Minneapolis POLITICA

Looters destroy Thai shops in the protests.

A number of Thai businesses in the United States have been affected after nationwide demonstrations over the death of George Floyd escalated out of control.

Nakamol Sussman, owner of Nakamol Chicago, a handcraft jewellery shop, told the Thai News Agency that her store, which was about to reopen on June 1, was badly damaged in the protests.

She said her store was ransacked by looters with merchandise stolen and some pieces left scattered on the floor.

Ms Nakamol estimated the damage at US$1 million (31.5 million baht).

She said the situation was worse than the Covid-19 outbreak and she feared for her safety.

“I’m afraid to go outside. I’ve lived here for 20 years and never seen anything like this,” she said.

Ms Nakamol said she had talked to other Thai business operators and learned their restaurants and shops were looted and vandalised.

Sarayuth Komol, Thai owner of a Japanese restaurant, Sushi Aoi, in Washington DC, told VOA Thai that the restaurant’s window was smashed and a television was damaged during violence on May 30 night.

He said he had the broken window boarded up and asked local police and the building owner to inspect the damage.

Mr Sarayuth said the restaurant is still open despite the protest.

VOA Thai also reported that another Thai restaurant, Baan Siam, which is close to the White House, was damaged during looting on June 1.

Prathan Panprayoon, manager of Haad Thai restaurant in Washington DC, told VOA Thai the unrest has worsened their economic hardship as sales had dropped to 10% during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Cherdkiat Atthakor, spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the Royal Thai Embassy in Washington DC and other consulate-generals are monitoring the situation.

He said Thai nationals are advised to avoid being caught up in protests and follow local authorities’ guidelines.

For assistance Thai people can contact the Royal Thai Embassy at (202) 999-7690, Royal Thai Consulate-General, Los Angeles, at (323) 580-4222, Royal Thai Consulate-General, Chicago, at (773) 294-5933, and Royal Thai Consulate-General, New York City, at (646) 842-0864, or via email, protection@thaiembdc.org

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