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  • Two Thai Men Confess to Raping American Tourist on Koh Phangan Island

    Police on Friday said two local Thai men on a popular tourist island Koh Phangan confessed to sexually assaulting a

    The post Two Thai Men Confess to Raping American Tourist on Koh Phangan Island appeared first on Koh Phangan Island News.


    Police on Friday said two local Thai men on a popular tourist island Koh Phangan confessed to sexually assaulting a foreign tourist.

    Pongsathorn Patint, 26, and Rajan Kaewkohlaba, 23, were arrested on Thursday after they assaulted an American tourist while she was resting inside her bungalow on Koh Phangan island, chief of Koh Phangan Police Station Col. Phisit Wisetwong said.

    Police said the suspects were workers hired by the resort to install furniture. They allegedly waited for the victim’s boyfriend to leave the bungalow before Pongsathorn entered the room and assaulted her, while Rajan acted as a lookout.

    The suspects were charged with colluding in a sexual assault, which they confessed to, the superintendent police said.

    Thank you to Khao Sod English  “Two Thai Men Confess to Raping American Tourist on Koh Phangan” which was brought to us by Google Alerts.

    The post Two Thai Men Confess to Raping American Tourist on Koh Phangan Island appeared first on Koh Phangan Island News.

    20 March 20 2020
    High Alert
    https://kohphangannews.org/?p=4166
  • Koh Phangan district chief suspends full-moon party

    The infamous Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan island has been cancelled until further notice to prevent the spread of

    The post Koh Phangan district chief suspends full-moon party appeared first on Koh Phangan Island News.


    The infamous Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan island has been cancelled until further notice to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

    Acting Koh Phangan district chief Somchai Somwong on Thursday announced the decision to call off the Full Moon Party on Had Rin beach as the gathering of tourists could pose the risk of a Covid-19 outbreak.

    The Full-Moon Party is scheduled on the full-moon night on Sunday. The event normally draws thousands of tourists to the beach on the resort island.

    The Full Moon Party will be held again only after the situation returns to normal, the official said, adding the district had informed all tour agents and hoteliers about the suspension.

    Surat Thani governor Wichwut Jinto agreed with the decision for the safety of tourists visiting the island, he added.

    Thank you to Bangkok Post “Koh Phangan suspends full-moon party” which was brought to us by Google Alerts.

    The post Koh Phangan district chief suspends full-moon party appeared first on Koh Phangan Island News.

    5 March 05 2020
    Full Moon Party
    https://kohphangannews.org/?p=4163
  • Yohai Gild, pioneer of cannabis cultivation, arrested on Koh Phangan for drug trafficking

    Yohai Gild, one of the pioneers of cannabis cultivation in Israel and founder of Israeli Better Cannabis, has been arrested

    The post Yohai Gild, pioneer of cannabis cultivation, arrested on Koh Phangan for drug trafficking appeared first on Koh Phangan Island News.


    Yohai Gild, one of the pioneers of cannabis cultivation in Israel and founder of Israeli Better Cannabis, has been arrested in Koh Phangan, Thailand. He was arrested at a luxury house in Ban Tai at the south coast of the island.

    Gild was arrested with other Israelis for being involved in the sale of cocaine, ketamine, cannabis and other drugs. In addition to also attempting to bribe Thai police officers.

    After a search of the home police found ecstasy, ketamine, cocaine and also marijuana in the bedroom. They also found scales and plastic bags for distributing the drugs. He admitted at the police station that it was all his.

    Gild then allegedly asked to see an officer in charge and offered to pay one million dollars to be freed.

    When the police refused, he started to show signs of stress and began to make trouble, Thai media reported. He allegedly threatened about how a Mr Big who would be informed.

    Police had investigated the suspect after he appeared to be living a flamboyant lifestyle. However he didn’t appear to have a job. Pol Lt-Col Thanawat Sukhata said this was no ordinary suspect in a drugs case. He was a big player.

    Koh Phangan locals called Israeli a mafia poser

    Police further said that the suspect has six Russian girlfriends and two children. Gild was also in the process of purchasing a 30 million baht house of which 2 million has so far been paid.

    He drives around Koh Phangan in an army jeep, locals described him as a mafia poser, Pol Lt-Col Thanawat Sukhata said. He has been charged with possession of drugs with intent to sell. Yohai Gild is in the custody of the Koh Phangan police.

