"Mr. Governor Narong Woonsiew"
All Phuket Real Estate information:
We are an expat community who raised several concern towards your offices, here once again a registered letter to your office as Region 8 and Chalong involvement. We do think that the lack of importancy is broomed.
One of our member step forward to being this once again to your attention. Are you waiting to be dispatch to a another province.
Your daily press exposure is good but the outcome and results are not what people expect to.
Soon on Amarin, ATV and Aljazeera
"Thai officers uncover police corruption & drug use"
Monday Oct 31 2022,
Several Thai officers from the Lad Yao Police Station in the central province of Nakhon Sawan sent a letter to the Deputy Commissioner of the Royal Thai Police (RTP), Torsak Sookwimon, revealing mass corruption and drug-related activities in their department.
Last Saturday, October 29, Thai media reported that a non-commissioned police officer from Lad Yao Police Station sent five complaints to the RTP. The five complaints are stated below:
1.) Officers at Lad Yao Police Station use drugs (amphetamine). When they are high on drugs, they play with their guns and often accidentally fire shots, especially when the superintendent finishes work.
2.) The Patrol Police office is not for work, it is used for parties. Some officers throw parties at the office every evening. Officers who don’t join the fun have to find another place to work.One police lieutenant general modified the electricity meter to ensure the bill is only 1,000 baht a month despite two air conditioners being used 24 hours every day.
3.) There are 10 patrol police checkpoints where locals pay separately for the special investigation services of the area. Several officers swindled tens of thousands of baht from locals but they did not do the work promised. The officers who did the work got only 500 baht.
4.) High-ranking officers never went out on patrol. They ask low-ranked officers to go instead.
5.) The chiefs ignore the prostitution of children under 15 years old at restaurants and entertainment venues, especially at Tee Derm, and Peunjaeng restaurants. Those places pay 3,000 baht to officers to continue their businesses. The Provincial Administration Department raided a restaurant for human trafficking on August 10, but police from Lad Yao Police Station helped the restaurant owner escape prosecution.
The Bangkok Biz News reported that the superintendent of the Lad Yao Police Station, Wattanakit Chalaoprakone, denied all of the accusations, saying he never heard or saw any drug use or gun abuse under his one-year charge.
Wattanakit said that every police officer took a drug test on October 12 and everyone was clear.Wattanakit promised that he would conduct a further investigation into the rest of the accusations and reveal the result to the public within two to three days.
Source: The Thaiger
"3 Thai officials arrested for selling personal information of over 1,000 people to call centre gang"
Saturday Oct 29 2022,
A police colonel and two officials at the Ministry of Commerce were arrested by police from the Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau (CCIB) for allegedly supplying the personal information of over 1,000 people to a Chinese-operated call centre scam gang.
CCIB police said that they detected unusual transactions in the bank accounts of the three state officials, with a total of 600,000 baht being wired into their accounts per month, or about 20,000 baht a day, from accounts of people suspected of being hired by the call centre to open accounts for scamming purposes.
Police have rounded up 16 suspected members of the gang this month, including eight people who were paid to open bank accounts for the gang.
Source: Thai PBS World
"DRUGS: Bust sees 6 arrested for drugs, 6 police arrested for bribes"
Wednesday Oct 26 2022,
Six police officers were arrested in Songkhla, accused of dereliction of duty and soliciting bribes from a drug dealer.
The officers included the Rattaphum Deputy District Chief along with five drug enforcement officers.
They turned themselves in after a warrant was issued for their arrest.
The charges come after a 35 year old drug dealer was arrested on Monday and evidence pointed at communication between him and the Phikhat Phairi drug squad.
Thailand’s National Police Chief reported that the district chief and five members of the drug squad have been questioned by Songkhla Police already and confessed to soliciting bribes.
The drug bust was made at the beginning of this week when the dealer sold 20,000 meth pills on Monday night. Unfortunately for him, his customer was an undercover cop in the Rattaphum district.
The man was arrested and thoroughly interrogated with fruitful results. Information gleaned from questioning the drug dealer uncovered the supply chain and directly resulted in six more suspects being taken into custody. But they were not the most interesting suspects uncovered in the investigation.
The drug trafficker’s phone revealed messages on the LINE app between the drug gang and the deputy district chief. Furthermore, there were records that the chief attempted to solicit bribes from family members of the arrested drug dealer to secure his release.
The police ordered payment in cash or drugs.
They said they would release the dealer for 1 million baht. Failing that, his family could secure his freedom in exchange for 10 kilogrammes of crystal meth or 200,000 meth pills.
According to the Bangkok Post, when the drug enforcement officers involved in the bribe scheme were confronted, they confessed to the crimes. An investigation is ongoing.
The officer said that corruption was not part of their normal daily duties. They asserted that this was the first time they ever attempted the solicitation of a bribe and that they previously had only behaved ethically.
The Deputy National Police Chief is considering those claims with some scepticism.
Source: The Thaiger
"Deputy district chief, drug enforcement volunteers surrender over bribe"
Tuesday Oct 25 2022,
SONGKHLA: The deputy district chief of Rattaphum and five drug enforcement volunteers turned themselves in to police on Tuesday, after the Songkhla Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant against them for asking for a bribe and dereliction of duty.
