Borpith Chomchiey, a transport specialist at the Phuket Marine Office, filed the complaint against Pattanimahaphan Construction Co Ltd directly with Tha Chatchai Police Deputy SuperintendentLt Col Watcharin Jirattikanwiwat yesterday (Nov 22).
The complaint was filed after Mr Borpith and other marine officials inspected the site and found rocks and sand dumped on the beach beside a floating barge with a tugboat tied up alongside. On shore were three artificial reef blocks.
In his statement to police, Mr Borpit alleged the company did not have a permit to resurface the land and build a pier at the site. As such, he accused the company of breaching the Navigation in Thai Waters Act of 1913.
Mr Borpith asked police to investigate and bring the person responsible for the project to face legal action.
Mr Borpith and the Phuket Marine Office were alerted to the situation by Sarawuth Srisakukam, Chief of Mai Khao Tambon Administration Organisation (OrBorTor), who said he was unaware of the work being carried out until he saw photos of the site posted on Facebook by Sulaimarn Kaewngamdee on Sunday (Nov 20).
Mr Sulaimarn had simply posted photos of a Daily News story alleging that a backhoe was digging up Mai Khao Beach.
“We arrived at the site and discovered that they had deposited rocks and soil in the area by the sea. When we inspected the area, we noticed the marine environment had been damaged by the debris. I ordered the contractor to temporarily stop work until it was all sorted out,” OrBorTor Chief Mr Sarawuth said.
“The workers there told me that the contractor was hired by the Phuket Fisheries Office to load artificial reef blocks onto the barge. They were using machinery to resurface the area to form a pier so loading would be easier,” he explained.
“Creating artificial reefs is good for our marine life, but the process must not destroy the surrounding environment. Those involved in such a project should know that, so I told them to stop work,” Mr Sarawuth added.