No Phuket provincial officials or Phuket officers from the Department of Corrections have recognised the prisoner release following the change in the law, which came into effect on Tuesday (Aug 24).
However, an officer of the Registration Department at Phuket Prison agreed to comment to The Phuket News today (Aug 26) on condition of anonymity.
“We have already released a total of 15 prisoners who were sentenced only under the change of possession of fresh kratom; they were released on Tuesday,” the prison officer told The Phuket News this afternoon (Aug 26).
“About 60-70 prisoners are in the prison for other charges in addition to possession of fresh kratom. We have already filed a list of the prisoners’ names to the court for consideration of having their sentences reduced,” the officer added.
“On Aug 30, we will also release another 129 prisoners who behaved well and received royal pardons issued on the birthday of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun (Rama X) on July 28,” she said.
“These prisoners have behaved well and most of them have only a couple of years left to stay in the prison. The 129 prisoners are only one of three groups to be released, but I do not know when the second and third groups will be released,” she added.
The Department of Corrections on Tuesday reported that 1,297 prisoners were serving jail sentences for kratom-related charges across the country, reported state news broadcaster MCOT.
Of those, 1,038 were already serving sentences handed down, with the remaining 259 being detained while waiting for the court to rule on the charges against them, MCOT reported.
Only 121 people throughout all of Thailand were serving sentences in prisons for possession of fresh kratom only, the report noted.
Of those, 20 had already been sentenced, while 101 were still awaiting trial to conclude.
After speaking with the prison officer in Phuket today, it was not made clear whether 15 of the 20 prisoners serving sentences already handed down were released in Phuket.