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A Burmese construction worker shows his Phuket ID card

Phuket Work Permit Crackdown Starts Next Week

Wednesday, October 28, 2009
FROM November 1, work permits and ID cards are to be more closely scrutinised to reduce the ''economic crime'' of the jobs of Thais being taken by outsiders illegally.

Governor Wichai Praisa-nob chaired a meeting of key officials yesterday in a search for a solution to Phuket's ''expat and alien'' worker issues.

A centre has been set up at Provincial Hall in Phuket City to co-ordinate the approach.

Among the groups represented at yesterday's meeting were the Army's Internal Security Operations Command, local police, the mayor of Kathu, the Labor Office, Immigration, the Navy, and Thachachai checkpoint.

''I find it strange that there are so many illegal workers on the island when virtually everyone arrives by air or through the Thachatchai checkpoint,'' the governor said.

Officially, he said, there were 63,041 non-Thais who had permission to work on Phuket.

Another 38,710 Burmese boosted the number this year by registering under a scheme to provide more unskilled labor on Phuket.

''People have had their chance to register,'' the governor said. ''Before October 30, everybody should have their ID cards.''

The governor made the point that expat workers of all kinds will be subject to the review, along with businesses with expat staff or investors.

''If most people who come to work on Phuket cross the bridge and pass through the Thachatchai checkpoint, then it is up to officials there to check that people arriving on Phuket have the correct paperwork,'' he said.

Governor Wichai said the fishing industry was one exception, where workers spent a lot of time at sea. Officials would be asked to concentrate on people who worked on the island.

Non-Thai workers on Phuket have been advised to keep their paperwork available to show officials.
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Comments

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By beating the drum one month ahead of the crackdown, most of illegal western foreigners have been contacted their lawyers and accounting offices in order to fix with tea-money all hassles with local police and Immigration.

It will cost just a little more money than before. That'it.

As they are thousands of westerners working ilegally or running non properly registered Thai companies with proxy Thai nominees as shareholders, directors or have enough quota of Thai staff to get issued a wort-permit, we will see how many westerners will be caught in a few weeks.

It may be a big laugh at the end.

Posted by Whistle-Blower on October 28, 2009 14:57

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Why not just increase the limit on work only thais can perform to ALL.
Bad bad foreigners as usual

Posted by farang on October 29, 2009 12:11

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''If most people who come to work on Phuket cross the bridge and pass through the Thachatchai checkpoint, then it is up to officials there to check that people arriving on Phuket have the correct paperwork,'' he said.

Ergo; if we arrive in Phuket through the check point we must have a valid work permit to be allowed access?

What a load of codswallop, keep destroying the investors' mood!

Editor: We took it to mean that the governor was suggesting the checkpoint should operate more efficiently in checking ID documents, not necessarily work permits.

Posted by Ian on November 1, 2009 09:38

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The article says,
"Governor Wichai said the fishing industry was one exception, where workers spent a lot of time at sea. Officials would be asked to concentrate on people who worked on the island."

I think the Guvnah needs to focus a very different sort of attention on the fishing industry's use of cheap foreign labor. At the moment, the fishing industry is permitted to use prisoner/indentured-servant type foreign laborers. The abuse of those workers is rampant, horrific, and oughta be illegal.

The classic case that highlights this issue is the "3 pirates" who slayed a sailor about a year ago. These 3 teenaged illegal-immigrant Burmese had been sentenced by the Thai government to serve aboard a fishing boat where they were starved and otherwise horribly mistreated. They jumped ship, and starved on an uninhabited small Thai island 'til a farang's sailboat came within range. Then they committed some heinous crimes to escape their situation-- but who should we blame? Them, or the people who put a metaphorical noose 'round their necks?

Before you decide to blame the Burmese teens, think to yourself that Americans celebrate their violent war for independence from England, a war based on very little provocation from England: "taxation without representation", for example. Now imagine how you'd feel, if an American were enslaved, thrown into a fishing boat, and starved... would you blame him for becoming violent and desperate to regain his freedom?

Blame the system, and reform it. The way Burmese illegal immigrants are mistreated is, or oughta be, illegal.

Posted by sailor sam on December 26, 2009 08:09


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