National police chief Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas said the team leader, SM1 Phairat Kaewmanee, who is the deputy district chief, and his five volunteers of Phikhat Phairi squad - Chalermsak Thongjaeng, Phitsanu Rattanaurai, Sutthipong Suwannachatri, Lertrit Chaiphruekkul and Adisak Wangni - were questioned by Songkhla police.
The Phikhat Phairi team on Monday night arrested Thanakorn Suwanchana, who sold 20,000 methamphetamine pills to the official team in Rattaphum district.
The team then instructed Thanakorn, 35, to order 8 kilogrammes of crystal methamphetamine, or “ice”, from another man. They planned to receive the "ice" at the Sala Khiao intersection in Rattaphum on Tuesday night.
However, the operation ended after nine gang members from Thanakorn’s side hijacked two official cars and fled the scene.
One of the vehicles carried seized drugs and another had five guns of the volunteers.
Pol Gen Damrongsak said six of the nine gang members were arrested following the incident, while three others are still on the run.
Based on the interrogation of the six suspects, police found that the gang had a conversation with SM1 Phairat via Line app. The officer also called Thanakorn’s relatives asking for 1 million baht or 200,000 meth pills or 10kg of crystal meth to release him. The negotiation was conducted before the drug dealers met the team.
Deputy national police chief Pol Lt Gen Surachet Hakparn told media on Tuesday that the drug enforcement team admitted to the wrongdoing and said they had done it for the first time.
However, police investigators were not convinced by their statements and asked if anyone was threatened by the squad to file complaints with police.
Further investigation was underway.
Source: Bangkok Post
"Drunk SWAT policeman shoots man 9 times at nightclub in southern Thailand"
Tuesday Oct 25 2022,
A drunk Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) police officer shot dead a man inside a nightclub in Trang province, southern Thailand, at around 1am today.
The SWAT officer fired 11 shots in total with a 9mm gun.
Two more nightclub revellers caught in the gunfire were injured.
At 1.13am, officers from Mueang Trang Police Station received a report that a fatal shooting occurred at Country Home nightclub on Phattalung Road in Mueang district of Trang province.
Police found the body of 32 year old Chitkorn “Khao” Kongchan from Yan Ta Khao district lying face down in a pool of blood inside the venue.
The victim was shot twice in the back of the head, three times in the left shoulder blade, once in the rib cage, and three times in his upper right arm.
He was shot nine times in total.
The victim’s 34 year old friend Ekaphot “Tom” Petcharat was shot once in the hip and another man was reportedly injured by a bullet scraping his elbow.
Rescue workers took both injured men for treatment at Trang Hospital.
Investigators found 11 bullet casings scattered on the ground at the scene as well as the SWAT officer’s 9mm Glock.
The Glock was loaded with one remaining round of ammunition.
The police’s investigation so far reveals that Chitkorn arrived at the nightclub at around midnight with two of his friends, Ekaphot and 42 year old Wuttichai “Den” Kongpan.
The trio sat at table number 20.
The perpetrator, known as ‘Sergeant Bird,’ is Commander-in-Chief of the Defense and Crime Suppression Division at Ban Nong Aung Police Station in Palian district.
He is also a serving member of the Trang SWAT team.
Sergeant Bird sat drinking at table number 20 with another police officer who used to work as a security guard at the nightclub until about one month ago.
The SWAT officer’s companion “pounced” on Sergeant Bird and snatched the firearm off him after the shooting spree.
Then, both police officers fled the nightclub, leaving behind the 9mm Glock.
Nat [surname withheld], a member of serving staff at the nightclub, said the policemen were “very drunk.”
He said he assumed the officers had been drinking before arriving at Country Home.
Nat said he saw a fight break out between Sergeant Bird and Chitkorn.
He doesn’t know what started the argument, but he saw the SWAT officer kick Chitkorn’s chair.
When Sergeant Bird kicked the deceased’s chair, Chitkorn got angry and pushed him. Then, the deceased walked up to the second floor of the club. Sergeant Bird followed him up the stairs and fired 11 shots from behind, nine of them penetrating Chitkorn’s head and body and injuring two more people
At the time of the incident, there were about 20 tables of customers seated inside the nightclub.
Police at Mueang Trang Police station invited a friend of the deceased and seven members of nightclub staff to be questioned at the station.
Police said all of them gave consistent and useful testimony.
Police are still trying to track down and arrest Sergeant Bird
In August, a police officer who shot dead a noodle vendor in Phuket last year was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
The incident was captured by CCTV.
Source: The Thaiger
"Border cop accused of drug, weapon offences transferred to non-job"
Friday Oct 21 2022,
The police chief of Narathiwat province has been reportedly transferred to an inactive position at Royal Thai Police (RTP) Headquarters, pending a disciplinary probe into his alleged connections to drug networks operating in the deep south and Malaysia.
Pol Maj-General Waesamae Salae is under suspicion of aiding suspects in drug and weapons cases, a news source said on Wednesday.
Narathiwat is one of the southern provinces of Thailand that borders the Malaysian state of Kelantan and Perak.
National Police chief Pol General Damrongsak Kittiprapas ordered Waesamae to drop all current duties and relocate to the RTP operations centre in Bangkok until further notice.
An order by National Police chief Pol General Damrongsak Kittiprapas on Wednesday instructed Waesamae to drop all his current duties.
