and James Bond Island.
The airline plans to increase the frequency of the Istanbul-Phuket route
from four times per week to a daily flight in the upcoming winter season, to
cater to the higher demand for Thailand. Phuket is Turkish Airlines’ 300th
destination. The airline began a direct Istanbul-Bangkok service in 1989 and
now operates 14 flights per week.
Mrs. Pataraporn said, “Since 2012, Turkish nationals entering Thailand have
been able to apply for a visa-on-arrival and this has led to many more
people discovering Amazing Thailand. We know this new Turkish Airlines’
direct Istanbul-Phuket will ensure that more visitors enjoy the delights and
unique culture of the southern region of Thailand.”
Turkey is one of Thailand’s important emerging tourist markets. In 2016,
Thailand welcomed 74,568 visitors from Turkey, representing an increase of
17.97 per cent over 2015. This year, from January – May, there were 35,605
Turkish travellers to Thailand, up 2.66 per cent year-on-year.
The majority of Turkish travellers visit Thailand for a holiday, especially
during November-January. Top Thai destinations among Turkish tourists are
beaches and islands; such as, Pattaya and Phuket.
'Darknet' suspect's flashy cars raised eyebrows in Thailand
One of properties of AlphaBay founder Alexandre
Cazes is seen in Bangkok, Thailand, Friday, July 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Sakchai
By Kaweewit Kaewjinda, Associated Press
BANGKOK (AP) — The neighbors had their suspicions.
The young Canadian accused of masterminding the world's leading "darknet"
internet marketplace lived a seemingly quiet life for more than a year with
his Thai girlfriend in a middle-class neighborhood on the outskirts of
But the flashy cars he drove stood out.
There was the nearly $1 million, metallic gray Lamborghini. There was the
Porsche, and then the Mini Cooper for his girlfriend. All in an area where
people drive pickup trucks and children tool around on plastic tricycles.
The neighbors thought 25-year-old Alexandre Cazes worked in the hotel
business. But according to the U.S. Justice Department, he was the
mastermind of AlphaBay, an internet marketplace that traded in illegal
drugs, firearms and counterfeit goods.
By the time authorities closed in on July 5, Cazes had amassed a $23 million
fortune as the site's creator and administrator, court documents show.
On Thursday, U.S. Justice Department officials gave details of the global
police operation that brought down Cazes, who authorities say hanged himself
in his Thai jail cell a week after his arrest, and dealt a serious blow to
illicit internet commerce.
Cazes' stepmother Kathy Gauthier expressed surprise at the allegations,
saying "we do not understand how he could have been the person described by
the FBI, that's just not his personality!"
In a private Facebook message to The Associated Press, Gauthier wrote:
"Alexandre was always a good boy without any kind of trouble in his past. He
was peaceful and anti-drugs. We always thought his wealth came from
investments in cryptocurrency, not from a 'Darkmarket (sic).'"
She was apparently referring to "darknet."
She continued: "He was raised in a good home by good parents, but now we are
exhausted and simply want to accept the situation. Last week my spouse spoke
to the media about who Alexandre really was, and our opinion hasn't changed.
Now we just want to move forward. And if what the FBI says is completely
true, well, that's not the Alexandre Cazes that we knew. but we would love
him still, and forgive him."
Interviews with Cazes' neighbors paint a picture of a young man who
displayed flashes of ostentation but otherwise seemed unassuming.
"He was with his girlfriend," said a neighbor, Hassanupong Pootrakulchote.
"Around New Year's or Christmas I saw some of his friends come over and they
would have a little party. There were Thai people, some of them were his
girlfriend's relatives ... Other than that it's mostly quiet, nothing flashy
Nothing except those expensive cars, which were completely out of place in
the neighborhood where homes cost less than $120,000.
"Why does he have a Lamborghini? Why does he have a Porsche or Mini Cooper?"
Hassanupong said. "There are recent news reports about people laundering
money and that sort of thing. But like I said, I thought he was in the hotel
Soon enough, talk in the neighborhood was that Cazes was ready to improve
his standard of living.
At the time of his arrest, he was building a palatial home about 20 minutes
away in a far more upscale area. The price tag? More than $1.1 million.
According to court documents, he also owned a luxury villa on the edge of a
cliff in the holiday destination of Phuket and a $400,000 villa in Antigua.
