Live Phuket The Phuket News Kata Rocks The Phuket News Outrigger Koh Samui Beach Resort
The Phuket News Phuket News
The Phuket News Phuket | Thailand | World | Business | Q&A | Weird World XML, RSS, Feed
The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News

Police reveal how Phuket's public beaches were rented out - for billions

PHUKET: The investigators of the illegal beach sunbed industry on Phuket have revealed details of the cases they have built against Mayor Thawee Thongchaem of Karon, who surrendered to police on June 4 in answer to a variety of corruption and ‘”mafia taxi” charges.


Tanyaluk Sakoot

Thursday 25 September 2014, 05:22PM


Flashback to last high season: Tourists use sunbeds without realising the vast amounts of money sloshing around the business.
Flashback to last high season: Tourists use sunbeds without realising the vast amounts of money sloshing around the business.

The revelations came at a press conference this afternoon (September 25) headed by Pol Lt Gen Panya Mamen, Commissioner of Region 8, and his deputy, Pol Maj Gen Somchai Aomthanom.

Pol Maj Gen Paween Pongsirin, Commander of the Region 8 General Staff Division, who has led the investigation into Mr Thawee’s alleged activities, told The Phuket News yesterday (September 24), “Tomorrow about 15 sunbed operators will be summoned to the police station to be charged with trespassing on public land.

“We have collected evidence about the money involved in the renting out of beach space on Karon and Kata beaches. We have the documents.

“For example, one five-year contract for a 99-meter stretch of the beach cost B6.25 million. Another, for 80 meters of beach for three years cost B4.5 million. A third one, for a year, cost B1.69 million.”

All of these contracts, he said, related to the charges well-known hotels in the area had to pay to have rows of sunbeds on the beach.

The way it worked was this: The Karon Municipality would allocate a sunbed operator space in front of the resort. He would then go to the hotel and offer to reserve the sunbeds exclusively for the resort’s guests – for a fee.

CHEQUES FOR MILLIONS

The Phuket News was shown cheques for B3 million and B2.9 million made out to one sunbed operator, Visut Chankham, in 2010. Police erased the names of the resorts from the copies of the cheques and other documents.

We were also shown a “permit” signed by Mayor Thawee Thongcham of Karon Municipality, permitting Prayad Pakiem to set up sunbeds “on public beach in the Karon Municipality area”.

Another, also signed by Mayor Thawee, permitted Chanrit Thaweesaman of Karon to do the same at a Karon beach, and also to sell fruit and drinks on the beach. Police also produced an official license card signed by Thawee.

Gen Paween then also showed us an invoice from Charnrit to a large, well known resort, for the sum of B874,000 for one year’s sunbed service, and a cheque from the resort to Charnrit for the same amount.

More officials may be involved. Prayad’s permit mentions approval being given by “Phuket”.

The police also seized from Karon Municipality a map of Kata Beach clearly showing how the entire beach had been divided up, and naming the operators for each of the 31 slices, which run from the top of the beach to about halfway to the high tide line.

Unit - 27

The map notes that the total length of the beach is 1,497.2 metres and the space for sunbeds takes up 1,087 metres of that length.

Similar maps for other beaches in the Karon Municipality area show 12 slices at Kata Noi, 25 at Karon 1 Beach, and 24 at Karon 2 Beach. All the maps are signed by Monthira Sapanin, a “Community Development Officer”

That’s a total of 92 sunbed operators on the four beaches, many of them in front of resorts.

Pol Maj Gen Paween said, “We will be issuing summonses to about 100 businessmen soon.” Mayor Thawee and two of his deputies, along with two Karon Municipality officials have denied any wrongdoing.

AN EXAMPLE AND A WARNING

At the press conference today a six-year-old case was offered as a warning to sunbed operators who have been clamouring to get back on the beach, even appealing to HM the King.

The case involved Yutthana Tamchu, a member of the Sunbed Operators’ Club in the Patong area. He was taken to court in September 2008 for trespassing on Tritrang Beach two years earlier, by setting out chairs, tables, sunbeds and umbrellas for rent.

In court, Yutthana was sentenced to six months in jail and fined B4,000. Because he had pleaded guilty, the sentence was halved to three months and B2,000, and the jail term was suspended for a year.

Meanwhile, in a parallel case in the Administrative Court, the Kathu District Officer, the Mayor of Patong and Patong Municipality were accused of giving permission to Yutthana to occupy public beach for profit, but that court dismissed their cases.

During his trial Yutthana admitted his guilt but complained that he had been singled out unfairly because other sunbed operators at Tritrang had not been arrested. The judge responded that this was irrelevant.

Yutthana’s sunbeds, umbrellas, and other furniture were seized when he was arrested. He asked the court for their return. The judge said no.

