At 12:30pm yesterday (Dec 27), officials from the Phuket Provincial Defence Office led by Phuket Provincial Defence Office Chief Prayut Tongpum, Phuket Provincial Defence Office deputy chiefs Rachen Songdang and Tongchai Rattadet carried out an inspection on buses arriving and departing the Ajindai Thai-Inter Buffet Restaurant on Sakdidet Soi 1 in Phuket Town after receiving a tip-off that a representative from a tour company known only as ‘A’ has been hiring illegal guides and that they could be found working on buses at the restaurant.
Joining Mr Prayut, Mr Rachen and Mr Tongchai in the raid were officials from the Phuket branch of the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC), Royal Thai Navy Third Area Command, 5th Infantry Division of the Royal Thai Army, and Tourism Business and Guide Registration Phuket office.
Officials arrested Chinese national Chinese national Qiu Qiang, 42, for violating Section 49 and Section 86 of the Tourism and Guide Act 2008 for working as an illegal tour guide.
Officials also arrested Thai national Janejira Saelo, 21, for violating Section 60 and Section 89 of the Tourism and Guide Act 2008 for representing a tour company which allowed unlicensed persons to perform duties as a tour guide.
Both Qiu and Janejira were taken to Phuket City Police Station to face legal action.
On Monday Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong ordered officials to take serious action on illegal guides. (See story here.)
His order came after more than 30 Phuket tour guides protested at Promthep Cape. (See story here.)