Much of Cazes' fortune was in digital currencies, the court documents show.
He bought real estate and luxury cars, including the $900,000 Lamborghini,
and pursued "economic citizenship" in Liechtenstein, Cyprus and Thailand.
He used what he claimed was a web design company, EBX Technologies, as a
front, the indictment said.
But his life in the Bangkok suburbs appeared stable, neighbors said.
One neighbor, who asked not to be named because the case involves crime,
said Cazes rarely left the house before noon. She said she got her first
good look at him one day when he was outside, trying to photograph a monitor
lizard that had crawled out of a deserted field nearby.
"We smiled at each other, that's it," she said.
Darknet websites have thrived since the 2011 appearance of the Silk Road
bazaar, which was taken down two years later. Merchants and buyers keep
their identities secret by using encrypted communications and
anonymity-providing tools such as the Tor browser. The darknet itself is
only accessible through such specialized apps.
Cazes' own carelessness apparently tripped him up — not the underlying
security technology AlphaBay used.
According to the indictment, he accidentally broadcast his personal Hotmail
address in welcome messages sent to new users. And when he was tracked down
and arrested in Thailand, Cazes was logged into the AlphaBay website as its
administrator, allowing investigators access to passwords and other
information, it says.
Cazes also used the same personal email address — "[email protected]
— on a PayPal account.
Associated Press writer Patrick Lejtenyi in Montreal, Canada, contributed to
Efforts to suppress zero-dollar tours
BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Land Transport Department (DLT) has cooperated
with the Ministry of Tourism and Sports (MOTS) to suppress zero-dollar
DLT Director General Sanit Phromwong disclosed that the DLT had cooperated
with relevant agencies, including military units, the tourist police, the
Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO), the Tourism Business Department, the
Revenue Department and local administrative organizations to clamp down on
zero-dollar tour operators by regularly inspecting vehicles suspected to be
illegal tour operators.
The DLT Director-General added that the DLT has prepared a plan for
inspecting and impounding unregistered buses, which will be implemented
through the cooperation of the military and police officers.
Using unregistered buses to transport tour groups is an offense under the
Land Transport Act 1979, violators face a fine of 5,000 baht per offense.
1,298 offenses were recorded between 1 October 2016 - 19 July 2017.
The DLT will also ask the Royal Thai Police and the Metropolitan Police
Bureau to strictly inspect and impound unregistered buses that are used for
transporting tour groups.
Police warn against posting pictures advocating alcohol consumption
BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Royal Thai
Police and the Department of Disease Control have reported a decline in
arrests related to illegal alcohol sales during Asalha Bucha Day and
Buddhist Lent, while reminding that those posting pictures on social media
advocating alcohol consumption are subject to a one-year prison sentence and
a fine no more than 500,000 baht.
Pol Gen Weerachai Songmetta, Chairman of the subcommittee on preventing and
suppressing crimes under the 2008 Alcoholic Beverage Control Act, revealed
that his task force has inspected 151 stores in six provinces and found 14
Those who post pictures or messages on social media deemed to advocate the
consumption of alcohol are subject to no more than one year in prison and a
fine no more than 500,000 baht. Officials have already pressed charges
against five celebrities.
11 new centers for reporting migrant workers in Bangkok
BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Ministry of
Labor disclosed that 11 centers for reporting migrant worker employment in
Bangkok will expand their service coverage to all areas from July 24th to
August 7th. Employers can download employment request forms from the
Department of Employment website.
Director General of the Department of Employment Waranon Peetiwan disclosed
that the Ministry of Labor is ready to open 11 centers for reporting migrant
worker employment in Bangkok as follows:
1) Ministry of Labor, Mitmaitri Road, Din Daeng District
2) IT Square, Chaengwattana Road, Lak Si District
3) Southern Bus Terminal, 2nd floor, Boromarajonani Road, Taling Chan
4) Thanya Park, Srinakarin Road, Suan Luang District
5) Bang Khun Thian Sports Center, Thonburi Community Housing 3, Rama 2 Road,
Soi 62, Bang Khun Thian District
6) Ramindra Sports Park, Ramindra road, Soi 5, Bang Khen district
7) Army Training Command Department near Samsen Railway Station,
Nakhonchaisri Road, Dusit District
8) Wang Nanthautthayan Club Building (Royal Thai Navy), Issaraphap Road,
Bangkok Noi District
9) Bangkok - Suvarnabhumi University Auditorium, Prachaphatthana Road,
10) Sampheng 2 Park (Phase 3), Kalapaphruek Road, Bang Khae District
11) Labor Safety Division, Boromarajonani Road, Talingchan District,
opposite Taling Chan Police Station
The department head added that every center will have 30 staff members to
process employment request forms. The employers can download the online form
or fill out the form at the center. The employment request forms can be
downloaded from the department website www.doe.go.th or www.doe.go.th/alien.