He has been stationed at the RTP’s operations centre in Bangkok until further notice, " to maintain the orderly and efficient operation of the police force."
The source speculated that Waesamae was transferred to prepare for an investigation after Atchariya Ruangrattanapong, chairman of the Crime Victims Assistance Club accused of blasphemy, filed a complaint with the National Police chief.
Controversial lawyer Atchariya Ruangrattanapong has filed a complaint with the National Police chief.
Atchariya claims Waesamae had issued certificates allowing suspects to pass security checkpoints without undergoing screening.
He presented evidence indicating Waesamae’s involvement with drug networks.
Some evidence purportedly showed how members of gangs involved in trafficking narcotics and weapons were under Waesamae’s command.
The accused officer reportedly volunteered to supervise their cases in an attempt to help them escape justice.
Atchariya also claims to have a recording of a conversation involving Waesamae, a drug dealer and a former Malaysian police officer who sold crystal meth and abducted a Malaysian businessman in Laos.
Source: The Thaiger
"Nonthaburi cop held over theft of 90 guns"
Suspect caught in Nong Khai, Pak Kret chief transferred over security lapses.
Thursday 20 Oct 2022,
Officers detain Pol Snr Sgt Maj Chaowalit Phumkhachorn (in red shirt) following his arrest in Nong Khai in connection with the theft of guns from the Pak Kret station in Nonthaburi.
(Photo supplied: Wassayos Ngamkham)"
A police senior sergeant-major has been arrested and his chief transferred in connection with the theft of about 90 guns from the Pak Kret district station in Nonthaburi where he was based.
Pol Snr Sgt Maj Chaowalit Phumkhachorn was apprehended on Thursday afternoon in Nong Khai where he had fled, national police chief Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas said.
Police investigators would fly to the northeastern province to take the suspect back to Nonthaburi to face legal action, he said.
The thefts from the Pak Kret station allegedly took place over a period of two years but were only disclosed recently, a police source said.
The Nonthaburi Provincial Court on Wednesday approved an arrest warrant for the officer.
Pol Col Phongchak Preechakarunpong, the Pak Kret chief, was transferred to the Provincial Police Region 1 operations centre pending the outcome of an investigation into weapons storage and disbursement at the station.
Prior to the transfer order, Pol Col Phongchak had called an urgent meeting of senior officers responsible for disbursement of official pistols from the station’s weapons storeroom. The exact number of stolen guns was not yet known.
Pol Snr Sgt Maj Chaowalit was tasked with disbursing materials at the station, including guns. He allegedly created fake documents showing that guns had been disbursed to officers at the station, according to Pol Gen Damrongsak.
“I have ordered officers in all areas to find as many of the stolen guns as possible,” the national chief said. “I want to warn those who bought or have those guns in their possession to immediately return them to the Pak Kret police station or they will face legal action.”
Source: Bangkok Post
"Drug cartel steals seized drugs, car, and guns from red-faced police"
Wednesday 19 October 2022,
In a scene more reminiscent of the Keystone Cops, narcotics suppression police were left red-faced after drugs they seized from a trafficker in the southern province of Songkla were stolen back by a drug cartel.
And, just for good measure, the drug cartel stole their police car, guns and phones as well.
The Deputy Chief of the Songkhla Provincial Administrative Special Operations Squad, Pairat Kaewmanee, and five officers from the Volunteer Defense Corps, reported at Rattaphum Police Station in Songkla province that they had been robbed by a drug trafficking gang at 9.30pm on Monday, October 17.
Pairat reported that he and the five officers posed as drug dealers and bought 20,000 methamphetamine tablets from a 35 year old drug dealer named Thanakorn in front of Baan Kuan Sator School at 7.45pm on Monday.
They arrested Thanakorn at the scene and tried to set up another arrest with the help of the drug dealer.
Pairat urged Thanakorn to contact another dealer named Dam and make an appointment with him at the Sala Khiao Intersection.
The officers travelled to the location separately in two cars.
Pairat and the four officers travelled in a sedan while another officer followed behind with Thanakorn in a pickup.
Pairat revealed that four cars suddenly surrounded his sedan after he arrived at the appointed location and about 20 men emerged from the vehicles armed with pistols and an M4 carbine.
The group claimed they were officers from Rattaphum Police Station.
They made Pairat and the four officers strip to the waist.
They then took their phones, and weapons, and made off with their sedan which had the seized drugs in the boot.
The officer travelling in the pickup car with Thanakorn arrived at the scene too late.
The red-faced officers are reportedly putting a plan together on how to arrest the gang and take back the drugs.
Source: The Thaiger
"Police finally recognise armed officer standoff at Phuket housing estate"
PHUKET: Phuket Provincial Police have responded to a call online to recognise an incident yesterday that saw a police officer from Phang Nga blockading the entrance to a housing estate in Thalang and roaming the streets with a gun.
Tuesday 11 October 2022,
Police at the scene yesterday (Oct 10). Photo: Phuket Provincial Police
A statement issued by Phuket Provincial Police today (Oct 11) reported that Phuket Provincial Police Commander Pol Maj Gen Sermphan Sirikong was notified of the situation at about 8:30am yesterday.
A man had blocked the entrance to the housing estate with a pickup truck and was walking the streets while holding a handgun.
Police were told that the man appeared as if he were under the influence of drugs.
