The visit came following complaints from local people that staff of the Nui Bay Member Club had barred them from walking to the beach unless they paid a fee, and had fired shots to threaten them.
As the investigation team arrived, Jakkapong Sawadtawee, 30, a member of the club staff, tried to get away in his car. Navy men chased him down in their own car and forced him to stop.
In his car they found the Glock 9mm semi-automatic pistol and the gear for smoking ice.
Another 20 staff were lined up, ordered to write down their names and were given a drugs test.
V/Gov Somkiet explained, “We visited this place today because of many complaints from local people about the business blocking the way to the beach and [staff] threatening people who come onto the land.
“They have erected a gate and demand an access fee. The complaint from local people also alleges that they have fired shots to threaten local people who try come onto to the land.
“I have been told that the land has a NorSor3kor paper [conferring occupation rights] but we will investigate to see whether the gate is built on land covered by the paper, or on forest land. If the latter, it will be removed.”
The Chief of Phuket Marine Office, Puripat Theerakulpisut, who was also in the investigation team, said that the buildings of the club itself are on the beach, which is “obviously illegal”.
“It is built on the sand. I will check with the municipality to see whether the building was approved or not. But in any case it must be demolished.”
A team from the Phuket Land Office will measure the land to check where the border is, and what must be removed for encroaching on neighbouring state land.