Archive for the ‘Expats in Thailand’ Category

Fully Vaccinated Expats From Any Country Can Now Be Part of The Thai Sandbox Tourism Program

October 5, 2021

Thai authorities eliminated their list of “approved countries” to open up the sandbox tourism program to all fully vaccinated visitors from anywhere in the world. Thailand’s Tourism Authority has welcomed the decision, which means Indonesian and Malaysian tourists can now visit the country. According to Covid-19, Malaysia was Thailand’s second-largest source of foreign arrivals, with over 4 million Malaysian tourists arriving in 2019.
Furthermore, the recently-announced reduction in mandatory quarantine also applies to those participating in sandbox programs, with tourists now only required to spend 7 days in their original destination before traveling abroad. Now, Sandbox tourists can visit Phuket, Koh Samui, Koh Phang Ngan, Koh Tao, Khao Lak, Koh Yao, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Ngai, and Railay Beach.
Since the Phuket Sandbox Program was launched on July 1, it has welcomed over 38,000 foreign visitors and generated around 2.3 billion baht, according to officials. The Bangkok Post reports, however, that tourism operators on the southern island are pessimistic about the coming high season. 90% of the island’s hotels are closed, so they are urging the government to simplify the entry process and reduce the cost of mandatory PCR tests.
Foreign tourists are also deterred by the fact that Thailand is on a “no-go” list in some countries. The United States and the United Kingdom both warn their citizens against traveling to Thailand because of the high infection rate and low vaccination rates. The UK currently requires hotel quarantine and two Covid tests for tourists returning from Thailand.

Thai Government Has Come Up With New Stimulus Package For Expats That Creates A New Ten-Year Visa And New Taxes For Alcohol And CIgars

September 20, 2021

According to the government’s economic stimulus package and investment promotion program, the Customs Department plans to reduce the duty on alcoholic beverages and cigars by 50% for five years.
Director-general Patchara Anuntasilpa said the cuts are in line with the cabinet resolution of Sept 14 concerning plans to revive the post-Covid-19 economy by attracting rich foreigners and highly skilled professionals.
Over the next five years, the scheme is expected to attract more than a million qualified people to Thailand and generate about a trillion baht. Import duties will be lowered as part of the mix.
When staying and working here, the group is expected to spend on average 1 million baht per person per year.
The package includes a 10-year Thai visa for approved special visitors along with their spouses and children, the same income tax rates as Thai citizens, a tax exemption on overseas income, and the right to own property.
Patchara said approximately 30% of products would be affected by the planned cuts, and ministerial regulations will be announced after the changes have been made. The department is also preparing to revise its procedures for customs clearance of personal items for passengers on arrival.
Roengrudee Patanavanicha, a researcher on tobacco control, said the move by the Customs Department caught her off guard because the new excise tax structure for cigarettes will take effect next month.
Cigarettes will be subject to a flat tax rate of 40% regardless of their retail price under the new system.
The new tax could reduce smoking among teenagers and generate revenue for the state.
As a result of high cigarette prices, the smuggling of contraband cigarettes will not increase, she said.
“Lax law enforcement, an inefficient tax system, and tobacco industry intervention contribute to the problem,” she said.

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I was in the hospital for a week. I had a virus that infected my lymphatic system. It caused growths to grow in my groin area. They were able to fight them with medicine.

I will start with two article today and I will write 4 tomorrow. I am getting back slowly.

