The news came at a meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall called by Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew to deal with the matter yesterday afternoon (Feb 6).
Present for the meeting were all three Phuket Vice Governors Amnuay Pinsuwan, Anupap Rodkwan Yodrabam and Danai Sunantarod.
Also present was a powerhouse of Phuket officials including Phuket Provincial Police Commander Maj Gen Sermphan Sirikong, Phuket Immigration Police, Phuket Tourist Police, Tourism and Sports Phuket office Director Ratchadaporn Oin, Office of Tourism and Guides in the Southern Region 2 Registrar Noppadol Awutthampreecha and Phuket Tourist Association President Thanet Tantipiriyakit.
Governor Narong said that when he heard the news yesterday he called all parties to attend the meeting to ensure strict action was taken over the incident.
The incident finally came to provincial officials’ notice yesterday, when Karon Police charged the female owner of the Blue Ocean Travel shop in Kata for using a knife to slash a Chinese tourist following an ongoing argument over refusing to provide a full refund for a tour that the Chinese man and his family did not go on.
“All parties must help each other to solve this problem because it affects the image of the country,” Governor Narong said yesterday.
“It is important that legal action is taken against the offender and that the province adheres to the law and gives fairness to all parties, looking to the law leads to the conclusion of law enforcement,” he added.
“The province [provincial government] is not neglecting anything that is happening, especially at this time. Phuket has a lot of tourists; problems may occur at any time. Therefore, each matter must be resolved immediately according to the law,” he said.
“This [case] will continue to be an example for other cases. The province [provincial government] has always emphasised being a good host for receiving guests, in order to help restore our economy. resulting in a better quality of life,” he added.
Mr Noppadon, Registrar of the Office of Tourism Business and Guide in the Southern Region 2, confirmed that the tour agency will be fined the maximum B500,000 under the Tourism Business and Guide Act for behaviour that causes serious damage to “the morals and good culture of Thailand”.
The tour agency will also have its tourism business license suspended for the maximum six months, he added.
Phuket Provincial Police Commander Maj Gen Sermphan pointed out that police charged the female tour agent, so far identified by police only as “Ms Wiri”, yesterday.
She will be presented to Phuket Provincial Court today (Feb 7).
Maj Gen Sermphan noted that Ms Wiri had confessed to the charges against her: assault causing physical injury and carrying a weapon (a knife) in a public place. However, Ms Wiri claimed she was acting in self-defence.
“Carrying a weapon in public is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine only,” he said.
“But assault causing physical injury is punishable by imprisonment of up to three months and a fine not exceeding B60,000, or both,” he said.
Regardless, Governor Narong concluded the meeting by ordering all government agencies involved in the matter to strictly enforce the law.
Kurt | 08 February 2023 - 10:51:54