    Meanwhile, Better Cannabis that was founded in 2008 by Gild noted in a statement that “Yohai is a private individual. He has had no executive or management role in the company for several years. The controlling stake in the company is held by Yohai Gild’s mother. He has nothing whatsoever to do with the company or with the deal being put together with the Thai investor. We wish Yohai well, and hope that the matter will prove to have been a mistake.”

    Thank you to Chiang Rai Times “Israeli Man Busted on Koh Phangan for Drug Trafficking” which was brought to us by Google Alerts.

    Photo Credit @ MGR Online

    The post Yohai Gild, pioneer of cannabis cultivation, arrested on Koh Phangan for drug trafficking appeared first on Koh Phangan Island News.

    19 February 19 2020
    High Alert
    https://kohphangannews.org/?p=4134
  • Raja Ferry company offers free tickets to Koh Phangan island

    To Boost Tourism in Surat Thani the Raja Ferry company is offering free ferry service from Koh Samui to Koh

    The post Raja Ferry company offers free tickets to Koh Phangan island appeared first on Koh Phangan Island News.


    To Boost Tourism in Surat Thani the Raja Ferry company is offering free ferry service from Koh Samui to Koh Phangan Island.

    Round trip tickets between the two tourist islands will be given away when passengers buy return ferry tickets to Koh Samui from between this January 25 to June 30.

    Apichart Chayopas, managing director of Raja Ferry Port Public Co., said Surat Thani has several vital tourism destinations.

    To help stimulate tourism, the company has offered this special promotion for tourists as well as general customers.

    Each passenger, travelling between Don Sak and Koh Samui will receive a return ticket between Koh Samui and Koh Pha-ngan island.

    The complimentary tickets will consequently expire within 15 days, starting from the date of issue.

    Raja ferry is a service provider for passengers and cars ferry among Donsak, Koh Samui, and Koh Phangan.

    It offers service in 3 routes which are Donsak – Koh Samui – Donsak; Donsak – Koh Phangan – Donsak; and Koh SamuiKoh PhanganKoh Samui

    The company has used the 3 ports are Donsak, Koh Samui and Koh Phangan port for passenger ferry service. The Company owns for 2 ports Donsak and Koh Samui port.

    Presently, they have 13 ferries and have a plans to increase the number of ferry in the future.

    Click here to see the Raja Ferry time tables.

    Thank you to Chiang Rai Times “Ferry Company Offers Free Tickets to Boost Tourism on Koh Samui” which was brought to us by Google Alerts.

    Photo Credit @ Bangkokpost

    The post Raja Ferry company offers free tickets to Koh Phangan island appeared first on Koh Phangan Island News.

    13 January 13 2020
    General News
    https://kohphangannews.org/?p=4118
  • Thai resort prices starting to squeeze Europeans

    Destinations closer to home offer better value but strong baht only part of the story. A holiday in a popular

    The post Thai resort prices starting to squeeze Europeans appeared first on Koh Phangan Island News.


    Destinations closer to home offer better value but strong baht only part of the story.

    A holiday in a popular beach resort in Thailand now costs as much or more than one in Greece, Italy, Spain, Turkey and Egypt, which is making it harder to attract Europeans to the country, according to a global travel website.

    The report by Skift drew on interviews with a number of Europe-based tour operators, who said their customers’ other concerns included overdevelopment of Thai tourist destinations. Some also complained that the growing focus on Asian travellers in Thailand, especially Chinese, had left some Europeans feeling less welcome. 

    The cost of a five-star resort in Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Samet has reached the equivalent of US$500 per room per night including American breakfast, Skift said, citing figures provided by Diethelm Travel Group, one of the oldest and most established tour operators in Thailand.

    That is similar to the cost of a five-star beach resort in Greece, Italy and Spain, and more expensive than a comparable property in Turkey or Egypt, which costs $350 a night, according to Diethelm.

    Prices for four-star Thai beach hotels also show a similar pattern, according to Diethelm: They cost around $350, as do counterparts in Greece, Italy and Spain, and are higher than the $200 seen in Turkey and Egypt and $300 in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

    The price of a Thai holiday has increased by about 30% in US dollar terms and 40% in euro terms over the last five years due to the appreciation of the baht and inflation, Skift quoted Diethelm CEO Stephan Roemer as saying.

    “This is definitely too much,” said Roemer, who also owns Switzerland-based Tourasia, which specialises in Asia holidays.

    “Hotels at the well-known resort areas in Thailand are more expensive than comparable resorts in Europe. I fear a negative impact in the medium to longer term (six to 18 months) particularly for the leisure market to Thailand.”

