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Phuket police seize beach furniture in Patong

PHUKET: Police swooped on Patong Beach last night (January 20) and seized 178 sunbeds, 37 chairs, and 53 umbrellas piled along the edge of the beach. They announced that owners must come and retrieve them from the police station – if they dare.

By Nattapat Tuarob

Wednesday 21 January 2015, 07:36PM

A police officer stacks confiscated beach furniture

A police officer stacks confiscated beach furniture

Most of the seized beach furniture appears to belong to local business people trying to skate around the complex new rules.

Police announced that individuals coming to the police station to collect their own personal sunbeds could do so and indeed, 15 tourists did so today, each claiming two sunbeds.

They were accompanied by kind-hearted citizens who denied being beach sunbed operators.

Police have already explained that they suspect the remaining furniture belongs to beach operators and will never be reclaimed. After all, any Thai who does come to claim multiple chairs will be deemed an illegal beach operator, will be fined B1,000 and will not get the sunbeds back.

This has already happened to five people last night who were found to own piles of chairs on the beach – each was fined B1,000 and each knows he or she will get no chairs returned.

Pol Lt Col Akanit Danpitaksat, Kathu Police crime suppression chief, explained, “Under the new beach management rules, sunbed businesses are not allowed on public land.

“I went to Patong beach yesterday evening and saw many sunbeds on the beach. We found many places where sunbeds had been piled up on the beach – piles of 20 or 30 sunbeds with covers over them. So our officers seized them and brought them back to the Police Station.

“Some belonged to tourists. That is fine. But what we are doing is preventing business people from encroaching again on public beaches – some of them are still trying to carry on business like before.

“If Thai people appear to reclaim the sunbeds we will charge them [with making a profit from public space]. But this morning, some tourists came and told me that they left their sunbeds with business operators, so we checked whether the sunbeds belonged to them or not.

Laguna Golf Phuket

“The problem is that some are elderly couples and could not carry the sunbeds to and fro between hotel and beach. Some business operators seized this opportunity to take care of the sunbeds – but they bought their own and added them to the pile so that they could rent them out.

“When we seized the sunbeds, [the operators] claimed that all the sunbeds belonged to the tourists.

“Some business operators charged the tourists B20 per sunbed [to leave them in a pile]. That is not allowed.

“We won’t charge the tourists if they come to get sunbeds back. If anyone tells them that they are not allowed to do so, they should tell the police.

“I want to stress that if the sunbeds operators occupy the beach, that is not allowed. In the morning, I sometimes see pickup trucks arriving, carrying sunbeds. That’s not right.

“I want to clarify once again: I am not banning tourists, only illegal beach occupation. Some business operators put out disinformation that the tourists came to protest against the police but we didn’t seize the sunbeds from the tourists; we took them from the piles left on the beach, which we confiscated, and we returned them.

“If tourists leave them at the beach, I will give them back without any charge. As for the Thai beach chair business operators, I don’t think they will dare try to reclaim their sunbeds.

“We are not putting pressure on the tourists but we don’t want to allow a situation where everything is run by just a few people.”



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derngt | 30 January 2015 - 10:09:53

Horst my name is Derek Lafreniere and I am from Canada.  I broke my back while serving in the military for 15 years.  I guess that makes me lazy because I cant haul my own stuff to the beach or sit on the sand.  Besides bullying people on this site your a waste of energy.  Everyone has a story and everyone requires something different from their Phuket beach experience.  Having option is all that ...

Horst Lakits | 30 January 2015 - 07:55:46

Yes derngt, what ever derngt and Hoarse means,I do jump for joy!
You guys are just to lazy to bring your own stuff to the beach that's the real reason.At least I use my name and not a cheap pseudo. 

derngt | 27 January 2015 - 19:35:40

Horst Lakits all you do is try to pick fights with anyone that doesn't agree with you.  You must be an expat that doesn't even go to the beach.  What is the problem with wanting sun loungers and umbrellas on the beach.  The new rules are laughable, and tourist will fall accordingly.  You arrogant expats must be jumping for joy.

Hoarse | 27 January 2015 - 09:08:13

At least Nick is making a valid point, Horst. Your comment is infantile, stupid and a waste of space. Many people agree with Nick, myself included. Easy to snipe at people's remarks on-line, but try making something sensible, or is that too difficult for you? Unfortunately there are a few people like you out there making cheap remarks that contribute nothing.

Horst Lakits | 27 January 2015 - 07:21:24

Nick go to back to Bali, we will not miss you,

NickAussie | 25 January 2015 - 11:02:38

This is crazy - 15 years i've been coming - twice a year, 2 weeks each time.  Thousands of dollars I spend here.  I want a beach bed, an umbrella and food/drink service on the beach. The new rules are a shambles. the government needs to sensibly zone the beach, licence operators for all the old services, designate 'free' beach space and have inspectors on the beach every day of the yea...

simon01 | 22 January 2015 - 16:16:23

Great job. kick them off and keep them off. The tourists know there are no legal sun lounger vendors on the beach so leaving their private chair with a vendors pile of chairs the tourist knows the person they are leaving their chair with is breaking the law. Good on the police.

PeterLong | 22 January 2015 - 14:03:32

I supported the polices who enforced the law.  Beaches are for everybody.  In the past, tourists might get the sands kicked in the face if they didn't rent the sun-beds when sitting near these people's area.

Tomatts | 22 January 2015 - 11:04:51

Looks like the police finally found some engaging work besides fining "falangs" (not Thais) at street crossings like Bangla/Sansabai.  I've been here every winter for 20 years now, but this will be my last.  I'm going to spend my thousands Euro in some place where it's appreciated.  I don't want to lay on the sand and I can't carry a sun cher 2 km each way everyday.  ...

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