Employers have to bring an identification card or certificate proving
registration of juristic person, three 2" portrait photos of the workers,
and employment request forms. The centers will be open for only 15 days from
July 24th to August 7th.
Waranon expressed confidence that the department will provide the fastest
and most convenient public services and that it will take no more than 15
minutes per person. For more information, please call the hotline 1694.
Transport Ministry discusses dual-track railway from Map Kabao to Jira
BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Ministry of
Transport has scheduled a meeting with representatives of Nakhon Ratchasima
province to conclude the construction plans for the dual-track railway from
Map Kabao to Jira on 25 July.
Mr. Anon Leungboriboon, Acting Governor of the State Railway of Thailand
(SRT) disclosed the results of the meeting on the Map Kabao – Jira junction
dual-track railway construction project over a distance of 136 kilometers
within a 24,180 million baht budget.
Nakhon Ratchasima Governor Wichien Chantharanothai has led the local private
sector to discuss obstacles for the construction plan with the Ministry of
Transport and relevant agencies, as the ground-level railway will run
through the city of Muang Nakhon Ratchasima district, separating the
community in two and could affect the traditional livelihood of the
Nakhon Ratchasima wants the SRT to elevate the railway at Jira station to
allow people to travel normally, but the SRT has instead proposed a plan
construct a crossing bridge, as design alterations will require another
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to be conducted.
The Ministry of Transport and Nakhon Ratchasima has agreed to send
representatives to discuss the issue again on 25 July in order to reach a
From Palace Kitchens to Today's Eateries exhibition open in Bangkok
BANGKOK,(NNT) - The King Prajadhipok Museum in the capital is
organizing an exhibition showcasing the history of Thai food.
The exhibition, entitled "From Palace Kitchens to Today's Eateries", tells
stories of the culture of palace dishes, which were prepared for both taste
and visual appeal.
According to the organizer, local food underwent a transformation from 1883
- 1941, when Thailand was heavily exposed to foreign cultures. The Bureau of
the Royal Household played an important part in making palace dishes even
Palace dishes became known to the public after 1932, when some of the cook
staff in the royal kitchens quit their positions and started their own
Those interested in the culture, history and art of cooking royal dishes are
invited to visit the exhibition from now until end of November.
All provinces getting ready for Royal Cremation
BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Ministry of Interior is preparing all provinces
for the Royal Cremation of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. All
ceremony venues nationwide are expected to accommodate more than 13 million
Minister of Interior Gen. Anupong Paochinda on Wednesday attended a meeting
with executives of the ministry to acknowledge the progress of the
preparations for the Royal Cremation in the regional provinces. There will
be 878 booths in various places—most of which temples—where people can place
funeral wood flowers. The booths will be designed by the Fine Arts
Department and constructed for around one month. The construction is
expected to begin soon.
According to the Community Development Department, 376 from 878 bouquets of
funeral wood flowers have been made by provincial and district
administrations and more than 19.4 million flower have been made by the
general public. More than 36.8 million flowers are expected to be made by 20
As for Bangkok, 4.2 million flowers have been made. The Bangkok Metropolitan
Administration (BMA) is making preparations for processions and service
booths to facilitate the public.
At the Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall, mourners from various places,
including Phang Nga, Rayong and Chaiyaphume have continued to pay respects
before the body of HM the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej to show their deep
loyalty and gratefulness for him.