Officers were called in to seal off the area and surround the house that the man, who police named only as Lt C.P. Postakorn (family name withheld), an officer currently serving at a police station in Phang Nga province, the statement read.
Police obtained a warrant to enter the man’s home at about 3:30pm, the statement continued.
Postakorn’s parents arrived to talk their son into surrendering, which he did at about 5pm, the statement added.
Not noted in the statement but marked in other reports online was that Postakorn was found with a handgun loaded with seven bullets and a further eight bullets in his pocket.
The statement did mark that a search of the home found no more illegal items.
Postakorn was taken to Thalang Police Station and charged with carrying a firearm in a public area without permission, the statement confirmed.
He was tested for drug use, the statement also confirmed, but the results of the drug test results were not mentioned in the statement.
The end of the statement finally recognised that Postakorn may have fired shots, possibly into the air.
Postakorn will face police disciplinary action, the statement assured.
Source: The Phuket News
"PHUKET XTRA: VIDEO: Police to tighten grip on guns for disgraced ex-cops"
PHUKET: Police officers and administrative officials who exhibit behavioural problems will have their guns confiscated, according to the national police chief.
Tuesday 11 October 2022,
Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas, the national police chief, said yesterday (Oct 10) the Royal Thai Police Office and the Interior Ministry planned to recall guns from police, administrative officials and other governmental officials who were issued government-sponsored weapons but showed aggressive behaviour.
Officials who had faced complaints about their behaviour and retired officials with such characteristics would not be spared, reports the Bangkok Post.
He added that people who wanted gun icences would first have to be certified for good mental health, and holders of such licences would have to pass mental checkups over time.
Relevant officials would discuss such gun control measures in a meeting convened by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha tomorrow, Pol Gen Damrongsak said.
The movement followed the brutal massacre by a sacked policeman at a childcare centre in Nong Bua Lam Phu province last Thursday.The ex-cop, who had been previously prosecuted for drug abuse, murdered 37 people - including 24 children - in Na Klang district on Thursday afternoon before taking his own life.
He also killed his wife and son.
Earlier the national police chief said the man had mental problems after extensive drug abuse.
Self-harm fears rise in massacre’s wake Meanwhile, at least 10 out of the 170 residents of Nong Bua Lam Phu’s Na Klang district who were directly affected by the massacre last week are considered to be at high risk of self-harming behaviour, according to the Department of Mental Health.
DMH director-general, Amporn Benjaponpitak, said the department is working closely with residents in the community, especially the relatives of those who were killed in the bloody rampage.
The DMH has sent a team of counsellors to look after the victims’ relatives, Dr Amporn said, noting they will receive psychological support for two or three months, as determined by mental health professionals.
That said, Dr Amporn said she was concerned counselling might not be enough for some individuals.
“Out of the 170 people who were directly affected by the tragedy, at least 10 are at risk of developing self-harming behaviour,” she said.
“This includes the killer’s mother, who is facing a lot of social pressure from her community. For the time being, she should stay away [from other members of her community] to avoid a confrontation,” she added, noting some residents of tambon Uthai Sawan want her to leave the area as they couldn’t accept the fact that her son was responsible for the tradegy.
To prevent the situation from deteriorating further, Dr Amporn called on media outlets to refrain from referring to the incident as a “shooting rampage”, out of concerns that it could spark copy-cats from carrying out a similar act.
It could aggravate the mental health issues of those directly affected by the tragedy, which could happen especially when they are repeatedly exposed to images of the incident, she said.
Separately, Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul came out to defend the protracted autopsy process, insisting that the entire process has to be done properly.
Source: The Phuket News
"Guns in scope at Phuket top-level meeting"
PHUKET: The Governor of Phuket, Narong Woonciew, called in heads of local government agencies for a meeting to discuss the crucial issues of gun control in the province.
Friday 7 October 2022,
Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew called in top-level officials for a meeting following Nong Bua Lam Phu massacre. Photo: PR Phuket
The Governor stressed that emphasis must also be made on drug suppression with all sectors actively fighting drug abuse in the province.
Heads of government agencies were urged “to be strict about the behavior of their officers especially in the matter of drugs.”
“If officers are involved in drugs, legal action must be taken. As for weapons, they must be closely controlled to prevent incidents,” the meeting was told.
Governor Narong reminded about the national hot-lines 1300 and 1567 that can be used to inform relevant authorities about of drug abuse.
Drug testing every three months was also mentioned as one of the measures of strict narcotics control.
What was not mentioned in the PR Phuket report, was the death of a 7-year-old Phuket girl just two months ago (Aug 6) who was shot with a policeman’s gun.
The tragic incident happened at a housewarming party attended by a police officer who left his loaded Sig Sauer pistol unwatched in an unlocked bedside drawer.
The gun was found by the girl’s 9-year-old cousin who accidentally shot her while the two were playing.
Phuket Police admitted the incident following public pressure on social media.
Yet nothing has been reported so far about any actions taken against the officer involved.
Source: The Phuket News
"Gunman murders at least 30 in nursery attack."
Thursday 6 October 2022,
Panya Khamrab. Photo:AFP / Thailand’s Central Investigation Bureau
The attacker, armed with a shotgun, a pistol and a knife, opened fire on the childcare centre in Nong Bua Lam Phu province at about 12:30pm before fleeing the scene in a vehicle, the force said.
