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Plea to help Phuket Town glue sniffer from doing more harm

Plea to help Phuket Town glue sniffer from doing more harm

PHUKET: A local resident in Phuket Town has called for authorities to take action over a man who lives on the streets like a vagrant, stealing items from shopowners at night and reportedly sniffing glue in broad daylight.

By Eakkapop Thongtub

Thursday 31 March 2022, 05:54PM

Police have failed to take action over the man despite repeated complaints, and welfare officers notified of the man’s behaviour have done nothing, said Sophon Kongdaeng, the 33-year-old owner of an auto parts shop on Sri Suthat Rd, on the east side of Phuket Town.

Mr Sophon posted his appeal on Facebook today (Mar 31), saying that after his repeated attempts to get authorities to intervene and provide assistance, it was the police themselves who told him to appeal to reporters.

The man in question was reported last year as ‘Bank’, 20 years old. He was taken into custody after local residents and shopowners complained about his behaviour, walking around in only shorts and continually asking people for money. He was usually successful as he has a disabled left arm.

The behaviour that landed him deserving of police intervention last year was licking his hand and wiping it on the door handle of a pharmacy during the height of the COVID-19 fear pandemic.

HIs latest antics were also caught on CCTV. This time he walked into a building where Mr Sophon keeps spare parts, among other things, and rifled through them. He tossed onto the floor any items not of interest, leaving some of the items broken.

A previous episode when Bank was caught on CCTV breaking into a store area of a pharmacy, again breaking any items not of interest, saw him taken away for “rehabilitation”, Mr Sophon said.

Bank is believed to have been under the influence of substance abuse at the time he commited both acts.

As learned last year, Bank is technically not a vagrant, as he is registered as living with his grandmother in the Saphan Ruam community in Phuket Town.

“Officials took him for therapy for a while, about three to four months, but after that he was released to cause trouble for local residents just like before,” Mr Sophon said.

After yet another recent incident with Bank seen on the street engaging in what looked like substance abuse, and yet another building of a local resident entered and items broken, Mr Sophon filed another complaint with Phuket City Police on Tuesday (Mar 29).

“Police officers came to inspect the place, but there still has been no progress,” Mr Sophon said.

“So I filed a complaint with public welfare officers and a narcotics officer, and appealed to government agencies to do something, but still nothing has been done.

“Everything is still the same today, so I decided to petition the media to urge the authorities to prevent further incidents,” he said.

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Capricornball | 31 March 2022 - 20:45:22

Phuket government...the House of Do-nothings.  Everywhere Mr. Sophon turns to try and help this guy he hears the same thing..."not my problem, go tell someone who cares".  Hopefully PN can attract enough attention to result in someone that is able to help this lost soul. Maybe he just needs to be institutionalized, but not sure if they have those places here.


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