Fisheries Department warns of blackchin tilapia scourge in Samut Songkhram
SAMUT SONGKHRAM,(NNT) – The
Department of Fisheries has warned that an infestation of Blackchin Tilapia
in Samut Songkram province may be threatening its local fish populations and
the eco-system, urging local fishermen to eradicate the alien and stop it
Director of Fresh Water Fish Research and Development for the Department of
Fisheries Suthichai Rititham made known that Blackchin Tilapia most recently
found their way into shrimp farms and have so far devastated the stocks. The
fish were brought to Thailand from Africa for breeding into a new marketable
species but failed to catch on.
The fish can grow to 8-10 centimeters in length and feed on smaller marine
creatures. They naturally reproduce at an accelerated rate.
The department has begun to fight back against the infestation by releasing
carnivorous cat fish into waterways to control the population of the tilapia
but has urged shrimp farmers who find the fish to eradicate them and to
filter any water they inhabited.
Public pays respect to memory of Princess Mother
CHIANG RAI,(NNT) – Some 3,000
people have attended the memorial service of Her Royal Highness Princess
Srinagarindra, commemorating the 22nd anniversary of her passing.
The Governor of Chiang Rai province led some 3,000 people from local and
ethnic communities to attend a memorial service honoring Her Royal Highness
Princess Srinagarindra, the Princess Mother, on July 18th, Princess
Srinagarindra Memorial Day.
The wreath-laying ceremony and memorial service were performed according to
Lanna customs. The governor then deliver his remarks in tribute to the
Princess Mother before the Princess Srinagarindra Monument at Mae Fah Luang
Art and Culture Park in Chiang Rai.
Other charity activities took place, including blood drives, medical
checkups, and a tree-planting activity. Mae Fah Luang Foundation has also
opened Doi Tung Royal Villa and its gardens to the general public from 8:00
a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free of charge.
Deity sculptures for royal crematorium 80% complete
NAKHON PATHOM,(NNT) – The Office
of Traditional Arts has revealed that the sculptures for the royal
crematorium are now 80 percent complete.
Head of Sculpting at the Office of Traditional Arts Prosobsook Ratmai
reported that it has made good progress on the sculptures, which are part of
the royal crematorium of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. They
include two fiberglass Ganesha sculptures, for which the basic form has been
finished, as well as Indra and Shiva sculptures, which are now 80 percent
The artisans working on the deity sculptures use a combination of
traditional methods and modern techniques, such as fiberglass molding.
Charoen Hancharoen, an experienced craftsman working on the sculptures, said
the Garuda sculptures require further detailing and are expected to be
finished by the end of the month.
Thailand to host Air Race 1 World Cup in November
CHONBURI,(NNT) - Chonburi province is gearing up to host Air Race 1
World Cup Thailand 2017, which will be held from November 17th- 19th this
The Deputy Governor of Chonburi presided over a meeting with relevant
officials at the Institute of Physical Education, Chonburi campus.
Authorities discussed organizing the event at Utapao International Airport
and Thailand's readiness as a host country.
According to the deputy governor, Thailand is the first country in Asia to
have been selected to host the Air Race 1 World Cup, which also marks the
50th Anniversary of ASEAN and the ASEAN International Fleet Review 2017.
There will be 16 teams and 16 planes competing in Air Race 1 World Cup
Thailand 2017. Each plane will be required to complete eight laps on a
five-kilometer route in less than one minute.
The planes will have to fly at the speed of 450 kilometers per hour in order
to complete the race. Air Race 1 is the world’s fastest motor sport and has
been held for 70 years.
TAT’s marketing plan 2018 to heighten Thailand as a preferred destination
H.E. Mrs. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul (centre),
Minister of Tourism and Sports; Mr. Kalin Sarasin (centre, right); Chairman
of the Board of TAT; and Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn (centre, left), TAT Governor,
as well as TAT Executives and leading Thai tourism industry players at the
press conference to announce TAT’s marketing plan 2018.
Bangkok,– The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) recently held the
annual TAT Action Plan for 2018 meeting, which covers both international and
TAT’s marketing plan 2018 has been designed to serve the purpose of
generating revenue and increase visitor arrivals, promote new ideas and
follow the development agenda of Thailand 4.0 using the Sufficiency Economy
Philosophy, as well as Inclusive Tourism that maintains a balance between
the economy, society and the environment.
All the strategies are in line with the 12th National Economic and Social
Development Plan and 2nd National Tourism Development Plan.