“The death toll from the shooting incident... is at least 30 people,” Anucha Burapachaisri, a spokesman for the Thai prime minister’s office, said.
Police colonel Jakkapat Vijitraithaya, from the province where the attack happened, identified the gunman as Panya Khamrab, a police lieutenant colonel he said was dismissed from the force last year for drug use.
Jakkapat said there were 23 children among the dead, aged two to three years old.
The mass killing comes less than a month after a serving army officer shot dead two colleagues at a military training base in the capital Bangkok.
While Thailand has high rates of gun ownership, mass shootings are extremely rare.
But in the past year, there have been at least two other cases of shooting murders by serving soldiers, according to the Bangkok Post.And in 2020, in one of the kingdom’s deadliest incidents in recent years, a soldier gunned down 29 people in a 17-hour rampage and wounded scores more before he was shot dead by commandos.
That mass shooting was linked to a debt dispute between gunman Sergeant-Major Jakrapanth Thomma and a senior officer, and the military top brass were at pains to portray the killer as a rogue soldier.
Source: The Phuket News
"Grab taxi deemed ‘unauthorised’, driver fined, suspended over Kamala incident."
PHUKET: The woman Grab taxi driver whose car was damaged by an angry taxi queue driver in front of Cafe del Mar in Kamаla last Saturday night (Oct 1) has been fined B2,000 and suspended for 30 days for using an “unauthorised” application for providing taxi services.
Tuesday 4 October 2022,
GrabTaxi, operating as JustGrab in Phuket, is allowed to operate within Phuket Town and Patong-Karon only. Grab drivers are not allowed to pick up or drop off passengers outside these areas. Image: JustGrab
Provincial Police Commander Maj Gen Sermphan Sirikong announced the news yesterday (Oct 3).
The taxi driver who damaged her car in the incident, Wilas Soison, 41, has also been suspended from operating a taxi for 30 days, Maj Gen Semphan said.
Of note, a report by the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department (PR Phuket) explained the news as such that the “Phuket Governor”, Narong Woonciew, unnamed in the report, had annouced the news, saying that it was the decision of the Phuket Provincial Land Transport Office (PLTO).
The punishments followed Mr Wilas refusing to take a passenger from in front of the popular night venue to Patong for less than B400.
The passenger ordered a taxi from JustGrab instead.
The woman Grab taxi driver, named as Ms Narumon (family name withheld), arrived in front of the venue in a red MG sedan at 9:40pm, Phuket Provincial Police explained in a statement issued earlier.
After she made a U-turn to pick up the passengers, Mr Wilas and two to three companions approached her car, with Mr Wilas standing in front of the car to prevent Ms Narumon from leaving.
During the “confrontation”, as police called it, Mr Wilas struck Ms Narumon’s car, causing dents and scratches, the police statement confirmed.
Mr Wilas told reporters on Sunday that he did not hit the car.
“I was only defending myself,” he said, claiming that the damage was from the car hitting him.
“Phuket Provincial Land Transport Office officials and related agencies summoned both parties to investigate and take legal action, with the Grab driver fined for using the wrong application.
It is an unauthorized application,” Maj Gen Sermphan said yesterday.
Not explained yesterday was that from June 13 JustGrab in Phuket has been restricted to providing taxi services within two zones only: Phuket Town, and Patong-Karon.
JustGrab is not to provide taxi services outside those areas.
“Passengers can book JustGrab to pick-up and drop-off within Old Town, Patong & Karon only,” the JustGrab website explains (see image gallery above for service area maps).
Maj Gen Sermphan and the police statement confirmed that Mr Wilas “agreed” to pay B5,000 for the damage to Ms Narumon’s car.
“It appears that the PLTO has used the powers under Section 21 of the Motor Vehicle Act to fine the amount of B2,000 for using the wrong type of car,” Maj Gen Sermphan said.
“Mr Wilas is also guilty of destroying public peace on roads or highways, threatening, insulting, harassing or disturbing drivers or passengers under Section 54(4) of the Motor Vehicle Act, and has his driver’s license suspended for 30 days,” he added.
“I would like to ask everyone of any occupation that they must operate properly according to the prescribed laws.
The Phuket Provincial Police will strictly and resolutely deal with those who violate the law to ensure fairness in society and to create peace in order to create a good image in tourism for Phuket and to build confidence for people and tourists,” Maj Gen Sermphan said.
Source: The Phuket News
"PHUKET XTRA: VIDEO: Phuket Bolt driver challenges AoT rule on picking up tourists at Phuket airport || September 30"
PHUKET XTRA - September 30 || Brought to you by @PVC PhuketHosted by: Chris Howson
"AoT claims airport security as reason for ‘approved’ taxi drivers."
PHUKET: Airports of Thailand Phuket branch (AoT Phuket), which operates Phuket International Airport, has issued a statement claiming airport security as the reason for the need to allow only “approved” taxi drivers to operate at the airport.
Friday 30 September 2022,
An ’approved’ taxi waits in a disabled parking zone at Phuket airport. Photo: PR Phuket
The statement was posted online by the Phuket branch of the Public Relations Department (PR Phuket) late yesterday afternoon, but not posted by AoT Phuket itself until two hours later, at 7:02pm.