Thai Bits and Crime: You Will Need Proof of Vaccination Or Negative Result On COVID0-19 Test To Eat In Dark Red Restaurants, 25 People In Chaing Mai Drink Alcohol In Restaurant And Get Arrested

September 7, 2021

Can’t Drink Alcohol In Thai Bar Or Restaurants Without Proof In Dark Red Provinces

Restaurants within the “dark red” zones will require proof of vaccination, or a negative antigen test result, starting on October 1, 2021. According to the Bangkok Post, the negative test result must be no older than a week old, and people who have had Covid-19 must show medical records proving they are healthy.
According to Suwannachai Wattanayingcharoenchai from the Health Department, the rule was introduced to allow businesses to re-open during a pandemic. Using the government app, “Thai Save Thai”, customers will be required to provide information on their infection risk prior to entering a restaurant as part of the measures. People entering barbershops and hair salons, as well as spas and beauty treatment centers, are also subject to the measure.
Additionally, business operators will be required to adhere to strict regulations, including ensuring all staff is fully vaccinated, observing social distancing measures, and being screened weekly for the virus. Every 1 – 2 hours, each premise must also disinfect common surfaces and those that are touched frequently. Furthermore, businesses must be properly ventilated and air-conditioning units must have high-efficiency particulate air filters.

Thai Crime: 25 People Arrested At Chiang Mail Restaurant For Drinking Alcohol In Restaurant

Chiang Mai, a northern Thai province, was raided yesterday and 24 people, including the bar owner, were arrested for allegedly gathering to drink alcoholic beverages, a violation of the emergency decree.
Police say the 25 suspects were seen drinking alcohol and dancing to a band playing at a bar. In addition, police say the suspects disregarded provincial control measures by not wearing face masks or avoiding eye contact.
25 suspects were taken to Chang Puak Police Station for further legal proceedings. The 24 bar patrons are currently charged with violating the order of the Chiang Mai Communicable Disease Committee, which prohibits the consumption of alcohol. By allegedly allowing customers to consume alcoholic beverages at his bar, the bar owner violated the provincial order. Media outlets did not identify the bar.
In Thai establishments, alcohol consumption is still largely prohibited as the government has yet to reopen bars, and restaurants are also prohibited from selling alcohol.

Note: Chiang Mai is the second-largest city in Thailand.

Thai Crime and Tragedy: Police Suspects in Suffocation of Man Have Been Moved, Australian Expat’s Wife Falls From Condo In Bangkok

September 2, 2021

Police Suspects Are Transferred To Another Prison

Their first 12-day detention under court approval ends on Sunday for those who surrendered earlier, and on Tuesday for Pol Col Thisitan and others who turned themselves in later.
Due to safety reasons, they were detained at Phitsanulok’s main prison instead of Nakhon Sawan, where the crime was committed.
Ayut Sinthoppan, director of the Department of Corrections, said on Saturday the prison in Phitsanulok would offer them more protection since they wouldn’t share space with drug inmates the team had captured and sent to jail in Nakhon Sawan.
All are accused of multiple charges, including murdering a drug suspect.
Jeerapong Thanapat, 24, died after his head was covered with plastic bags during an interrogation at Muang police station in Nakhon Sawan.
Pol Col Thitisan led a team of officers who arrested Jeerapong and his wife in the early hours of Aug 4. According to the autopsy report issued by Sawanpracharak Hospital in Nakhon Sawan, he died of suffocation on Aug 6.
All the suspects denied the allegations.
According to justice ministry spokesman Thawatchai Chaiwat, the suspects will be held at Bangkok Remand Prison, but the ministry has not yet been contacted by police about the transfer request.
The CSD and public prosecutors met with investigators at the Nakhon Sawan police headquarters to compile more pieces of evidence before formal charges are filed.

Expat’s Wife Tragically Falls From Condo

Recently in Bangkok’s Pathumwan district, a baby and a woman fell from the ninth floor of a condominium building in a side street off Ratchadamri Road.
Lumpini police were notified of the incident at about 6.30 am.
On a second-floor overhang of the 21-story condominium on Soi Mahatlek Luang 3, they found the bodies of a Thai woman and her baby.
The woman was wearing a T-shirt and shorts and the baby was dressed in blue and white.
The 37-year-old woman and her 8-month-old child lived on the third floor with her Australian husband.
An angry woman carried her baby to the ninth floor and then jumped off, police said.
The couple’s room contained medication for depression and stress. The husband was still being questioned.
Pranaiya Oulapathorn was identified as the woman who died. According to media reports, she operated a diamond business.
She graduated from Oxford University and married her Oxford friend in 2017, according to reports.

