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150 Million Baht Phuket Tourism Safety Purchase Fails to Pass BS Detector Committee

Saturday, September 14, 2013
PHUKET: In the aftermath of a scam involving Thailand's purchase of fake bomb detectors, serious questions are being asked about whether Phuket needs high-technology safety equipment valued at hundreds of millions of baht.

The Government has set aside more than 150 million baht for Phuket as part of a commitment in March to improve tourism safety.

And yesterday a representative from the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation indicated their shopping list had already been drawn up.

All that was needed to snap up these high-tech bargains was the approval of yesterday's committee, meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall in Phuket City.

Representatives from the Navy, the Army's Internal Security Operations Command, Phuket police and Marine Police were less keen on the idea.

Does Phuket need Maxa Beams, Duoscans and HF-QCM Sensors valued at more than 153,720,000 baht?

Thirty-six Maxa Beams, world's most powerful searchlight with 12-million candle-power, would cost 22,320,000 baht.

Thirty-six Duoscans (slogan, ''Stops Them First''), capable of detecting explosives, narcotics and unwanted liquids, would cost 122,400,000 baht.

That certainly made 72 HF-QCM Sensors, capable of detecting gasses and vapors, seem a bargain at just nine million baht.

The DDPM had gone to the trouble of deciding what Phuket needed and would have welcomed approving nods yesterday.

What came though from the committee could be accurately translated in English as ''Hang on, hang on, what's the rush?''

One representative from another organisation was bold enough to question whether the DDPM was the right organisation to make this kind of decision with millions in government money.

What about the Navy and Isoc? Shouldn't they have a say, the DDPM representative was asked.

''If I took one of these millions-of-baht searchlights out, I'd be worried what might happen if I dropped it,'' a practical committee person said.

''And who will provide maintenance and spare parts for this stuff?''

Another representative asked whether it was possible to speak to someone who actually knew something about the costly items and their functions, rather than someone who had simply been persuaded to make a purchase.

The committee decided more research was needed before Phuket's DDPM purchased the treasure-trove of equipment on behalf of all Phuket organisations.

The Maxa Beam A lightweight high intensity illumination device with an unparalleled output of 12 million peak beam candlepower. The Maxa beam searchlight has been battle-tested by the United States Armed Forces and numerous government agencies for over 20 years.

Duoscan A currently developed hand-held and ruggedized explosives, narcotics and liquids detector capable of trace particle and vapor detection in less than eight seconds. Duoscan is lighweight and easy to operate, it comprises a single handheld detector and disposable swabs. [The verb ''ruggedized'' is a new one on us.]

HF-QCM Sensor Based on a multi-disciplinary approach that integrates: QCM technology, plasma etching, chemical coating and deposition technologies, micro-mechanics, electronics, algorithms (sic) and digital data peocessing. An amalgamation of several scientific disciplines, digitally recreating the mammalian olfactory processes. [ We think they mean it can smell.]

And one not on the current shopping list:

GT200 bomb detector Two British businessmen were jailed earlier this year for selling boxes with handles and antennae as bomb detectors. The judge said they had ''sold dross around the world.'' Hundreds were bought in Thailand for use by virtually every arm of the military.

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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I think the money would be better spent on more police (hopefully, the non-corrupt type) and a stable water and electricity supply.

[By the way: typo - "153,720 million" is 153 billion!]

Posted by Buster on September 14, 2013 12:33

Editor Comment:

Thanks, we'll fix it.

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22 million on 12 torches ?? Yeah thats obviously what Phuket needs !!!

How about fixing broken middle Rd ?? Or more police ?? Or decent lifeguard shelters ?? Or Or Or..

Posted by LivinLOS on September 14, 2013 13:07

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Instead of spending that ridiculous amount of money on "high tech gear." Spend it on police motorbikes (real ones), cars, salaries and training. Then have them actually out on patrol, day and night, doing what they should be doing. We can only hope... Sadly, not likely.

Posted by Jim McGowan on September 14, 2013 21:10

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Er, Jim McGowan, maybe the East does not see the light of day before the West? Something to ponder over a beer or ten?

Posted by DuncanB on September 14, 2013 22:25

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At least the committee had sense NOT to go ahead with these ridiculous ideas.
They made valid statements, such as maintenance and what do these items actually do.

None of these items are really needed. These won't make Phuket safer. As others have stated before, THAT is what will make Phuket safer.

1 Million Baht can pay 1 person's wages for 5+ years.

Posted by Tbs on September 14, 2013 23:25

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There's no way this nonsense should be allowed.
Nor the ridiculous sign for the Beach Road.
No shame or scruples.
Bah!

Posted by jimbo on September 15, 2013 03:19

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I think that 2 Billion Baht should be spent on these BS detectors. They seem to be working, not like other hair-brained schemes.

Posted by DuncanB on September 15, 2013 14:04

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It is good to see there will be committee to detect if there is any bull shit

Posted by FS on September 15, 2013 16:09


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