The statement was marked as in response to “posts on social media” over tourists at the airport being “asked” by security guards to exit a van they had ordered by the Bolt app because the driver and the vehicle were not allowed to pick up any passengers at the airport.
“Phuket Airport clarified the case of social media publishing photos of staff inviting guests to get out of the car because of breaking the rules. Phuket Airport is a controlled aircraft zone.
Such an act is an offense under the Ministerial Regulation No. 2 (1985),” said the AoT Phuket statement. Of note, the statement was not issued under the name of any authority at the airport, despite Monchai Tanode currently serving as General Manager at Phuket International Airport as an employee of Airports of Thailand (AoT).
As clarified earlier this month, Airports of Thailand (AoT) is not a government agency or a private company.
It is a state enterprise. “On September 28, 65 at 6:50pm Phuket Airport Center (CCTV) was informed by a bus ticket salesman that a van had come to pick up passengers at Gate 1, the arrival platform.
At the domestic terminal of Phuket airport, via a service call through an application,” the statement continued.
“Phuket Airport would like to clarify that Phuket airport is a controlled aircraft area.
Therefore, such an act is an offense under Ministerial Regulation No. 2 (1985) issued under the Airports Authority of Thailand Act B.E,” the statement “clarified”.
Any person who performs any of three acts may be deemed as guilty of unlawful exploitation of the airport as a government facility, the statement said.
People are not allowed to announce or advertise their service with a sound device, a signboard or any other means at the airport. People are not allowed to transport goods into the restricted airport area (any airport area) unless permitted by measures prescribed by Airports of Thailand Public Company Limited (AOT) and Ministerial Regulation No. 14 B.E. 2543 issued under the Airports Authority of Thailand Act B.E.
People are not allowed to solicit aircraft passengers or others to use vehicles or any other services that are not authorized by the competent official, the statement said.
“The objective is to track important information or complaints for outside services because Phuket Airport has a registration system and a database of records of drivers of public service vehicles licensed to operate at Phuket Airport’s domestic and international terminals in order to inform and publicize [this information] to passengers and stakeholders,” the statement noted.
“In this regard, Airports of Thailand Public Company Limited (AOT) attaches great importance to the security measures of all six airports, especially issues that affect the safety of passengers and the confidence of the country’s tourism.
“And in Phuket, if you see an offender or make a complaint, you can report the offense through the Security Center at Phuket Airport phone number 076 351 191, the Phuket Airport Administration Department Tel: 0 7635 1520,” the statement concluded.
While lengthy in its explanation, the statement by AoT Phuket made no mention that the only taxi drivers who are allowed by AoT Phuket to pick up passengers at the airport pay millions of baht through a concession for the exclusive rights to pick up passengers at the airport.
The statement also did not respond to the one question asked by the taxi driver, Suriya Thongsamak, yesterday: to publicly declare the exact rules of which drivers are allowed and which drivers are not.
The current “understanding”, as evidenced in practice, is that independent taxi drivers who operate through an app are allowed to drop passengers off at the airport, but not allowed to pick up passengers at the airport.
The statement made no mention of this. The statement also gave no explanation why AoT Phuket does not recognize drivers fully licensed and registered with the Phuket Land Transport Office and with fully registered vehicles to operate as taxi drivers “anywhere in Phuket”.
AoT Phuket in its statement also ignored that plainly seen in the videos posted online was a black limousine from a international brand-name resort parked in front of the airport terminal ignored and unchallenged by security guards at the airport just meters away while they were dispatching Mr Suriya and ordering the tourists, a young foreign couple, out of his van. Oddly, the photos published by PR Phuket in issuing the statement plainly showed a registered taxi parked in a zone in front of the main terminal dedicated for disabled people.
No explanation was given as to why this was allowed.
"Bolt driver challenges AoT rule over picking up tourists at Phuket airport."
PHUKET: An independent taxi van driver working through the Bolt app has challenged the ban on independent drivers from picking up passengers at Phuket International Airport ‒ a mandate controlled by Airports of Thailand (AoT).
Thursday 29 September 2022,
The driver, Suriya Thongsamak, is calling for officials to make the rule clear about whether or not independent taxi drivers ordered through taxi apps can pick up passengers from the airport. Photo: Eakkapop Thongtub
The driver, Suriya Thongsamak, has also refused to pay the fine for attempting to pick up tourists from the airport, which he was not allowed to do yesterday (Sept 28).
Mr Suriya went public with his challenge with videos posted online earlier today (Sept 29), calling for officials to clarify whether or not independent taxi drivers can pick up tourists from the airport.
The current rules set out by AoT is that independent taxi drivers can drop passengers off at the airport ‒ but not pick them up, even if the tourists themselves order the taxi through an app.
The current rules are not published anywhere in written form, and are only an “understanding” relayed by word of mouth without any written confirmation from AoT.
Mr Suriya’s posts have gained much attention online.
In his posts, Mr Surya called on the Phuket Governor to intervene in the matter.
“Is this a world-class tourist city? In the past, the province has always had a policy that tourists can use the [taxi] service through the app. Is it really usable?” Mr Suriya posed.
Mr Suriya explained to reporters today that he had accepted an order via the Bolt app placed by two foreign tourists last night.
The tourists asked to be picked up at the airport at 7pm and taken to Kata.