As 2017 is considered as a challenging year, TAT has been putting their best
efforts on tourism marketing in order to stimulate the country’s economy.
Many activities; such as, Village to the World, Creative Thailand and The
Link have been created to highlight the Thai Local Experience. This has
proven successful as the number of potential visitors and first-time
visitors has increased significantly. Therefore, TAT will keep working on
this concept for its action plan in 2018.
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor said, “TAT will use tourism to promote
sustainable development with the community as the ultimate beneficiary. We
believe this will pave the way for Thailand to be a preferred destination
among international visitors.”
To be targeted over the 12-month period of the fiscal year 2018, beginning
October 2017, the niche-market customer segments were finalised at the
annual TAT Action Plan meeting held between 11-14 July, 2017.
For the international marketing plan strategy, TAT has segmented target
customers worldwide ranging from first-timers to repeaters, senior citizens
to sports enthusiasts. TAT will also emphasise on niche markets including,
Weddings and Honeymoons, and Ladies, as well as continue to create a brand
image as a high-end and Luxury Travel destination.
Gastronomy Tourism will be focussed on more, which is considered as an
important part of the travel through local experiences. It is also one of
the tools to boost the development of the country’s economy by adding value
to products and services that are based on the unique Thai culture and ways
of life. Some of the highlighted activities are the opening of the Michelin
Guidebook Bangkok and Thailand will host the 4th UNWTO World Forum on
The communication strategies for the international market will continue to
use “Amazing Thailand”, which has been a popular and well-recognised
marketing slogan for nearly 20 years. TAT will still use “Discover Amazing
Stories in Amazing Thailand”.
In 2018, TAT will change its marketing angle slightly with a new concept of
“Open to the New Shades of Thailand”. The concept will deepen the Unique
Thai Local Experience to a Million Shades of Thailand. This will give more
depth to the presentation of Thailand’s tourism, grow the business for
grassroots tourism sector players, and enhance the country’s image as a land
of amazing diversity worth discovering further.
For the strategy for the domestic market, TAT will focus on increasing the
travel frequency of potential groups (Silver Age, Millennials, Families,
Gen-Y, Multi-Generation, and Ladies), decongest popular areas, promote
travel during weekdays, strengthen society and preserve the environment.
The domestic marketing campaign in 2018, will further enhance the slogan,
“Unique Thai Local Experience”. The concept will promote tourism and create
value among the Thai people to persuade them to enjoy a trip in Thailand and
go deeper in pursuit of unforgettable experiences.
Some examples of new initiatives for domestic marketing by TAT include
creating awareness of waste management during local festivals, promoting
creative gastronomy, and building tourism networks to be environmentally
Mr. Yuthasak said, “Clearly the age of mass-marketing is over. The future
lies in sharply focussed marketing campaigns, which can deliver measurable
results. These will help us maintain a strong brand presence, improve the
efficiency of our marketing spend, address the seasonality factor, decongest
popular destinations and establish closer cooperation with potential
partners that include many industry businesses and local communities who can
contribute to the success of our objectives.”
The number of visitors from January – June 2017, reached 17 million creating
income of 876 billion Baht in which the China market was the first generator
followed by Russia and Malaysia. Realising the importance that tourism has
for the country’s economy, the Royal Thai Government has set a growth of not
less than 8 per cent increase in tourism revenue for 2018.
Transport Ministry holds maritime emergency drill off Samui Island
SURAT THANI,(NNT) – The Ministry of Transport has held a rescue drill
for boats off Samui Island, simulating a fire aboard a sea vessel to trial
evacuation of passengers.
The Ministry of Transport’s Marine Department has worked jointly with Surat
Thani provincial officials and other public and private agencies to stage
the official 2017 maritime rescue drill off Samui Island.
This year’s training involved a fire on a ferry boat and included the use of
helicopters, speed boats and jet skis, all with the purpose of helping to
evacuate passengers from the ferry.
Minister of Transport Arkhom Termpittayapaisith observed the drill and said
it went off in an orderly fashion. He elaborated the drill was to practice
communication and integration during an emergency and adherence to the
International Maritime Organization (IMO) standards. IMO mandates that the
state and relevant private agencies are able to work hand in hand in times
of emergency and are effective in a set zone surrounding off shore.
