Friday, January 18, 2019

Chinese owned/operated Phoenix Tour Company found at fault for over a 100 dead in Thailand

Angry grieving relatives identify Chinese tour operator in Phuket responsible for tourist boat victims

A Chinese relative cries at the Vachira Phuket Hospital in Phuket on Sunday after a tourist boat carrying 105 passengers, mostly Chinese tourists, capsized in rough seas on July 5. (AFP)
PHUKET: Distraught relatives descended on a Phuket hospital Sunday as many waited for news of missing family members who disappeared when a tourist boat sank in rough weather, killing dozens of Chinese passengers.
Recovery divers have pulled 42 bodies from the sea off the resort island of Phuket, but authorities have said 14 other passengers remain unaccounted for.
The Phoenix was carrying 105 people -- mostly Chinese tourists -- when it sank on the way back from a popular snorkeling spot on Thursday.

The latest victim was found Sunday, officials said.
Relatives have been asked to identify their next-of-kin through photographs and to provide DNA samples.
The ashen-faced families wiped back tears in a waiting area of the Vachira Hospital on Sunday while several got increasingly agitated when asked for further information.
"I've already told you the name, why can't you take me there now?" a man was heard shouting at hospital staff.

Recovery divers have pulled 42 bodies from the sea off the resort island of Phuket, but authorities have said 14 other passengers remain unaccounted for
A Chinese woman who only wanted to be identified by her family name, Su, said she was still waiting to claim the body of her sister, Su Jiao Min.
"There should definitely be compensation (for the accident)," she told AFP while waiting to be signed into the hospital.
"But I don’t want to talk about that right now. All I want is to identify and claim (my sister's) body and return home."
Some have called for legal action to be taken after the boat was among three that ignored a bad weather warning against day trips to the islands surrounding the tourist magnet of Phuket.
Gao Kai, who arrived in Phuket on Saturday, said the bodies of his eight-year-old daughter and seven-year-old nephew were identified on Saturday, but he was still waiting for news of his wife, sister and brother-in-law.
"The adults still haven't been found. We’re waiting for them to return so we can take them home," he told AFP, breaking down several times during the interview.

In Thailand, at least 41 are dead after a tour boat sank off the coast of Phuket. Another 15 are still missing.

One of the survivors recounts his horrific experience.

The Thai navy has said it will coordinate the continuing search with a fishermen's network.
"Navy is preparing personnel and equipment to dive to check on the sunken boat for possible more victims trapped inside the boat," it said in a statement, adding that 25 of the bodies retrieved so far were found on the vessel, which is submerged over 40 metres below the surface of the Andaman Sea.
Seventeen Chinese divers joined the operation on Saturday to recover bodies.
On Sunday the Chinese ambassador to Thailand said in a briefing that investigators would also arrive to probe the cause of the accident.
Some 48 people -- passengers and crew -- were rescued on Thursday, while a Chinese woman was plucked from the churning waters Friday and rushed to hospital in Phuket after spending the night in the water.
It is one of the worst boating disasters in recent history in Thailand, which has a poor health and safety track record despite being heavily dependent on tourism.
Last year 9.8 million Chinese tourists visited Thailand, with five million more arriving between January and May this year.
The Phuket provincial court has issued warrants for the arrests of two people in connection with the Phoenix tour boat disaster in which 47 Chinese tourists were killed. Named on the warrants are Woralak ,26, owner of the ill-fated Phoenix, and Onchan Kanhayothi, 56, chief engineer of the vessel. They face a charge of recklessness causing deaths and injuries to others. Mr Onchan on Friday met police to acknowledge the charge and was temporarily released. Ms Woralak, who was interviewed by investigators shortly after the accident, has yet to turn herself in since the arrest warrant was issued.
Woralak's husband, Zhang Wenhao, said that he was only a diving instructor and his wife was responsible for the company's operations.  The "Phoenix" has been officially opened since last year, and its main source of tourists were Chinese.
Phuket boat is difficult to blame: "Phoenix" was arrested
When Zhang Wenhao was interviewed and asked "what do you want to say about Chinese tourists," he covered his face and cried, saying that he and his wife had collapsed after the incident.   
Peng Daqian, a 26-year-old Chinese citizen and manager of "Lazy Cat Travel", was also arrested and charged. According to the Bangkok Post, the Thai police said that he  ordered the yacht to leave the port on the same day.
According to the latest report in Thailand's national newspaper in July 10th, Thailand police have locked up two travel companies, Lazy Cat Travel Co Ltd, and TC Blue Dream, belonging to the Phoenix,  the wreck off the Phuket Island in Thailand. Police say that the two companies had fraudulently organized "0 yuan Thailand Tour" activities to evade paying taxes.
"Phoenix" is operated by TC Blue Dream. According to Thai media, despite the bad weather conditions, it still ventures into the sea.
"Phoenix" legal owner Waralak married a Chinese man who owns more than 90% of the company's shares. The relevant department is reviewing the company’s commercial transactions and suspects that the company  fraudulently used Thai identification to operate in Thailand.
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Company Number
Incorporation Date
3 May 2005 (over 13 years ago)
Registered Address
  • Thailand
Source Thailand Department of Business Development Aug 2017

Lazy Cat International Travel Service Co., Ltd.

Floor 18, Block A, Lugu Information Port, No.658, Lugu Avenue, High-Tech Zone
ChangshaHunan410205  China
Company Type: Independent

Lazy Cat Travel, Thailand 

Image may contain: 9 people, people smiling

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Embedded video

Video shows the chaotic moment survivors of a capsized boat off the coast of Phuket, Thailand were rescued at sea. 

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