    Thai industry players agree that the strength of the baht, due largely to the country’s healthy current account surplus, is a major concern. The Thai currency is now trading around 30 to the US dollar, compared with 35 just a few years ago.

    “Although there have been many talks to resolve the issue, the baht keeps strengthening, and this is a tough challenge for our tourism industry, I admit that it has a negative impact on our business,” said Danai Wansom, president and CEO of Well Hotels & Resorts Thailand. “I believe, although I do not want to, that the baht could reach below 30 baht to the US dollar.”

    But despite baht appreciation, the Skift report said, “many Thai hotels have raised rates as they can count on Asian first-timers and repeat visitors to continue to flock Thailand”.

    However, a guest mix heavily slanted towards Asia has become an issue for some upmarket European guests, it added.

    “Some of the hotels have shifted their guest mix and sell a bigger percentage to the Chinese market. So the atmosphere in the hotel can change to the point where clients tell us they will not go back. This is a very important issue,” said Ruth Landolt, general manager of Asia365, a Zurich-based firm that offers tailor-made tours to Asia for German-speaking markets.

    Landolt saw a “two-digit drop” in business to Thailand this past summer although the upcoming winter business is “looking good, so we hope for the best”, she said.

    “Thailand still has many places with a competitive edge, and those hotels that have maintained their rates are suffering much less, while those that have not listened and increased their rates considerably are now hitting the market with sometimes crazy reductions,” she said.

    “The destination that is getting a lot of business now is Vietnam,” she added. “We also have a lot of business to Japan, but this is a different market. Thailand is competing with Southern Europe, Egypt, Mexico, and the Caribbean or Indonesia.”

    To David Kevan, a director at Chic Locations UK, the baht and Brexit are least of his concerns. One reason is the tour operator has made a conscious effort to attract more clients aged 55 and up who are less affected by Brexit or the baht, and less tied to rigid travel dates.

    His top complaint with Thailand — and with neighbouring destinations such as Vietnam and Cambodia — is overdevelopment.

    He foresees many hotels in Bangkok, Pattaya, Hua Hin, and Phuket, in particular, being turned into condos in the next few years due to oversupply and owners wanting a quick capital return.

    In Vietnam, certain resort destinations are “unrecognisable” from five years ago, he said, while Sihanoukville in Cambodia “is just a disaster on every level unless your focus is solely on low-end Chinese sex and gambling tourism.”

    Chic Locations’ business to Phuket and Koh Samui is down year-on-year, which Kevan puts down to overdevelopment and “overfamiliarity” rather than Brexit or baht.

    These islands have lost their glamour, he said. “It’s very much ‘been there, done that’. However clients are using the improved air links into both as gateways to travel onto Khao Lak, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao, so our business to Thailand this year on the whole is about 5% up, with Khao Lak, Koh Samed and Koh Kood all performing well.”

    The concern is that these islands will go the way of more established destinations and lose their quality and uniqueness eventually.

    “Most of our clients want to see the uniqueness of Thailand. They are prepared to travel a little longer to discover resorts that are far removed from the mass market. And Thailand has these quiet places in abundance,” said Kevan.

    The Tourism Authority of Thailand has forecast that arrivals from the UK to Thailand will decline slightly to 950,000 this year, from 954,000 in 2018.

    “We consider this number satisfactory, as through this year we have been working on many challenging factors such as, the US-China trade war, the concern about Brexit, and definitely the Thai baht appreciation. Decision-making is no longer as easy as it used to be,” said Tanes Petsuwan, deputy governor of marketing communications, speaking at a Thailand networking lunch at World Travel Market last week.

    Kasikorn Research Center expects the whole European market to Thailand to decline 1.5% this year to reach 6.66 million arrivals, with spending to shrink 1% to 468 billion baht.

    Thank you to Bangkok Post “Thai resort prices starting to squeeze Europeans” which was brought to us by Google Alerts.

    The post Thai resort prices starting to squeeze Europeans appeared first on Koh Phangan Island News.

    17 November 17 2019
    Accommodation
    https://kohphangannews.org/?p=4114
  • Nigerian caught on Koh Phangan for six-year visa overstay

    A Nigerian man has been arrested on Koh Phangan paradise island for overstaying his visa by over six years. Surat

    The post Nigerian caught on Koh Phangan for six-year visa overstay appeared first on Koh Phangan Island News.


