At around midday yesterday afternoon (Feb 19), while officers from the Phuket Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) were carrying out routine checks for illegal activity around Plub Pla Bay, they came across a woman feeding bread to fish close to a coral reef.
The woman, later named a Russian national Ms Olga Smirnova, 53, was informed by a translator that her actions were illegal and that she had broken one of the island’s environmental rules.
The woman was shown a copy of posters placed across the island warning of the rules.
Ms Smirnova was taken to Chalong Police Station where she is currently being held awaiting a court appearance.
Lt Sakkarin Sangjaroen of the Chalong Police confirmed that Ms Smirnova will be taken to Phuket Provincial Court tomorrow where she will learn her fate.
Any person found breaking these regulations they will face legal action and be punished with not more than one year in jail and fined not more than B100,000.
Officials from the Phuket DMCR placed signs in Koh Racha Yai’s three main bays on Jan 26 warning tour guides and tourists of the consequences they will face if found to have broken any rules as previously set out
Marine and environment officers in Phuket launched a series of counter-measures to prevent further damage by tourists and tour operators at Racha Island, south of Phuket. (See story here.)
On Jan 26, an officer from Chalong Police Station confirmed to The Phuket News that a Chinese tourist who was arrested for poaching parrotfish at Koh Racha Yai the previous day was fined B100,000 for his actions. (See story here.)