Thailand Video News | Air Japan flight cancellation domino effect, Japanese man accused of uranium trafficking

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Stay up to date with the latest news from Thailand, as Alex and Jay bring you the headlines shaping the nation. Exploring a range of stories making waves across the country: Air Japan flight cancellation domino effect, Japanese man accused of uranium trafficking, Kamala beach wastewater problem, American escapes jail time following Trip Advisor review, and misinterpreted Social Media Post.



One of Phuket’s most iconic beaches is dealing with some nasty canal runoff

Kamala Beach in Phuket is facing a severe environmental issue as its main canal has turned black and is emitting an unpleasant odor, much to the dismay of visitors and local business owners. The pollution has become a visible problem, with international tourists and locals witnessing the contaminated water flowing into the sea, raising concerns over the lack of action from local authorities. Despite this recurring issue, the Kamala Tambon Administrative Organisation has not acknowledged the problem this year. However, Kamala Mayor Jutha Dumlak recently initiated the Go Zero Waste: Save Our Ocean project in collaboration with a local hotel group, suggesting a potential shift towards addressing and mitigating the pollution at this renowned tourist destination. This move hints at a hopeful future for the beach, aiming to preserve its reputation and ensure a cleaner environment for visitors and residents alike.


One flight’s cancellation has a domino effect on other flights to Thailand

Passengers were left stranded and frustrated after Air Japan, a low-cost carrier within the ANA group, cancelled their flight to Tokyo from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport due to technical issues with its single aircraft. This unexpected cancellation affected not only the planned flight but led to the cancellation of four flights scheduled to depart for Narita Airport. The situation worsened when passengers, who had made full travel and accommodation arrangements, were offered only a ticket refund, with any attempt to reschedule resulting in additional charges. This led to protests at the airport, as passengers demanded better assistance from the airline. The revelation that Air Japan operates with just one airplane, especially after recently launching its Bangkok-Tokyo route on February 9, highlighted the limitations in the airline’s operational capacity, leaving passengers in a bind.

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A Japanese man and his Thai accomplice stand accused uranium trafficking

Takeshi Ebisawa, associated with the Japanese mafia and the Yakuza syndicate, is accused of trying to sell uranium and plutonium, allegedly for Iran’s nuclear program. With a history of legal issues related to arms and narcotics in April 2022, Ebisawa now faces potential life imprisonment. U.S. authorities detail his criminal activities across Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, and the United States, including a failed attempt to sell nuclear materials to an undercover DEA agent in Thailand, who posed as linked to an Iranian general. The operation revealed Ebisawa’s ambitions to supply military-grade weapons to a rebel group in Myanmar, featuring a wide array of armaments. His arrest highlights the gravity of threats posed to national and international security, with charges against him and a Thai accomplice including trafficking in nuclear materials, narcotics, and money laundering, marking a significant crackdown on international crime and efforts to maintain global stability.


An American man narrowly escapes jail time following a bad hotel review

Wesley Barnes, an American expat in Thailand, faced legal challenges and a potential two-year prison sentence after posting a negative TripAdvisor review of Sea View Resort on Koh Chang, criticizing the staff’s unfriendliness and comparing their behavior to modern-day slavery. The situation escalated when the resort pursued legal action, resulting in Barnes’ brief detention. However, through a mediation overseen by local authorities, Barnes agreed to apologize to the resort, the Thailand Tourism Authority, and the US embassy, averting imprisonment. The agreement stipulates that the complaint will be withdrawn if Barnes complies. This incident unfolded against the backdrop of Thailand’s tourism industry trying to recover from the pandemic’s impact, with the southern provinces experiencing a boost in room revenue in the first quarter due to extended stays by European visitors, despite fewer tourists from China and increased room rates in areas like Khao Lak.

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A man was arrested by the Royal Thai Police for selling exotic macaques on Facebook

A Thai man, Wutthichai Tunrat, was arrested in Na Yong district, Trang, for allegedly selling macaques on Facebook. The arrest, conducted by the Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Division, revealed a live macaque in Wutthichai’s pickup truck, leading to charges of trading protected wildlife without permission and illegal possession. The operation was sparked by a tip-off regarding sales on the “Khon Rak Ling Kang Khuen Maphrao” Facebook page, with macaques offered at 2,500 baht each. An undercover officer posing as a buyer arranged a meeting, resulting in Wutthichai’s capture. Despite his claims of finding the macaque in a forest, he could not provide legal documentation for possession, highlighting the ongoing issue of illegal wildlife trade.


A social media post intended to educate is mistaken for an obituary

A well-meaning educational Facebook post by Chulalongkorn University featuring Dr. Pawat Phuensan from the Department of Internal Medicine warning about the dangers of prawn whisker punctures was mistakenly interpreted as an obituary, sparking widespread condolence messages. The post intended to educate the public about the risks of Aeromonas infections following prawn whisker injuries, highlighted by a tragic incident where a Chinese man died from such an infection. Despite the confusion, the viral nature of the post helped spread valuable information on the subject, with a video linked via a QR code explaining the potential dangers and preventive measures against such infections. The university and other social media users had to clarify that Dr. Pawat was alive and well, emphasizing the educational purpose of the original post.

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