Thai Bits: Thai PM and Other Thai Officials Help Fund COVID-19 Relief Bags, Investigation Into Shooting Of A Man By A Thai Police Officer

August 24, 2021

Thai Officials Help Fund COVID-19 Relief Bags

The Covid-19 relief bags have been distributed to vulnerable groups. The bags were funded by donations from PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, other cabinet ministers, and the Government Spokesperson’s team, as well as private and public donations. Anucha Burapachaisri, a government spokesperson, said the care packages were distributed to 6,800 vulnerable people.
Relief bags will contain basics like rice, unspecified dried food, as well as alcohol gel, masks, and green chiretta herbal medicine, also known as fah Talai Jone. From August 4 to August 19, 5,000 of these bags were distributed to vulnerable people in 50 areas. The remaining 1,800 people will receive more RBs.
Anucha explained that the bank accounts for the “Office of Permanent Secretary to the Prime Minister’s Office for Donation to Relieve Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)” are open for donations. Donations will help medical and other officials, as well as those in vulnerable groups such as those in “dark red” provinces and others affected by the ongoing Covid crisis.

Thai Police Officer Allegedly Kills Man While He Was Trying To Extort Money From Him

A report claims a police officer from Nakhon Sawan accidentally killed a suspect while attempting to extort the suspect for 2 million baht. The Royal Thai Police are investigating the report.
The investigation began after celebrity lawyer Decha Kittiwittayanan made the claim on Facebook. According to Decha’s post, the case involves the arrests of a man and a woman for drug offenses. Police officers pressured the twosome into paying 1 million baht to be released, but the police colonel wanted them to pay twice as much.
During a negotiation between the police and the suspects, an officer allegedly put a plastic bag over the suspect’s head in an effort to intimidate him. The lawyer claims that the man then suffocated to death.
According to the lawyer, the colonel instructed officers to report the cause of death as drug overdose as soon as the man’s body was taken to the hospital for examination. She was then released from police custody, as a quid pro quo for remaining silent. The official who witnessed the alleged extortion and subsequent killing decided to file a complaint.
Visanu Prasattongosoth responded to the complaint by saying police chief Suwat Jangyodsuk has ordered the investigation expedited since the incident has damaged the credibility of the police.
Inspector Chettha Komolwanna has been assigned to oversee the investigation, according to Visanu. As part of the investigation, the Muang Nakhon Sawan police superintendent has been called in.

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A German National Committed Suicide At A Hotel In Phuket

August 23, 2021

A German man shot himself in the head in a hotel room in Patong, Phuket.
Major Chompunut (surname withheld), a Patong police investigator, said recently that the death occurred at the Amata Patong Hotel at 7.44 p.m.
To investigate, a police officer and a doctor went to the hotel. A 41-year-old German man was found dead in room 827 on the 8th floor.
According to the investigator, the man was shot in the head. From right temple to left temple, a 9mm bullet from a Kahr pistol had passed through the head. The dead man still held the pistol in his right hand.
He also left behind a letter complaining about a Thai woman and asking the person who found his body to send his belongings to his family. Additionally, anti-depressants were found. The room was not ransacked. The manager said the German had been living reclusively at the hotel for about a year. After noticing he hadn’t left the room for five days. With a keycard, the manager attempted to open the door, but it was locked from the inside. The hotel employee entered the room from the back and found the man lying dead on a bed. At the time of his death, it was unknown when the fatal shot was fired.
At first, police believed the man had committed suicide. An autopsy was performed at Vachira Phuket Hospital to determine the cause of death.
Police Major Chompunut said the German embassy in Bangkok had been contacted and asked to inform his relatives.

Note: One of the dark secrets of Thailand is that some ex-pats in Thailand commit suicide every year.

