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  1. Phuket drug raid nets 1.5kg of ya ice, host of firearms By Eakkapop Thongtub Just some of the drugs and firearms seized in the raids. Photos: Phuket Provincial Police PHUKET: Phuket Provincial Police have arrested six suspects in a slew of raids, with one arrest alone resulting in more than 1.5 kilograms of crystal meth (ya ice) and more than 2,000 pills methamphetamine (ya bah) being seized. The remaining arrests saw three firearms and ammunition seized, along with an assortment of drugs. Full story: https://forum.thaivisa.com/topic/1148723-phuket-drug-raid-nets-15kg-of-ya-ice-host-of-firearms/
  2. Phuket drug raid nets 1.5kg of ya ice, host of firearms By Eakkapop Thongtub Just some of the drugs and firearms seized in the raids. Photos: Phuket Provincial Police PHUKET: Phuket Provincial Police have arrested six suspects in a slew of raids, with one arrest alone resulting in more than 1.5 kilograms of crystal meth (ya ice) and more than 2,000 pills methamphetamine (ya bah) being seized. The remaining arrests saw three firearms and ammunition seized, along with an assortment of drugs. According to a report made available on Friday (Feb 14), the raids were led by Lt Col Jaran Bangprasert. The report did not confirm when each suspect was placed under arrest. Full story: https://www.thephuketnews.com/phuket-drug-raid-nets-1-5kg-of-ya-ice-host-of-firearms-74874.php -- © Copyright Phuket News 2020-02-17 Follow Thaivisa on LINE for breaking Thailand news and visa info
  3. Major Thai coffee brand vows to repay 200 debt-ridden farmers By Nanchanok Wongsamuth A coffee grower collects coffee beans at her plantation in Chiang Rai, Thailand, December, 25 2019. Thomson Reuters Foundation/Nanchanok Wongsamuth CHIANG RAI, Thailand (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A major Thai coffee brand has vowed to repay about 200 farmers who were forced to take out loans while waiting nearly three years for payment, leaving them with spiralling debts. Full story: https://forum.thaivisa.com/topic/1148722-major-thai-coffee-brand-vows-to-repay-200-debt-ridden-farmers/
  4. Major Thai coffee brand vows to repay 200 debt-ridden farmers By Nanchanok Wongsamuth A coffee grower collects coffee beans at her plantation in Chiang Rai, Thailand, December, 25 2019. Thomson Reuters Foundation/Nanchanok Wongsamuth CHIANG RAI, Thailand (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A major Thai coffee brand has vowed to repay about 200 farmers who were forced to take out loans while waiting nearly three years for payment, leaving them with spiralling debts. Doi Chaang Coffee - which has more than 50 franchises in Southeast Asia - said it would pay about 7 million baht ($224,000) after the Thomson Reuters Foundation revealed the non-payment and ensuing debts. Doi Chaang calls itself a social enterprise, a company that addresses environmental and social issues while making a profit, and was founded in 2003 seeking to give growers a fairer price. "By June we should be able to pay back all of the money that we owe to the coffee growers," said Panachai Pisailert, managing director of Doi Chaang Coffee Original Co. "The past two to three years the economy has been bad, and that has affected Doi Chaang's coffee sales," he added, saying the company used to pay its suppliers within four days. The Thomson Reuters Foundation spoke to 20 farmers in three villages in northern Chiang Rai, who said Doi Chaang had owed them payments ranging from 2,000 to 230,000 baht since 2017. The growers said they were worried about being unable to pay back high-interest loans from informal lenders, as well as those from state-owned banks and money borrowed from village funds. One farmer said Doi Chaang's failure to pay him 50,000 baht had led him to take out loans from a rural development bank and a village cooperative to pay for fertiliser and pesticides to preserve his crops. He now owes about 300,000 baht in total. "I will probably be in a never-ending cycle of debt to the bank," he said on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals. FEARS FOR FUTURE Labour rights experts said such debts put people at risk of falling prey to the world's most common form of modern slavery, debt bondage, where people are locked into exploitative work to repay debts. "The coffee growers, who have little capital, will be susceptible to cash-flow problems and eventually be driven deeper into debt," said Betty Yolanda, Asia manager at the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre, a monitoring group. "This situation can be used by other buyers to exercise control over the coffee growers through debt bondage, forcing them into a cycle of debt and exploitation," she added. Somboon Trisilanun, the labour ministry's inspector general, said the agriculture industry was tougher to monitor than other, more industrialised sectors due to the large number of workers. "It's not possible for authorities to inspect all field crops, but they (workers) are protected under the labour law and there are key indicators (of exploitation)," he said. Doi Chaang said it conducted business "like a family" and did not have written contracts with its suppliers. "This kind of practice is rather unusual ... and makes the farmers vulnerable to being exploited," said Viroj NaRanong, research director at the Thailand Development Research Institute, a policy think tank. Coffee is the main source of income for most of the hill tribes living in Chiang Rai, who grew opium poppies before shifting to food crops and coffee beans in the 1960s. One local chief said Doi Chaang owed about 3 million baht to about 30 residents of his village for their coffee beans, and many farmers were worried that they would never be repaid. "The company says they help raise the living standards of locals ... but in reality (the villagers) are struggling," said the chief, who asked not to be named for fear of retribution. (Reporting by Nanchanok Wongsamuth @nanchanokw; Editing by Kieran Guilbert and Belinda Goldsmith. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's and LGBT+ rights, human trafficking, property rights, and climate change. Visit http://news.trust.org) -- © Copyright Reuters 2020-02-17 Follow Thaivisa on LINE for breaking Thailand news and visa info
