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The Royal Thai Navy seeks ''command posts'' north and south of  Phuket

Phuket 'Command Post' Plan to Protect Andaman Coastline

Wednesday, March 14, 2012
PHUKET: The Royal Thai Navy aims to set up a network of community ''command posts'' to help combat drugs, illegal immigration and smugglers along the Andaman coast.

Vice Admiral Thavatorn Thinsuwan, Commander of Royal Thai Navy 3, which patrols Thailand's Andaman coast from bases on Phuket and Phang Nga, said yesterday that the network would help the Navy to do its job.

He was speaking at a conference on Phuket involving authorities from Ranong, Phuket, Phang Nga, Krabi, Trang and Satun, Marine Police, Marine Office 5, Customs, Fisheries and the Phuket Marine Biological Centre.

As soon as one problem was controlled off the Andaman coast, another came to prominence, the vice admiral said.

Smuggled goods were being tranferred at sea to escape tax while drugs continued to be an issue, along with the interception of boatloads of Rohingya.

Phuketwan suggested this week that because the Royal Thai Navy already has a reputation for protecting and preserving the marine environment, its role should be extended to all of Phuket's beaches, under a new Phuket Beach Authority.

Many people in the industry fear that Phuket tourism has no future if the commercial degradation and destruction of Phuket's beaches continues in the hands of uncaring local authorities.

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