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Illegal piers for Chinese, Russian tourists found in protected mangroves north of Phuket

PHANG NGA: Officials are getting ready to file a complaint against those responsible for building and operating illegal piers encroaching on protected mangroves in Phang Nga's Thai Mueang district.

Shela Riva

Saturday 3 March 2018, 05:22PM

Four illegal piers encroaching on protected mangroves were found in Phang Nga yesterday (Mar 2). Photo: Cheewapap Cheewatham
Four illegal piers encroaching on protected mangroves were found in Phang Nga yesterday (Mar 2). Photo: Cheewapap Cheewatham

The team of Royal Forest Department (RFD) officials together with Tourist Police of Phang Nga, local government officials and soldiers from the Royal Thai Army inspected four piers in Lam Kaen, Thai Muang district, after receiving a tip-off that there were illegal piers in the Khlong Thung Maprao national forest reserve.

Cheewapap Cheewatham, a former Chief of Sirinath National Park who now serves as the Director of the Strategic and Forest Protection Division of the RFD passed the news to The Phuket News today (Mar 3) while the inspection took place yesterday (Mar 2).

The operators were serving mainly Chinese and Russian tourists, taking them on tours in Phang Nga Bay to view attractions in the nearby islands, he said.

‘Blue Da Marine’ and ‘Han Sea Port’ were serving tourists from China, while ‘Russian Port’ and an unnamed port adjacent to ‘Russian Port’ were serving Russian tourists.

The inspection revealed that the piers were big enough to accommodate dozens of large speedboats, while the adjacent area on shore was converted into a parking space for over ten large vans and buses. Officials estimate that no less than one thousand tourists came to each pier every day, confirmed Mr Cheewapap.

We inspected the area and found a dining room and a large office building as well,” he said.

According to Mr Cheewapap, the investigation confirmed that nobody had ever applied for permission to develop this area. The piers were constructed in breach of several relevant laws, including Forest Act 1941, National Reserved Forests Act 1964, Building Control Act 1979, Marine Act in Thai Waters, 1960.

The team will survey the area thoroughly before filing a complaint against the pier operators with Phang Nga Provincial Police, Mr Cheewapap confirmed.



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goingeasy | 05 March 2018 - 11:16:27

Triple the amount of buses and tourists and you find the situation at Yamu-pier. Villagers can't go fishing anymore,watersurface diesel-spoiled.Refueling from pick-ups at pave way.Parked buses with running engines and crossing all day along the narrow streets. Keep your children in the house ! An accident will happen for sure, it is a racetrack to get to the chosen restaurants or gem-shops on ...

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malczx7r | 04 March 2018 - 17:03:50

Yep and loading tourists onto boats from the beach at Chalong so they don't have to pay to use the pier, ruined the beach, nobody can use it yet the beaches are for everyone, unless you live in Chalong!

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Asterix | 04 March 2018 - 12:33:50

All tour & speed boat operators use illegal piers to avoid to declare how many customers they have per day as well to avoid to pay full tourists' insurance and 7% VAT.
An tax audit on all those companies and an investigation by TAT Guide Registration and Department of Business Department would be welcome to crackdown on illegal tourism businesses to be fair with properly registered ones.

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Kurt | 04 March 2018 - 12:14:12

A Marina + 2 Ports, with piers, dining hall + large office building. Parking space for 10 busses, dozens of speed boats, and estimated 1000 tourists a day coming and going under the nose of blind officials
I compliment the Phang Nga Province by employing disable ( blind) officials and authorities. But of course with 'able' officials all this never would have been built/constructed. Right?

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Xonax | 03 March 2018 - 18:41:13

Not enough space for all in Maya Bay!

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Discover Thainess | 03 March 2018 - 18:22:20

Again, the result of the ever increasing push for large numbers of cheap tourists. 

For goodness sake, TAT, have a rethink ! This is killing Phuket and surrounding areas.

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