  5. Ex-Pheu Thai leader Yongyuth Vichaidit to serve 2 years in prison Photo from isranews.org Former leader of Pheu Thai party, Yongyuth Vichaidit, was today sent to prison to serve his two-year sentence after the Supreme Court rejected his appeal to the high court. Full story: https://forum.thaivisa.com/topic/1148721-ex-pheu-thai-leader-yongyuth-vichaidit-to-serve-2-years-in-prison/
  6. Ex-Pheu Thai leader Yongyuth Vichaidit to serve 2 years in prison Photo from isranews.org Former leader of Pheu Thai party, Yongyuth Vichaidit, was today sent to prison to serve his two-year sentence after the Supreme Court rejected his appeal to the high court. Mr. Yongyuth was sentenced, by the Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases, for malfeasance in office over his role in the Alpine golf course scandal more than a decade ago. The verdict was subsequently upheld by the Appeals Court on February 28th last year. The former Pheu Thai leader was appearing before the Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct to hear the reading of the Supreme Court’s decision, on his appeal to the high court against the two lower courts’ conviction. Source: https://www.thaipbsworld.com/ex-pheu-thai-leader-yongyuth-vichaidit-to-serve-2-years-in-prison/ -- © Copyright Thai PBS 2020-02-17 Follow Thaivisa on LINE for breaking Thailand news and visa info
  7. Pareena confident she's not guilty in defamation case By THE NATION Phalang Pracharath Party Ratchaburi MP Pareena Kraikup reported to the Criminal Court today (February 17) to give testimony in a defamation case brought by Future Forward party-list MP and spokeswoman Pannika Wanich. Pareena had claimed in a Facebook post that Future Forward leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit and Pannika were allegedly involved in bomb incidents in several areas of Bangkok and the unrest in three southern provinces, prompting Pannika to sue her for defamation under Sections 326 and 328 of the Criminal Law. After reporting to the court today, Pareena told the press she was “100 per cent confident that she was not guilty and would neither seek reconciliation nor any settlement”. She added that she would hold a press conference at Phalang Pracharath Party headquarters tomorrow. Source: https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30382273 -- © Copyright The Nation Thailand 2020-02-17 Follow Thaivisa on LINE for breaking Thailand news and visa info
  8. Army signs MoU for private sector management of its real estate assets Thailand’s Army and the Treasury Department signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) this morning, under which the Army’s 40 commercial welfare schemes, which include golf and race courses, land, buildings and recreational venues, will be professionally managed by the private sector with benefits shared between the Army, the Treasury and the private sector. Full story: https://forum.thaivisa.com/topic/1148716-army-signs-mou-for-private-sector-management-of-its-real-estate-assets/
  9. Army signs MoU for private sector management of its real estate assets Thailand’s Army and the Treasury Department signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) this morning, under which the Army’s 40 commercial welfare schemes, which include golf and race courses, land, buildings and recreational venues, will be professionally managed by the private sector with benefits shared between the Army, the Treasury and the private sector. The first of a kind deal, to manage the Army’s vast real estate portfolio in a professional manner, instead of the current ad hoc arrangements involving separate army units and officers, is part of a major reform plan under the leadership of Army Commander-in-Chief General Apirat Kongsompong. Finance Permanent Secretary Prasong Poonthanet, who chaired the MoU signing between General Apirat, representing the Army, and Mr. Yutthana Yimkaroon, director-general of the Treasury Department, praised the Army for its initiative in establishing a new approach to the management of military welfare schemes. Source: https://www.thaipbsworld.com/army-signs-mou-for-private-sector-management-of-its-real-estate-assets/ -- © Copyright Thai PBS 2020-02-17 Follow Thaivisa on LINE for breaking Thailand news and visa info
  10. Another psychiatric counselling point set up at Korat’s Terminal 21 By THE NATION Nakhon Ratchasima Rajanagarindra Psychiatric Hospital director Kitkawee Pono said the hospital has added another mental-counselling point at Korat’s Terminal 21 mall – on the LG floor – in order to provide advice to people affected by the shooting rampage on February 8. Full story: https://forum.thaivisa.com/topic/1148714-another-psychiatric-counselling-point-set-up-at-korat’s-terminal-21/
  11. Another psychiatric counselling point set up at Korat’s Terminal 21 By THE NATION Nakhon Ratchasima Rajanagarindra Psychiatric Hospital director Kitkawee Pono said the hospital has added another mental-counselling point at Korat’s Terminal 21 mall – on the LG floor – in order to provide advice to people affected by the shooting rampage on February 8. “The hospital had set up its first service point on the ground floor on February 14, receiving almost 100 people during the first two days of service,” he said. Most people who have sought counselling were shocked when hearing screaming and shooting on the day of the carnage, while some have had sleepless nights since the rampage. “However, they will be able to overcome their problems soon, as a result of quickly returning to their normal daily life,” he added. Source: https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30382271 -- © Copyright The Nation Thailand 2020-02-17 Follow Thaivisa on LINE for breaking Thailand news and visa info