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Thai FDA Did Not Approve Of An Online Covid-19 Test

August 19, 2021

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is seeking legal action against Pimradaporn Benjawattanapat, an online trader better known as “Pimrypie”, for offering a set of antigen test kits (ATK) as a free gift to purchasers of her mineral water.
Dr. Surachok Tangwiwat, the FDA deputy secretary-general, said his office would ask the Consumer Protection Police Division (CPPD) to look into Pimrypie’s advertisements for her mineral water on Facebook Live.
In the live stream, Pimrypie said whoever bought a 300cc-bottle of her mineral water would get a set of antigen test kits (ATK) as a free gift.
Dr. Surachok said the FDA had examined the broadcast and found it might be against the law.
He said the sale and distribution of ATKs are allowed only at clinics and drugstores under the supervision of pharmacists. Before an ATK product can be sold, the distributor must submit a request with the FDA to register the product, which will only occur after quality checks.
A seller or distributor of an ATK product that has not been properly registered and approved by the FDA, he said, is liable to a jail term of up to six months or a fine of up to 50,000 baht, or both.
The ATK product advertised by Pimrypie had not been registered with the FDA, Dr. Surachok said.
The FDA would send a letter to the CPPD asking it to determine whether Pimrypie had acted illegally. If so, legal action should be taken against her, he said.

The Royal Thai Police Warns People About Scams That Are Still Taking Place In The COVID-19 Era

August 18, 2021

The Royal Thai Police has warned the public about various online scams and threats, noting that cyberbullying and spreading false information can result in criminal charges.
According to the National Police Office, citizens are urged to cooperate and report any illegal acts to the Thai Royal Police Hotline at 1599.

  1. Cyber Bullying
    Cyberbullying involves sending, uploading, or spreading unpleasant, harmful, misleading, or nasty content about others. While sharing intimate or private information about another individual may embarrass or humiliate them, some forms of cyberbullying are illegal. Violations of the Criminal Code, Section 328, can result in a fine of 200,000 baht or a two-year prison term.
  2. Illegal access to data (hacking)
    Hacking is a form of fraud where people are tricked into clicking links that promise rewards, gift vouchers, lottery entries, or ask for their bank information. Hackers can steal credit card details or passwords. Some can claim to be your friend or a call center asking for you to provide them with an OTP code or authentication code. To avoid being hacked, police advise people not to give out these codes or click on links from unreliable sources. Additionally, they emphasize the importance of setting strong passwords.
  3. Online shopping scam:
    It is not uncommon for online shoppers to not receive the products they bought. In most cases, a fraudster will either sell a damaged or low-quality item or nothing at all. You may also be asked to provide your credit card or bank account information by posing as a salesperson. Scams like this can also be found on legitimate internet classifieds. Checking the merchant’s history on Google before making a purchase can help you avoid becoming a victim of online fraud. It is possible to find out if they have ever committed fraud by searching their name, bank account number, or store name on Google.
  4. Dating and romance scams:
    Fake profiles are created on legitimate dating websites by scammers. The purpose of creating these profiles is to form a relationship with you in order to obtain your money and personal information. Scammers will build a strong rapport with you before asking for money for sickness, injury, travel, or family emergencies. By making you feel sympathy for them, they try to exploit your emotions. Scammers may spend months and months building a rapport. According to the police, people should avoid transferring money or investing in programs to which scammers send links.
  5. Loan scam:
    A loan scam occurs when a victim is persuaded to pay an advance charge for a loan. Most people who respond to an advertisement for a quick loan will have their application approved regardless of their credit history. Prior to receiving the loan, they are informed that they must pay a fee to cover loan insurance. After this fee is paid, the victim never hears from the company again, and the loan is never received.
  6. Fake News:
    It is possible for people to spread fake news on social media with bad intentions in order to create controversies, hatred, or panic among people. For this reason, it’s imperative to confirm the information’s reliability before passing it on. Thailand Anti-Fake News Center also provides information.