    A Nigerian man has been arrested on Koh Phangan paradise island for overstaying his visa by over six years.

    Surat Thani immigration police chief Pol Col Supalerk Phankosol on Tuesday said the man identified as Samuel Nwabueze Iwoha has overstayed the visa by 2,412 days.

    The arrest was jointly conducted by immigration officials and tourist police at a rented house on Koh Phangan, he said.

    Mr Iwoha has been charged with remaining in the country beyond permitted time in violation of the Immigration Act. He has been sent to the local police.

    Thank you to Bangkok Post “Nigerian caught on six-year overstay ” which was brought to us by Google Alerts.

    Photo Credit @ Wikimedia Commons – Thailand Visa

    The post Nigerian caught on Koh Phangan for six-year visa overstay appeared first on Koh Phangan Island News.

    13 November 13 2019
    General News
    https://kohphangannews.org/?p=4105
  • Briton arrested on Koh Phangan island for selling illicit drugs

    A British national was arrested on Koh Phangan on Sunday with a variety of narcotics in possession to allegedly sell

    The post Briton arrested on Koh Phangan island for selling illicit drugs appeared first on Koh Phangan Island News.


    A British national was arrested on Koh Phangan on Sunday with a variety of narcotics in possession to allegedly sell to tourists on the island.

    Koh Phangan police chief Sathit Kongniem said Matthew Beresford, 36, was stopped for acting suspiciously when he saw police while riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle from Natalie Bungalow at 20 minutes past midnight.

    A search of his room found 0.4 grammes of heroin, 0.2 grammes of MDMA, 51 grammes of morphine and 185 grammes of marijuana rubber, the police chief said.

    The arrest followed a tip-off that a foreigner riding a Harley was planning to sell drugs to foreign tourists on the island.

    Pol Col Sathit said Beresford was charged with possessing illegal drugs. His two motorcycles, a car and 15,000 baht in cash had been seized, he added.

    Thank you to Bangkok Post “Briton arrested on Koh Phangan for selling illicit drugs ” which was brought to us by Google Alerts.

    Koh Phangan Police Drug Search Matthew Beresford
    Police search a room of Matthew Beresford (centre) and allegedly find drugs. (Photo by Supapong Chaolan @ Bangkok Post)

    The post Briton arrested on Koh Phangan island for selling illicit drugs appeared first on Koh Phangan Island News.

    4 November 04 2019
    General News
    https://kohphangannews.org/?p=4100
  • Nigerian charged with expired passport, cocaine & 34.000 Baht in cash on Koh Phangan island

    A Nigerian tourist, Ezihe Collins, 35, was captured on Sunday as he was driving a motorcycle from his house on

    The post Nigerian charged with expired passport, cocaine & 34.000 Baht in cash on Koh Phangan island appeared first on Koh Phangan Island News.


    A Nigerian tourist, Ezihe Collins, 35, was captured on Sunday as he was driving a motorcycle from his house on Koh Phangan.

    Koh Phangan police chief Sathit Kongnium said his passport had expired on Sept 28 last year. Authorities did not mention his visa stamp.

    Pol Col Sathit said a search of his house on Sunday uncovered six bags of cocaine weighing almost 10 grammes. In a further inspection on Monday, authorities seized two books containing lists of names, believed to be his customers, and 34,000 baht in cash.

    The Nigerian was sent to Koh Phangan police station to be charged with staying in the country illegally and possessing illicit narcotics.

    The Immigration Bureau has ordered police to crack down on foreign overstayers on the provincial islands of Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao.

    Thank you to Bangkok Post “2 foreign overstayers arrested on Samui, Phangan” which was brought to us by Google Alerts.

    Nigerian Ezihe Collin sat Koh Phangan police station
    A policeman interrogates Nigerian Ezihe Collins at Koh Phangan police station on Monday. (Photo by Sitthipong Charoenjai @ Bangkok Post)

    The post Nigerian charged with expired passport, cocaine & 34.000 Baht in cash on Koh Phangan island appeared first on Koh Phangan Island News.

    29 October 29 2019
    General News
    https://kohphangannews.org/?p=4095
  • Italian arrested after ecstasy pills found in noodles mailed from Netherlands

    An Italian has been arrested and methamphetamine powder seized from his house on Koh Phangan after 500 ecstasy pills were

    The post Italian arrested after ecstasy pills found in noodles mailed from Netherlands appeared first on Koh Phangan Island News.


