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National Ombudsman rails on Phuket Airport security over thefts from luggage

PHUKET: The Chief Ombudsman for Thailand has called for better security measures to be introduced at Phuket International Airport to prevent the theft of valuables from passengers’ luggage in the security-controlled areas at the airport.

By The Phuket News

Wednesday 3 April 2019, 01:31PM

Gen Viddhavat Rajatanun, officially holding the position “Ombudsman for Chief Ombudsman Thailand”, raised the issue while inspecting the airport yesterday (Apr 3).

Also present to deliver the message were Watanyoo Thippayamonta, Deputy Secretary-General of the Office of the Ombudsman, and Lt Col Thepjit Wiwakupta, Commander of the Royal Thai Police Central Investigation Bureau Region 4 Division.

Gen Viddhavat said the issue had been brought to his attention after receiving a slew of complaints.

“I went to Suvarnabhumi Airport and gave suggestions to relevant agencies there,” he said.

“Now I have spoken with Phuket International Airport Deputy Director Wichit Kaewsaithiam. Operations and Maintenance Division Chief Banpot Sonto, Phuket International Airport Security Director Pol Maj Prawat Tantiputsapat, and investigators of the Sakoo Police as well as the private companies involved with carrying luggage,” he added.

“We are aware of passengers travelling by plane having valuable assets packed in luggage that was loaded under the plane. The items packed in the luggage failed to arrive at the destination,” he said.

“This has an impact on the confidence of security standards. We must urgently find solutions to this problem, fast,” Gen Viddhavat said.

“This has happened at Suvarnabhumi Airport. I must provide suggestions to relevant agencies here, too. Officials must check the loading operations of passengers’ things and the aircraft parking areas,” Gen Viddhavat advised.

QSI International School Phuket

“Among the solutions to this problem, first we must control of the entry and exit of personal vehicles in controlled areas, and we must set patrol lines for checking staff and their belongings,” he said.

Gen Viddhavat also remarked on the facility already having more than 795 CCTV cameras installed.

The airport may need more CCTV cameras installed, Gen Viddhavat said.

“We must check the CCTV camera system for improvement. There must not be any damaged cameras, the cameras must be installed at the correct locations and at the correct angles to make sure no areas are obscured in order to the check operations of ground staff,” he said.

“For the long term, Phuket International Airport must revise its security system plan, including the maintenance of government property and passengers and organize parking prevention.

“If you follow this advice. I believe the problem will be reduced. It will definitely benefit the confidence and image of the security,” General Viddhavat said.

After delivering his security advice at the airport, Gen Viddhavat yesterday afternoon conducted an inspection of tour boat operators at Ao Por to review the water transport safety measures in operation there in his role of improving confidence among tourists in Phuket’s water safety standards.



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Christy Sweet | 05 April 2019 - 14:14:35

Security?  Like planes landing 40 meters over a public beach?  Like a fuel tank within grenade lobbing distance of a heavily trafficked area?  WHERE DOES ALL THE MONEY GO..?

Kurt | 04 April 2019 - 17:10:34

Why did the National Ombudsman not visited the empty Phuket water reservoirs?  Visiting airport and a few boat operators is a easy thing to do.  But PHuket water problem?  No. To difficult? To much 'hair' on it? Not want to get involved? Avoiding to touch?  Thank you for your Phuket visit.

Kurt | 04 April 2019 - 10:25:45

Wow, that visit was a stressful day for Phuket airport management and the boat operators at Ao Por.  But now things are back again to 'normal'.
By the way, are airport luggage staff during application checked or they have a criminal record, a history of drugs use or large financial debts?

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