The overall focus of today’s press conference was on Mayor Thawee. Similar revelations about the situation in Patong may be expected soon.

 

 

The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Comment on this story
* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.
Comments Here:
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
CAPTCHA
    Forget your password?

Ed Sanders | 26 September 2014 - 11:19:00

I love this part. "Yutthana’s sunbeds, umbrellas, and other furniture were seized when he was arrested. He asked the court for their return. The judge said no." So typical... absolutely no concept of right and wrong, and this goof had the audacity to ask for his stuff back so he could get back to business. Right then, the judge should have not only reinstated the original fine, but he should have doubled it.  I bet this clown is back in business anyway. 

The Phuket News

stop corruption | 25 September 2014 - 18:03:30

I hope they find the log book that shows that Thawee and his merry men collected billions of baht from charging between 100,000 and 200,000 baht for building permits from Non Phuket people, then extorting more money for the Tabiabann( house papers. 

The Phuket News
Matches 2 result(s)
The Phuket News
The Phuket News
The Phuket News
The Phuket News The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Share this
The Phuket News
Have a news tip-off? Click here
The Phuket News
Related stories
The Phuket News
Phuket community

Recent Comments


Rain blamed as Phuket underpass completion deferred until September

Santino, if i had a baht for every person who had commented that on here i'd be the richest man in Phuket! Apparently common sense is not a flower...(Read More)


Phuket rain brings slew of motorbike accidents on wet roads

Kurt: Pure fabrication as usual. The danger is some people might even believe your nonsense....(Read More)


Rain blamed as Phuket underpass completion deferred until September

Construction Chalong Circle underpass started October 2015. When they start digging in front of HomePro Village?...(Read More)


Phuket's Soi Dog Foundation wins ‘People’s Choice’ at British Charity Film Awards

Kurt,and what has the dead of the turtle to do with this article?...(Read More)


Phuket's Soi Dog Foundation wins ‘People’s Choice’ at British Charity Film Awards

Kurt: What has a dying turtle got to do with this article? Why are you so insistent on going off at a tangent all the time? This article is about a...(Read More)


Rain blamed as Phuket underpass completion deferred until September

Wow - so many Civil Engineers and construction experts posting here. Who knew we had so much expertise here on the island?...(Read More)


Rain blamed as Phuket underpass completion deferred until September

Would it have not been a beeter idea to build Bridges/Flyovers as opposed to Underpasses which will constantly flood??? ...(Read More)


Phuket's Soi Dog Foundation wins ‘People’s Choice’ at British Charity Film Awards

Poor 25 year 'saving' old thai turtle Omsin. it did die. All over the world in the news. Not yet in thai news....(Read More)


Illegal Chinese tour guide arrested in Phuket

Hello everyone, this is a story about a happening on 17 Oct. 2016! Since than authorities are more 'on the job', it is not happening anymore....(Read More)


The Phuket News
PHUKET NEWS
Phuket
Thailand
World
Business
Q A
Weird World
ARCHIVE
POLL
CURRENCY
WEATHER
PHUKET TIDE TABLE
The Phuket News PHUKET LIFE
Phuket Arts
Phuket Community
Phuket Culture
Phuket Dining
Phuket Education
Phuket Entertainment
Phuket Environment
Phuket Health
Phuket People
Phuket Technology
Phuket Travel
Photo Galleries
COLOURING BOOK
The Phuket News PHUKET SPORT
Phuket
Thailand
World
SURF REPORT
PREDICTIONS
The Phuket News PHUKET CLASSIFIEDS
Phuket Buy and Sell
Phuket Jobs
Phuket Property
Phuket Cars and Boats
Phuket Community
Phuket Services
SEARCH CLASSIFIEDS
POST CLASSIFIED
The Phuket News The Phuket News PHUKET EVENTS
Phuket Event listings
Phuket Event calendar
Buy Tickets
POST EVENT
The Phuket News PHUKET DIRECTORY
Phuket Bars, pubs and clubs
Phuket Hotels and villas
Phuket Restaurants
Phuket Yellow Pages
POST LISTING
The Phuket News BARGAINS
The Phuket News ABOUT US
The Company
Distribution points
Subscribe
Advertise with us
Pay for advert
Contact us
CONTESTS
Content Google Map
Site map
Australian Visa Services
 
Currency - The Phuket News   Weather Report - The Phuket News   Surf Report - The Phuket News
LinkedIn - The Phuket News   Twitter - The Phuket News   YouTube - The Phuket News   Facebook - The Phuket News
Copyright © 2017 Class Act Media. All rights reserved. | Website usage terms and conditions | Privacy and Confidentiality Statement.