    An Italian has been arrested and methamphetamine powder seized from his house on Koh Phangan after 500 ecstasy pills were found hidden in packets of instant noodles sent to him from the Netherlands.

    Pol Col Suparuek Phankosol, superintendent of the Surat Thani immigration, said on Wednesday that customs officials inspected a parcel at the Bangkok Mail Centre on Oct 21.

    It was sent from the Netherlands to a person on Koh Phangan paradise island. An inspection found 500 pink ecstacy pills, about 205 grammes, hidden inside packets of instant noodles.

    Investigators obtained a search warrant for the home of the addressee, Naomi Cometto, on Koh Phangan island.

    Police went to tambon Koh Phangan and found an Italian man, 39, staying at the house with his Thai wife and their five-year-old daughter.

    Pol Col Suparuek said a search of the house found 15.77 grammes of methamphetamine powder in a can labelled almonds hidden on the ground floor of the raised house, and some used syringes.

    During interrogation, the Italian suspect said he and his family had lived on Koh Phangan for two years. He did not work, and liked to go to the parties held on the island. He received financial support from relatives in Italy, who gave him 25,000 baht a month.

    His Thai wife earned a living by selling goods online and at a weekend market.

    He allegedly admitted buying the methamphetamine powder from a French man identified only as Francis at a party on Koh Phangan, and that he took some of the drug a week ago by heating it in a microwave and then inhaling it.

    He was handed over to Koh Phangan police on a charge of having illicit drugs in his possession with intent to sell.

    Thank you to Bangkok Post “Italian arrested after ecstasy found in noodles mailed from Europe” which was brought to us by Google Alerts.

    Police find methamphetamine powder in an almonds tin during a search of the house on Koh Phangan in Surat Thani. (Photo by Supapong Chaolan @ Bangkok Post)

     

    The Italian suspect lived in this house with his Thai wife and their young daughter. (Photo by Supaong Chaolan @ Bangkok Post)

     

    Ecstasy pills were hidden in these instant noodles sent from the Netherlands to the Italian suspect on Koh Phangan island. (Photo by Supapong Chaolan @ Bangkok Post)

     

     

    The post Italian arrested after ecstasy pills found in noodles mailed from Netherlands appeared first on Koh Phangan Island News.

    23 October 23 2019
    General News
    https://kohphangannews.org/?p=4086
  • Rebranded ‘Agama Yoga’ back in business as ‘Phangan Yoga’ on Koh Phangan island

    One year after the Agama Yoga sex abuse scandal erupted on the idyllic Thai island of Koh Phangan, the New

    The post Rebranded ‘Agama Yoga’ back in business as ‘Phangan Yoga’ on Koh Phangan island appeared first on Koh Phangan Island News.


    Agama Yoga rebranded with new logo Phangan Yoga

    One year after the Agama Yoga sex abuse scandal erupted on the idyllic Thai island of Koh Phangan, the New Age center where dozens of women say they were raped is drawing students again under a new name.

    A surge of new students has been seen at Agama Yoga since it rebranded itself Phangan Yoga last month, just over a year after former students and island residents branded it a “rape cult” where female students say they were promised spiritual healing only to be coerced into sex or raped by its founder and his instructors.

    After reopening late last year following a brief closure it said was to reorganize internally, Agama Yoga has continued to operate. It is currently advertising courses through next year, most for THB 5,000-13,000, at the same address where Phangan Yoga is now listed on a nearly identical website created last month. New signs with the name Phangan Yoga have gone up around the campus, located a few minutes inland from Phangan Cove on the island’s west coast.

    “This is not acceptable. Agama is hiding its name on the road to lure women into free classes under a fake name,” said Gregory Self, who leads a group of concerned island residents.

    Self is part of the Boycott Agama Yoga, a 1,300-plus online community that says it wants to see the school closed and Narcis Tarcau, its founder and self-styled swami, brought to justice. Late last month, Self and others complained to local police that Agama Yoga was operating under a name that wasn’t legally registered. They say officers came to visit; police deny that’s what brought them there.

    … read the full story at “Coconuts Bangkok – Tainted by ‘rape cult’ allegations, rebranded Agama back in business on Thai island” which was brought to us by Google Alerts.

    New signs have gone up around the campus. Photo: Boycott Agama Yoga Group member

    The post Rebranded ‘Agama Yoga’ back in business as ‘Phangan Yoga’ on Koh Phangan island appeared first on Koh Phangan Island News.

    20 September 20 2019
    High Alert
    https://kohphangannews.org/?p=4075