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Phuket officials set sights on revoking tourism licences for water-safety repeat offenders

PHUKET: Tourist Police in Phuket say they will ask for repeat offenders found breaking marine transport and tourism laws to have their tourism business licences revoked.

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By Tanyaluk Sakoot

Monday 22 January 2018, 07:21PM


The news follows the arrest of nine people during random tour boat inspections by officers from the Tourist Police, Marine Police and the Phuket Marine Office at Chalong Pier on Saturday (Jan 20).

In all, 12 people were charged for violating marine transport laws, Tourist Police Deputy inspector Capt Ekkachai Siri confirmed to The Phuket News today (Jan 22).

“Two people were operating speedboats with expired licenses, another one didn’t have his boat operator’s license on board with him at the time of the inspection, and another six operators were not running boats in accordance with the conditions specified in their license,” he said.

All six caught using their boats illegally were found operating their boats with insufficient crew, Capt Ekkachai explained.

“By law each speedboat being used to transport tourists must have at least two crew and a captain on board when transporting tourists,” he said.

The boats were found with just one crewman assisting the captain, he added.

“All nine charged were fined B2,000 each, then released,” Capt Ekkachai noted.

Some of the speedboats were allowed to continue providing their tours to tourists after paying the B2,000 fine, but others were forced to bring in other crew and captains to operate the boats before they were allowed to depart, he added.

Capt Ekkachai declined to name the nine caught breaking the law.

“Their cases will have too serious consequences to reveal their names to press,” he said.

However, he added, “They were warned by, marine officials. If they break the law again, I will make their names public.”

Phuket Marine Police and Marine Office officials will continue to inspect boats at Chalong Pier twice a week, Capt Ekkachai cautioned.

Repeat offenders also risk losing their financial lifeline, he added.

“I will ask that tour operators who continue to break marine safety laws to have their tourism busniess licences revoked by the Tourism Business and Guide Registration Office in Phuket,” Capt Ekkachai warned.

Of the three remaining offenders caught, Capt Ekkachai noted that all three were taken to Chalong Police Station to be charged.

Two of them – Chatree U-so, 26, found operating the speedboat Sirana and Chaiyapoom Trongbut, 36, found operating a speedboat belonging to Nikorn Marine – had never been issued a boat operators’ licence, Cpl Natthasak Rongmueng of the Chalong Police confirmed to The Phuket News today.

The third charged at the police station was 35-year-old Indonesian national Ay Yahya, who was caught operating a boat without any licence, exceeding the maximum capacity of the boat and he was staying in the country illegally.

Ay Yahya, who was presented at Phuket Provincial Court today along with the two others charged at Chalong Police Station, faces a fine from B1,000 up to B10,000, or up to six months in jail, or both, Cpl Natthasak explained.

“Regardless, as he was caught working illegally in Thailand, he will be deported,” Cpl Natthasak said.

“The rest of the penalties are for the court to decide,” he added.

 

 

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Jor12 | 24 January 2018 - 22:39:15

The neo-colonialists wanting Police on every street corner, now they want officials on every beach and pier.

Kurt | 24 January 2018 - 12:09:06

And from a juridical point of view, blocking the boats before departing, means they are not committing crime yet.
Much better to wait on their return. Crime committed, than they can be arrested, boats shackled, and case made ready for Court.

Kurt | 24 January 2018 - 11:25:14

Jet ski and parasail operations play a role in the local money industry.  Something like 'service charge'.
To be illegal allowed on the beach sand ( jet skies), refueling at beach sand or in beach front water.
Riding the illegal jet ski- and parasail boats trains through Patong center with uncertified lorries twice a day.
It is all paid for to the police. Imagine, feel wallet swelling?
...

vegasbaby | 23 January 2018 - 20:49:53

Tourist boats should not be allowed to leave the docks until their licenses and competence have been verified...get rid of the dangerous jet ski and parasail operators as well..

Kurt | 23 January 2018 - 18:54:50

How to crack down on a Thai company with legal documents ( minimum 51% thai ownership)?

Count the number of restaurants on Phuket, owned by foreigners, all thai companies. With all licenses required.

The whole thai society is floating on middlemen and touts.
In rice, rubber, other farming products, insurances, tour sales, hotel desks at airports. Etc. You just name it.

Kurt | 23 January 2018 - 18:38:13

The best crack downs start and can be done at Piers and Jetties, upon return of the boats 
Welcome them back and inspect
If proper documents/licenses are absent, expired or not in good order, shackle/confiscate the boats.
Want your boat back? Go to the Court and request

See how fast all of them get in line with the law after a few boat confiscations
Hit them were they feel it. In pocket.

Asterix | 23 January 2018 - 15:53:42

A good start would be a crackdown of Thai companies owned by Chineses with illegal Thai nominees to get legal documents to operate tour companies and buying transport tour boats to avoid to work with Thai boat operators.
As well all middlemen and touts who want commissions up to 60% of brochure prices.

Jor12 | 23 January 2018 - 12:34:51

Other than morbid curiosity, what good is going to be served in naming or seeing their pics? Do people want know where they live and properly identify them when they shoot them? Hell, people on here report seeing offences, but do nothing.

Kurt | 23 January 2018 - 12:14:31

One thing is striking me.
No photos of the 'NINE', ok, but why not their names?
What in the name of the Lord can their cases have to serious consequences to reveal their names?
Oh, are some of the 'NINE', family of RTP officers, or other Marine Officials, etc ?
Or is there any other valid reason for being secret/hiding?

Kurt | 23 January 2018 - 09:44:48

These are good actions, very different of the tourist paper registration actions the governor suggested.
These actions are focussed on boats and their drivers, there lays the danger.
Just hope that the plan of 2 actions per week are not announced in advance.
The first action with a result of 9 arrests is very promising. Good work!
It gives a clear picture of the real dangers for tourists.

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