A Thai Hospital in Chonburi Builds A New Field Hospital To Deal WIth COVID-19 Patients

August 15, 2021

The Sirraj Hospital is building a field hospital with a 20-bed intensive care unit to accommodate Covid-19 patients.
Wisit Wamwanit, director of Siriraj Hospital, said on Saturday that the hospital has expanded its ICU to help admit critically ill patients.
The field hospital, located near Chalermprakiat park and Rot Fai pier inside the hospital compound, is scheduled to open on Aug 30, 2021.
The number of patients with chronic diseases and medical emergencies is on the rise, so they need negative pressure cabinets to maintain special care.
As part of plans to expand capacity for patients of all diseases, Siriraj Hospital, Siriraj Piyamaharajkarun Hospital, and Golden Jubilee Medical Centre have coordinated the field hospital’s operations.
he said. Construction began on July 28 by the Siam Cement Group (SCG).
The hospital was built in two modules to speed construction.
As an ICU, each module contains 10 beds, negative pressure cabinets, and medical innovations.
In order to increase the safety of officers, a PPE dressing room will be set up, as well as safety systems such as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, CCTV, patient monitoring, emergency power supplies, medical gas, and information technology.
The back office will be housed in containers for work offices, rest areas, and drug and medical equipment storage in five cupboards. There will be toilets and showers available.
Dr. Wisit said that the hospital has a budget of about 100 million baht.
Another 13 Covid-19 deaths and 1,254 new cases were reported in Chonburi recently.
Since July 29, the number of daily cases in the province has exceeded 1,000.
With the new infections, the provincial total now stands at 44,356.
Over the past 24 hours, 23,702 cases have recovered, with 1,037 discharged. Those who had recovered were still in hospitals.
An update posted on the province’s Facebook page on Saturday said the 13 deaths brought the total to 235.
Si Racha had the highest number of new infections (346), followed by Muang (296), Bang Lamung (216), Phan Thong (106), and Ban Bung (95).
Three hundred fifty-one of the 1,254 new cases caught the bug from family or friends, 186 from colleagues, 26 from close friends, and seven from parties.

Bangkok Hospital Starting A New Program So Expats Can Get The COVID-19 Vaccine

August 14, 2021

The Bangkok Hospital has just announced a new program to offer Covid-19 vaccines to foreigners in Pattaya who meet certain eligibility requirements. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, the hospital chain announced free Covid-19 vaccines. Thailand has finally begun making vaccines more accessible to foreigners, following months of outcry.
The vaccine you receive depends on what day of the week you schedule your appointment, which is a bit of a strange plan. Patients will receive the first of two AstraZeneca doses on Tuesday and the first of two Sinovac doses on Wednesday. The Sinovac vaccine will be given to people with appointments every Thursday, followed by the AstraZeneca vaccine, mixing the two vaccines.
In advance of everyone going to the hospital, the vaccines are only available to a select few foreigners who meet the narrow demographics they outlined in their press release. An applicant must be a foreign resident living in Thailand and either old, pregnant, or chronically ill in order to qualify. Vaccines are mainly targeted at foreigners over 60 years old.
Those who are at least 12 weeks pregnant or who have paperwork proving they suffer from one of the 7 chronic diseases considered high-risk for Covid-19 can receive the vaccination. In addition to cancer patients receiving chemotherapy, cerebrovascular diseases, chronic kidney diseases, coronary artery diseases, diabetes, severe chronic respiratory diseases, and obesity of over 100 kilograms or a body mass index of over 35 kilograms per square meter are among these diseases.
From August 16 to August 20, 2021, foreigners will be able to register for vaccines through ThailandIntervac.com, which no longer exists, by selecting Bangkok Hospital Pattaya, which is not currently available. Vaccinations will be given on the 6th floor of Central Festival Pattaya Beach between September 1 and September 9.
Choose carefully, as the day of the week you register will determine whether you get Sinovac, AstraZeneca, or both.