4 patients infected with meningococcal disease found in southern region
YALA,(NNT) - The Provincial Public Health Office of Yala has
disclosed that four patients infected with meningococcal disease have been
identified in the southern region during the first half of the year.
Yala Provincial Public Health Office Chief Songkran Maichum said that the
meningococcal disease can be found in people of all sexes and ages, but more
commonly found in children than adults, especially children aged under 5.
The disease is transmitted from person-to-person through droplets of
respiratory or throat secretions. Close and prolonged contact such as
sneezing or coughing on someone, or living in close quarters with an
infected person causes the disease to spread.
Maintaining healthy habits such as getting plenty of rest, consuming healthy
food and keeping a distance from infected patients can help prevent the
disease from spreading.
Meningitis symptoms include sudden onset of fever, headache, and stiffness
in the neck. There are often other symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting,
increased sensitivity to light and an altered mental status. Sometimes the
symptoms appear immediately or gradually over several days. Typically,
symptoms usually develop within three to seven days after infection. Later
symptoms of bacterial meningitis can be very serious. For this reason,
anyone who thinks they may be infected with the disease should seek
immediate medical attention. For more information, please call 1422.
Military training security volunteers for cremation ceremony
BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Thai
military has hosted a special training course for volunteers who will
facilitate crowd control and safety on the occasion of the royal cremation
ceremony on October 26th.
Major General Santipong Thampiya, Commander of the Internal Security
Operations Command First Division, chaired the launch of the special
training seminar organized for the second batch of security volunteers
numbering 710 persons.
The training took place at Thammasat University Tha Prachan Campus.
Major General Santipong said public safety will be the military’s number 1
priority on the day of the cremation, given the number of mourners expected
to take part in the ceremony. With the help of the volunteers, security
operations will be efficiently handled.
The training gave volunteers demonstrations on how to spot suspicious
objects and what to do in different emergency situations.
Overflowing Chao Phraya River floods communities in Chai Nat
CHAI NAT, (NNT) – Water that overflowed from the Chao Phraya River
has swept through low-lying areas in Chai Nat province.
The thunder storms that hit Thailand recently, prompted officials at the
Chao Phraya Dam to discharge 1,250 cubic meters of water per second into the
main river, causing the flooding of communities in the Sapphaya district of
Chai Nat which is situated on nearby lowland. The Royal Irrigation
Department said there is a possibility that the amount of water released
from the dam will be raised to 1,500 cubic meters per second on July 19th
which is when water from the northern region arrives in the dam.
Meanwhile, in Uthai Thani, thousands of rice plantations have been damaged
by floodwater triggered by continuous heavy rainfall. Villages and
communities in the capital district are also suffering from the inundation.
The level of floodwater is measured at 20-40 centimeters.
In Ang Thong province, police officers and government officials are
traveling through inundated areas to offer assistance to those in need.
No policy to allow foreigners to work as tour guides in Thailand
BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Prime Minister has stressed the government's
position to eliminate illegal foreign tour guides, and will work towards the
creation of multilingual Thai tour guides to fulfill international tourism
Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha had said regarding the issue where the
Professional Tourist Guide Association of Thailand is preparing to submit a
complaint to the government to solve the issue of illegal foreign tour
guides and tour operators which only lead tourists to purchase products from
their affiliated shops, that the Ministry of Tourism and Sports has been
instructed to handle this issue.
He has said tour guides are a protected profession that only Thais are
allowed to perform according to the law, and that the related agencies have
been working with tour guides and travel agencies to address this issue.
The Prime Minister has however accepted that Thailand is in shortage of tour
guides in stark contrast to the increasing number of foreign visitors each
As of 30 June 2017, Thailand has 70,655 registered tour guides, 46,880 are
categorized as general guides, while 19,154 are area-specific guides. Most
tour guides are proficient in English, followed by Chinese and Japanese.
The Prime Minister has instructed the Ministry of Tourism and Sports to work
with the Ministry of Education to plan the promotion of tour guide training
in order to create more tour guides, and improve the existing guides'
language proficiency, according to demands.
He has then reassured that the government is working to identify any illegal
tours which only bring tourists to purchase items at their affiliated shops,
and is working with Chinese authorities to eradicate the zero-dollar tour
through strict verification protocols..