  12. UPDATE: Thai economic growth slips to 5-year low, rate cuts likely By Orathai Sriring and Kitiphong Thaichareon BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand's economy grew at its weakest pace in five years in 2019 as exports and public investments slowed, adding pressure on the central bank to cut rates to shield Southeast Asia's second-largest economy from the coronavirus epidemic. Full story: https://forum.thaivisa.com/topic/1148699-nesdb-lowers-2020-economic-growth-estimate/?do=findComment&comment=15068759
  13. Thai economic growth slips to 5-year low, rate cuts likely By Orathai Sriring and Kitiphong Thaichareon BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand's economy grew at its weakest pace in five years in 2019 as exports and public investments slowed, adding pressure on the central bank to cut rates to shield Southeast Asia's second-largest economy from the coronavirus epidemic. The trade-dependent economy has been buffeted by the Sino-U.S. trade war, soft domestic demand and a delayed fiscal budget and drought, but tourism stood out as a bright spot. Many analysts now expect the Bank of Thailand to further slash rates at record lows to bolster growth this year. Gross domestic product expanded 1.6% in the October-December quarter from a year earlier, versus 2.1% forecast in a Reuters poll and the third quarter's upwardly revised 2.6% growth. In 2019, the economy grew 2.4%, the slowest rate since 2014. It was in line with analysts' forecast, but was sharply down from upwardly revised 4.2% growth the previous year. "The Q4 data was disappointing as the trade war weighed on exports and investments whilst the lagged effect of the government formation and budget bill approval sapped fiscal expansion," said Kobsidthi Silpachai, head of capital markets research at Kasikornbank. On a quarterly basis, the economy grew 0.2% in the October-December quarter, the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) said, in line with upwardly revised 0.2% growth in July-September. Thai stocks <.SETI> and the baht <THB=TH> were unchanged after the data, with traders saying the outcome was factored in. RECESSION NOT EXPECTED The state planning agency on Monday cut its forecasts for 2020 economic growth to 1.5-2.5% from 2.7%-3.7%. It also lowered its outlook for exports, the main growth driver, to a 1.4% rise from a 2.3% increase projected in November. First-quarter GDP may contract from the previous three months before recovering in the second quarter as tourism should recover, Wichayayuth Boonchit, the NESDC's deputy secretary general, told a news conference. "Q1 may contract but Q2 will improve, so it won't be a technical recession," he added. The Bank of Thailand (BOT) said the economy might expand less than 2% this year. Earlier this month, the BOT cut its policy rate <THCBIR=ECI> to a record low of 1.0%, and Governor Veerathai Santiprabhob said there was room to help growth if needed. "We maintain our 2020 GDP growth forecast at 1.9%, reflecting our view that the slowdown will extend into 2020," said Charnon Boonnuch, economist of Nomura in Singapore. He expects the BOT to cut the key rate by another quarter point, likely in the second quarter. Capital Economics also said further cuts were likely soon. The BOT will next review monetary policy on March 25. Thailand's growth has lagged regional peers for years with private consumption constrained by high household debt. In October-December, exports dropped 4.9% year-on-year and public investment fell 5.1% while tourism growth slowed to 6.4%. This year, the NESDC expects foreign tourist numbers to fall to 37 million from last year's record 39.8 million, due to the virus outbreak. The Tourism Authority of Thailand expects foreign visitors to fall by 5 million this year and the loss in revenue could be as much as 500 billion baht ($16.04 billion). (GRAPHIC: Thai GDP and regional peers - https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/13/2110/2078/Thai GDP VS regional peers.png) (Additional reporting by Satawasin Staporncharnchai; Editing by Jacqueline Wong) -- © Copyright Reuters 2020-02-17 Follow Thaivisa on LINE for breaking Thailand news and visa info
  14. Thailand records one new case of coronavirus: health official REUTERS FILE PHOTO BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand records one new case of coronavirus, bringing the total in the country to 35 since January, a senior health official said on Monday. Full story: https://forum.thaivisa.com/topic/1148701-thailand-records-one-new-case-of-coronavirus-health-official/
  15. Thailand records one new case of coronavirus: health official REUTERS FILE PHOTO BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand records one new case of coronavirus, bringing the total in the country to 35 since January, a senior health official said on Monday. The new case is a 60-year old Chinese woman, whose family members earlier contracted the virus, Sukhum Kanchanapimai, the health ministry’s permanent secretary said in a news conference. Fifteen people have recovered and return home. Over 1,700 people in China have died from the virus but Thailand has not recorded any fatality so far. (Reporting by Panu Wongcha-um; Editing by Himani Sarkar) -- © Copyright Reuters 2020-02-17 Follow Thaivisa on LINE for breaking Thailand news and visa info
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