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Kamala official defends carrying gun in surfing class raid

Kamala official defends carrying gun in surfing class raid

PHUKET: Sanya Khonpian, Chief Legal Officer at the Kamala Tambon Administration Organisation (OrBorTor), has defended his decision to carry a sidearm while raiding a surfing class being conducted on Kamala Beach.

By Tanyaluk Sakoot

Wednesday 18 November 2020, 11:49AM

Mr Sanya is at the centre of a Thai media storm over him carrying a firearm while carrying out the raid on Monday morning (Nov 16), with a formal police complaint filed against him for carrying a firearm in a public area without a permit or necessary reason.

Kamala Chief Police Col Chaiyapreuk Phadiwarakorn confirmed to The Phuket News that the formal complaint was filed by Jirachaya Sitthichoke, who conducted the surfing class on the beach.

Ms Jirachaya told police that Mr Sanya was carrying the sidearm, a 9mm Glock, when he and four other officers arrived at the beach and seized her surfing equipment, which she valued at about B100,000, Col Chaiyapreuk said.

Mr Sanya was called to Kamala Police Station to explain his actions, Col Chaiyapreuk confirmed.

“He said he had permission to carry the handgun as had previously served as Kathu District Chief,” he said.

“We are not sure yet whether this is correct. We are still looking into the matter,” he added, and declined to answer further questions.

Mr Sanya Khonpian told The Phuket News this morning that the raid was conducted as the surfing class was being conducted on a part of the beach where all commercial activities are banned.

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“I have asked them to move and warned them twice before, but they just ignored me,” he said.

“So yesterday we arrived at the beach and asked them to move again, and asked them to pay a fine of B200 as a warning. They still just ignored me, so we seized their equipment,” he added.

“The equipment is still here at the Kamala OrBorTor office. No one has come to claim the equipment or pay the B200 fine,” Mr Sanya said this morning.

“I have the authority to carry my gun as I previously worked with the Kathu District Office,” Mr Sanya said**.

“The Kamala OrBorTor chief has also agreed for me to carry my gun while on duty,” he added.

“This is normal. There is no need to be worried, there is no need for any tourists to worry,” Mr Sanya said.

** Clarifcation: It was later clarified that Mr Sanya worked with the Kathu District Office, not that he was a former Kathu District Chief.

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Kurt | 20 November 2020 - 10:42:22

Since last week the monsoon wind season turned 180 degrees, we may expect surf at Phuket west coast dies out. Than surfers are gone. Time for chairs and umbrellas at beaches to attract tourists. Oh, and lunch restaurants again at Naiharn Beach, under the pine tries. Overseas beach tourists want to lunch. Yes?  :-)

Capricornball | 19 November 2020 - 20:22:56

Surfers should be careful that this situation does not escalate all over the island.  Since surfers are in or near the water, this could give reasons to put the new submarines to use.

Kurt | 19 November 2020 - 11:21:12

The Kamala OrborTor Chief has no authority to authorize a employee to carry a gun. The Kamala OrBorTor is not Kathu district office. And, the police should know the gun rules. Looking into matter, declining answers? Shows dumb. No, no tourist is worried, as there are no tourists. Foreigners, never been in Thailand, not understand this crazy 'beach' happening/story.

Shwe | 18 November 2020 - 13:57:26

Another good reason not to visit Phuket as any pathetic little man in a uniform can carry a gun, the wild west lives

Foot | 18 November 2020 - 13:49:55

Those surfers are a scary bunch.
They were fortunate that this guy didn't arrive in one of those brand new armored personnel carriers.

Fascinated | 18 November 2020 - 12:14:41

Willy waving- no need whatsoever for him do be armed. Seems like 'I am impotent' syndrome. If he wants to do some enforcement maybe he could tackle the beach clubs along that stretch of Kamala who have coned off the public highway for their parking. I guess surfers don't pay as well.

CaptainJack69 | 18 November 2020 - 12:12:47

The only reason anyone needs a gun is to combat the threat of other people with guns. If no one is armed then no one needs to be armed. Were these surfers concealing AR15's in their board shorts? No. This little Hitler simply wanted to intimidate them into respecting him. His brittle little ego was bruised and he needed a firearm to bolster it. Poor didums.


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