Mr Suriya arrived at the airport and waited for the tourists, a young couple, who entered his van after exiting the arrivals hall.
However, two security guards approached his van, preventing him from driving away. One of the security guards opened the door to the van and told the tourists to get out.
The van was not allowed to pick up tourists at the airport, the couple were told. Mr Suriya was then escorted to where a poster in Thai language nearby explained that only approved taxi drivers were permitted to serve passengers at the airport.
Drivers caught breaking the rule would be prosecuted and expelled from the airport grounds, the poster said.
The security guard explained the terms so that Mr Suriya understood. Meanwhile, the tourists, unsatisfied with their experience and refusing to use the AoT-controlled taxi service at the airport, dragged their luggage to the main road in front of the airport and hailed a taxi from there.
Mr Suriya was then taken to Sakhu Police Station, located just south of the airport, where he refused to pay the fine for non-AoT-approved taxi drivers picking up passengers at the airport.
"At first the officer did not want to press any fine,” Mr Suriya said.
“The standard fine is B2,000, but the officer asked me to pay just B300 instead.
I still refused. ”Mr Suriya explained that his van is fully legally registered for hire to carry passengers and he has the requisite license to operate a taxi vehicle.
“I didn’t hold up a sign or call out to get customers at the airport.
I received my booking from the app.
The customer has a clear identity, so I went to go get it,” he added.
“I want to fight for the rules to be the same for taxi operators so it is the same for everyone, and so everyone knows what taxis are operating at the airport.
How wrong is that?” Mr Suriya said.
Adcha Buachan, Chief of the Phuket Land Transport Office (PLTO), told reporters today that the the issue was not a matter for his office to intervene with.
The driver, Mr Suriya, has the correct taxi driver’s license and his van is properly legally registered to be used as a taxi.
That was the end of the PLTO’s concern, he said. “The problem that has arisen in this case has already been submitted to the ministry [Ministry of Transport].
The ministry has already set a policy that the airport authority is the one who together with the Department of Highways organizes [which taxis may operate at the airport].” Mr Adcha said.
Source: The Phuket News
"American tourist injured in Bangla altercation."
PHUKET: Patong Police have confirmed they are investigating an incident that saw an American man injured during an incident on Bangla Rd, Patong, early this morning. (Sept 28)
According to the initial police report, officers were called to Patong Hospital at 3:30am after two tourists were brought to the emergency center by rescue workers.
The American man, reported as 35 years old, from Pennsylvania, had suffered a deep laceration to his left middle finger and suffered multiple contusions to his face, some of them open and bleeding.
His clothes were marked with multiple blood spatters.
With the American man was a Russian woman, 24 years old.
Both were staying at a nearby resort, reported Lt Col Kittisak Sommat, Chief of Investigation at Patong Police Station.
The American man was reported to be intoxicated, angry and refusing to cooperate with the medical staff who were trying to provide him treatment, said the report.
“The cause of the attack is not yet known,” Lt Col Kittisak noted.
Officers have been tasked with investigating the incident and identifying the culprit responsible for inflicting the injuries, he said.
Source: The Phuket News
Photo: Patong Police
Wednesday 28 September 2022,
"Fist fight over food delivery"
PHUKET: Phuket Provincial Police today responded to calls for action made online after it was reported that a fist fight had broken out over a food delivery in Chalong.
Tuesday 27 September 2022,
In a statement released today (Sept 27), Phuket Provincial Police noted that Phuket Provincial Police Commander Maj Gen Sermphan Sirikong had become aware of the incident and ordered the Superintendent of Chalong Police Station to investigate and report the facts. The incident occurred at about 8:30am last Saturday (Sept 24), the statement said.
Mr Sorasak (family name withheld) had ordered food to be delivered through an online service. From the app, Mr Sorasak knew the delivery driver was “Mr Adisak” (family name also withheld).
However, during delivery “there was an error in the transmission location coordinates”, the police report said. When Mr Adisak finally arrived at the location where Mr Sorsak actually was, “negotiations” started over extra payment for the delivery.
That’s when the fight started, and the two men needed to be separated from each other, the report said.
Both men agreed to meet at Chalong Police Station yesterday (Sept 26) and resolve their differences.
Mr Adisak and Mr Sorsak were each charged with physically assaulting another person, and each were fined B1,000, the report confirmed.
Both cases, No. 554/2565 and 555/2522, were now considered closed, the statement concluded.;
Source: The Phuket News
"Officials silent on Phuket police review"
PHUKET: Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew met with top-ranking police on the island earlier this week as part of the Phuket Provincial Police Administration and Monitoring Committee, yet details of the meeting have yet to become public.
Friday 23 September 2022,
The meeting, held at the Phuket Provincial Police headquarters in Phuket Town on Wednesday (Sept 21), was joined by Phuket Provincial Police Commander Maj Gen Sermphan Sirikong.
According to official reports, the meeting discussed the efforts by police in providing security during the recent APEC 2022 Conference and the 28th IMT-GT Ministerial Meeting held in Phuket.
Also discussed were preparations for the bid for Phuket to host Expo 2028 as well as the new law on marijuana and the new Traffic Act.
