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Phi Phi resorts, tourist businesses face sweeping raids

PHUKET: Krabi officials are investigating a plot of about 40 rai of land where 34 villas and a large swimming pool are being built on Koh Phi Phi Island on suspicion of encroaching on protected forest land.

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By The Phuket News

Wednesday 6 June 2018, 08:50PM


Officials carry out their inspections on Phi Phi Island on Monday (June 4). Photo: Krabi PR Office

Officials carry out their inspections on Phi Phi Island on Monday (June 4). Photo: Krabi PR Office

The news broke after officials began their raids on Monday, checking hotels, bars and other tourist businesses for any breaches of the law.

Hotels and guesthouses are being checked to ensure the names and nationalities of all guests are reported to Immigration within 24 hours of the guests checking in, while bars and night spots on the island are being inspected for drugs and late trading, reported the Krabi office of the Public Relations Department.

Any illegal modifications to buildings are being brought to task, including any deviations from approved building permits.

Meanwhile, general tourist businesses are being inspected for nominee shareholders and tax infringements.

“All infringements discovered by inspecting officers must be reported to the relevant officials,” the PR report noted.

Specifically three residential projects are under investigation in Moo 7, near the tourist heart of the island, to ensure the land documents being sued to claim the land are genuine, the report added.

Facebook group Newsroom at Krabi reported yesterday that specifically five small hotels and guesthouses, a 50-room resort and a “beach club” had been found in breach of the Immigration requirement to report guests, while the five small hotels and guesthouses and the beach club had illegally modified their buildings.

One dive shop had been caught with an illegal ratio of Thai-to-foreign staff, and illegally having Foreigners selling dive tours, said the report. (See report here.)

The dive shop was ordered closed until its case has been heard by Krabi provincial officials, the report added.

Of note, the Krabi office of the PR Dept reported that one resort project under investigation for encroachment onto protected forest land had presented a NorSor 3 land document issued in 1993 as evidence to its claim to the land the project occupies.

A check by The Phuket News on the online map created by the Department of Special Investigation to indicate such protected areas showed that the resort is located on land that was not declared a protected forest area until the year 2000. (See DSI map here.)

Under Thai law, owners who can prove their claim to their land predates sweeping declarations of protected forest areas and even national parks are entitled to maintain their full legal rights to their private land.

 

 

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Kurt | 10 June 2018 - 08:54:15

On suspicion of built of encroaching of protected forest land.  Yes-yes, yesterday there was nothing, now sudden illegal buildings? Let me laugh and think.  The buildings will remain, they are there now. To make it legal some money will be swopped. Everybody happy, and sure some law pops up to make the whole affair legal,. We have many laws.

vegasbaby | 07 June 2018 - 19:35:57

Can't have it both ways.  Restrict the number of tourist visits to protect the island or approve building of new tourist amenities and businesses?  Bad plan equals bad results.

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