Pol Col. Krishna Pattanacharoen, deputy spokesman for the Royal Thai Police, revealed that the Anti-Fake News Center confirmed the bogus post after checking facts with the official Phuket Public Relations (PR) office who confirmed the post was untrue.
PR Phuket confirmed a construction project is in the pipeline but it is for an Islamic Ethics Training Center as part of the policy of promoting and upholding all religions and not a Mosque.
They also added that the allocated budget for the project had been set at B56mn as part of the 2019 fiscal budget and not the B250mn that the inaccurate post stated.
The site for the construction of the Islamic Ethics Training Center Construction is at Bang Khanun Forest Park Near Thalang Technical College. Permission to build had been granted to the PPAO by the Forest Department and a contract has been signed and full surveyance completed to establish the construction boundaries.
Pol Col. Krishna reiterated that people should not trust such inaccurate information and called for cooperation from people to not share such information on social media channels.
He added that fake news is damaging in that it not only distorts the facts but can confusion people and ultimately be detrimental to the country.
Pol Col. Krishna reminded that offenders face the threat of up to 5 years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to B100,000 for offenses relating to the Computer Crimes Act, Section 14(2),(5). It may also be considered an offense under the Emergency Decree Act and that relevant authorities will continue to take serious and continuous legal action against all fake news producers and publishers.
He concluded by encouraging people to receive their information from official and trusted sources, in this case PR Phuket. Their website can be accessed here and calls can be made to 076-216118. Additionally, anyone who is aware of and wishes to report any instances of fake news can do so via the Anti-Fake News Center website: https://www.antifakenewscenter.com