“The committee has expressed opinions on various matters in order to make the work of the police officers to be more proactive in order to build confidence among the people and tourists in the measures to maintain safety,” one official report said. However, no mention was made of recent incidents in Phuket directly affecting the safety of local residents and tourists, including the brawl involving three passenger van drivers at a popular tourist souvenir store on Tuesday that resulted in one of the drivers being struck on the head with an axe.
Road safety was not mentioned, despite a Russian man dying on Tuesday after slamming head-on into a passenger van after he was reportedly unable to control the motorbike he was riding while descending the hill into Karon.
The man marked the 71st road fatality in Phuket so far this year, equaling the tally for all of last year despite 2022 still having three months to go. Also not mentioned was Maj Gen Sermphan himself ordering Patong Police Chief Col Sujin Nilabadee to take action against a man reported by the public as openly selling drugs on Bangla Rd, Patong, as reported only last Sunday (Sept 18).
The man had already been taken into custody by Patong Police in April for intimidating foreign tourists on Bangla Rd with a gun loaded with blanks.
Legal action against the man was ever confirmed by Patong Police.
Source: The Phuket News
"Phuket van driver uses axe in car park brawl"
PHUKET: Police are investigating a fight in front of a popular tourist souvenir store in northern Phuket yesterday (Sept 20) during which a passenger van driver struck a man on the head with an axe.
The incident occurred in the car park of the Khun Mae Ju store on Thepkrasattri Rd in Moo 5, Thepkrasattri yesterday afternoon, with the fight eventually broken up by a security guard and other people at the scene.
The man struck on the head with the axe, Chanon Pengthep, was taken to Thalang Hospital for his injury, and later transferred to Vachira Phuket Hospital in Phuket Town.
A video of the incident was posted online yesterday afternoon. The two Phuket van drivers involved in the fight ‒ Nattapon Chaibutr, 43, from Sakhu, and Piya Limthareekul, 46, from Pa Khlok ‒ presented themselves at Thalang Police Station yesterday evening, confirmed Lt Col Kornphumphot Pongpaiboon, Chief of Investigation at Thalang Police Station. The axe used in the fight was also presented, he added.
The drivers said they had never seen the man they were fighting with before the incident yesterday, Lt Col Kornphumphot said.
The incident started over “someone staring at each other’s faces”, he added.
Police are still investigating the fight, Lt Col Kornphumphot said. Security guard Prasit Jai-in, 54, said that by the time he intervened the two Phuket van drivers were fighting against another man.
One of the van drivers pulled a small axe out of his van and struck the third man, Chanon, with it, leaving Mr Chanon with a bleeding wound on his head.
It was not confirmed which part of the axe was used to hit Mr Chanon. While the fight was taking place between two passenger vans, two tourists, both Thai, were sitting in one of the vans, Mr Prasit said.
After the men were separated the axe was tossed back into the van by the van driver who wielded it, he added.
Kornphithak Asanasuwan of the Phuket Land Transport Office (PLTO) said his office was investigating the incident.
However, the PLTO is reviewing the incident only in light of the public transport driver regulations, Mr Kornphithak said.
The PLTO is reviewing the drivers’ behavior for the use of impolite language, whether the drivers were dressed appropriately and whether the drivers are properly licensed.
The PLTO will not be taking any action over any actual assault as that remained under the purview of criminal law, he confirmed.
Using “impolite speech” can incur a fine of up to B5,000 and not being “dressed politely” can incur a fine of up to B5,000, Mr Kornphithak said.
A public transport driver not carrying the correct license can incur a fine of up to B40,000 or up to two years in jail, or both, he said.
“From watching the clip [posted online], it is not a competition for passengers in any way.
It is a private quarrel,” he said. “We have to ascertain what the actual cause was, which may lead to further legal action,” he said.
Wednesday 21 September 2022,
"Police officer who shot noodle vender sentenced to 25 years"
Tuesday Aug 16 2022,
A Phuket police officer who shot a noodle vendor on the streets of Patong when drunk last year has been sentenced to 25 years behind bars for the crime captured on video by security cameras.
The 25 year old victim is permanently disabled from the incident.
Pornthep Channarong was off-duty and was out drinking the night before shooting Aroon Thongplab in the stomach in the early hours of February 23, 2021. CCTV footage showed the officer denied entrance to Illuzion Nightclub for carrying a weapon as he drunkenly waved his gun around, later firing shots into the street.
The footage captured an unprovoked attack showing the noodle vendor being shot in the stomach and then taunted and kicked by the intoxicated officer, who fired a second shot at point-blank range but missed. The bullet paralysed the vendor, hitting his spine, leaving the family struggling to get by.
The Royal Thai Police paid only 20,000 baht in compensation to the victim, though the police chief later donated 100,000 baht and online donations raised 700,000 more. The police officer had requested bail, saying he wanted to be freed so he could help in fundraising to provide financial assistance to his victim’s family.
In today’s sentencing, that officer officially will be able to help the family with money, as he was ordered to pay the victim 7,992,500 baht in restitution for his crime and the damage done.
The former police officer was given 20 years to fully pay the nearly eight million baht to the noodle vendor and his family.The court noted that the former Phuket Police officer was cooperative throughout the prosecution and trial, and received leniency because of his good behaviour.
He was fined just 1,000 baht for the crime (in addition to the nearly eight million he must pay his victim) and his sentence was reduced to 25 years and 4 months in jail.
Source: The Thaiger