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Swiss tourist fined in Phuket for encroaching a National Park protected zone

PHUKET: A Swiss tourist was fined yesterday (Dec 6) for encroaching on a National Park protected zone after he drove a jet-ski from Naka Island to Ao Phang Nga National Park.

crime, environment, natural-resources, pollution, tourism, transport, marine,


Tanyaluk Sakoot

Thursday 7 December 2017, 01:03PM


The two tourists had driven the jet-ski from Naka Island to Hong Island at some point encroaching on a protected zone. Photo: Ao Phang Nga National Park
The two tourists had driven the jet-ski from Naka Island to Hong Island at some point encroaching on a protected zone. Photo: Ao Phang Nga National Park

An official from Ao Phang Nga National Park, who declined to be named, said, “We saw that the tourist was driving a jet-ski in a protected area close to Hong Island off Phang Nga National Park at 4:20pm yesterday so we had to call him and ask him to stop.

“There were two men on the jet-ski, both from Switzerland, but the driver was Sandre Diener, 45. He drove the jet-ski from Naka Island to Hong Island, which is about 10 kilometres,” the official said.

“They appeared not to know that they had done something wrong, so we explained to them that this area is a protected under the National Park Conservation Act.

“Jet-skis and other personal watercraft are banned from the area. Only those who have been given permission by the National Park Office can bring watercraft into the area.

“Diener was fined B1,000 and given information about the law for this area. I also warned the jet-ski owner, who runs a rental shop, about the tourist’s behaviour.

“I also told the owner to show tourists a map prior to him renting out jet-skis so this problem does not happen again.”

The official added, “Please be reminded not to drive jet-skis or watercraft in National Park zones. Rental shops should be obligated to warn tourists about situations such as this.”

 

 

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Jor12 | 11 December 2017 - 20:10:24

Absolute rubbish. It's a basic tenet of the law of any country, that ignorance of the law is no excuse. So, "if you do the crime, you do the time."

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Pauly44 | 11 December 2017 - 15:17:51

It's not justified if they weren't made aware, the operator should have copped the blame, tourists are seen as easy target cash cows, if you're blissfully unaware of how it works in Thailand, that is your problem.

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Mika | 11 December 2017 - 12:32:54

So much blablabla about a justified fine.The Swiss did wrong,knowingly or not.And probably he forgot about the incident already and moved on enjoying his holiday.No need of making an affair of state or an international scandal out of it.Wondering why expats here are always more concerned about tourists,than tourists themselves.

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Kurt | 10 December 2017 - 16:08:39

Double standards? One for thai, one for foreigners.
Does it make sense to say: "when thai ignore thai laws it doesn't mean foreigners can do the same"?
Fact is that when foreigners rent a motorbike they most of the time not get handed out a helmet, unless they ask for it.
And if someone knows that hefty fines abroad on not wearing helmets works, than it is time Thailand also introduce hefty fines.
There is really something to improve in thai fine system.
When a foreigner not wear helmet, a 500 thb fine.
When a thai in BKK carry a bomb in public on his way to place it with purpose to let it explode , also a 500 thb fine ( reduced from 1000 thb,  Bangkok Post)

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Kurt | 09 December 2017 - 13:23:38

Astonishing to read about the just a warning only for the thai Phuket restaurant owners who had protected Marine Life on their MENUES and violated seriously thai marine laws.
( yesterday article in PN)
A violation we may see as serious seen the  fact that the thai law punish that with max B100,000, 1 year in jail or both.

So here we see:
-- Swiss guys on a water sky, not knowing they violated any law got fined.
-- The rental company who failed to inform the Swiss water ski tourists about forbidden areas only gets a warning.
( I doubt or these fine giving officials really went to that rental shop to give a warning. Just thai-thai, yes?)
-- And the thai restaurant owners only got a warning. 
Not even the same fine given as the Swiss jet skiers.

I see here discrimination.
Lady Justice is really blindfolded.

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Concernd | 08 December 2017 - 13:20:46

In such case fine Foreigners double then a Thai. It doesn’t mean if Thais ignore the rules and laws foreigners are also allowed to do so. For sample: seeing almost daily Foreigners  not warning a helmet in Thailand , the same Foreigners wouldn’t do so in their home countries because of the hefty fines they have to face.

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Mika | 07 December 2017 - 17:24:40

If the Swiss people are so well educated about environment,then why did they rent a jet ski at all? Jet ski's are known for to pollute the water and to disturb the environment.

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Kurt | 07 December 2017 - 14:15:04

Seen the photo taking scene there were 2 boats with 'officials'.
Let us not forget that Switzerland is one of these countries with the most strict well working environment laws in the world.
Swiss Schools educated people very good. There is a great deal of environment awareness, same like in Singapore.
Thailand has to keep up/do a lot to reach that Swiss level.
At least as I see it while just driving Phuket roads only.

A Swiss man of age 45 does not deliberately ignores the thai 'environment' laws.
He should go to Phuket Tourist court ( we still have that, yes?) or to the Phuket Ombudsman in Phuket Provincial Hall to fight this fining.
Justification: No fine for rental shop than sure no fine for the Swiss man.

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Nasa12 | 07 December 2017 - 13:44:39

Good :)

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Kurt | 07 December 2017 - 13:33:40

Why is the law not obliging the rental shops to inform tourists about the 'no go' areas?
Why the rental shop owner only got a warning? This is not fair.
If the tourist not know about this law, not informed by rental shop, than they should give the rental shop a fine, and the tourists a warning. 
Not the tourists who where not informed.
This 'fine thing' is wrong, anti tourism, and discriminating.

On the background of the photo I see thai tourist boats in the protected area. It looks like the purpose is not protecting the national park, but protecting the interest of the thai tourist boat owners.

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