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OrSor in Phuket flamed for behaviour

PHUKET: The Phuket Info Center, a Facebook page operated under Phuket office of the Ministry of Interior, has called out for transparency and accountability in the operations of Volunteer Defense Corps (OrSor) personnel following a local news portal claiming that one OrSor “volunteer” had acted as a “gangster”, using threats and intimidation.

Safetycrime
By The Phuket News

Tuesday 22 November 2022, 10:18AM


“Government officials intimidate reporters? Be an officer or a gangster? Eat salary from public taxes or receive money from anyone?” Phuket Info Center posed in a post online late yesterday (Nov 21).

To highlight the message the post included hashtags in Thai for “#Department of Provincial Administration”, “#Ministry of Interior”, “#Prime Minister’s Office” and “#Quick Check”.

The questions were posed along with the sharing of another post online, by local news portal “Hot Jung! Phuket”.

“To #OrSor. #Kathu District, whose name is Daeng. The one who asked journalists to threaten the admin #admin is not afraid, always ready,” the post said.

“I don’t know about other journalists, but local journalists like admin are not afraid of him. Remember the admin’s words: OrSor is a volunteer to serve the people, not a gangster!” the post concluded.

The post by Hot Jung quickly gained traction. Posted online 12:17pm yesterday, within hours the post had gained more than 3,400 reactions and 324 comments.

Many of the comments aired complaints of OrSor being rude or heavy handed in carrying out their duties, including manning traffic checkpoints and directing traffic while the road over Patong Hill remains restricted.

However, by 6:45pm last night the post was updated to say only, “It’s over”. No further explanation was given.

The backlash over inappropriate, and possibly criminal, behaviour of an OrSor volunteer followed a week of OrSor personnel continuing their “weapons and drugs” checks on Bangla Rd under instructions by Kathu District Chief Siwat Rawarangkul.

The inspections began on Nov 8, with 189 staffers at selected nightlife venues on Bangla Rd tested for drugs, with just one person testing positive.

The checks continued throughout last week, while the Apec summit was held in Bangkok, with more staff at selected nightlife venues singled out for on-the-spot mandatory urine tests for drugs while still at the venue where they worked.

During torrential rain on Nov 16, 117 more people ‒ mostly touts ‒ were tested for drugs, with two men testing positive. Both volunteered to enter a drug rehabilitation programme.

As the checks continued last week, law enforcement by OrSor personnel in combat fatigues became a normal scene for tourists on Bangla Rd

The checks continued on Saturday night (Nov 19), with personnel patrolling the street manning checkpoints to enter the popular nightlife area.

With the Apec meetings in Bangkok now over, it has yet to be seen whether OrSor personnel will continue their patrols on Bangla Rd.


See also: Phuket Opinion: One armed force too many

 

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JohnC | 23 November 2022 - 08:53:10

Are these "volunteers" really needed to do the jobs of the RTP. And what are the RTP doing while these thugs do their jobs for them? 

Kurt | 23 November 2022 - 07:56:16

117 more people - mostly touts - were tested. Touts??? Touting is forbidden by law. By Thai law! How is it possible so many are around? Guess the OrSor camouflage uniforms camouflage to much. Looks like RTP and OrSor are bribed not to arrest them. Not enforce the Thai law. Another rubber law.

Timothy | 22 November 2022 - 14:10:09

I think the touts should be "flamed" for their behavior! Maybe they didn't like having to be checked for drugs and alcohol? Those a-holes are super aggressive and should not be allowed to harass people. 

Kurt | 22 November 2022 - 10:55:53

I fail to see the connection between the Apec held in Bangkok and OrSor presence at  Bangla Rd, Patong on Phuket.

 

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