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Women prisoners file out of Phuket Jail to freedom

Phuket Jail Frees Prisoners to Mark Coronation

Friday, May 21, 2010
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SCORES of prisoners were freed from Phuket Prison today to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the coronation of HM The King.

The anniversary took place on May 5. Having made the decision to mark the occasion with a release of prisoners, jail officials have been carefully considering who should go free.

Today, 138 men and 10 women made their way out of the prison gates, including two Afghani prisoners.

The release will help to alleviate the overcrowding in the jail in Phuket City, which was causing health and social issues.

Vice Governor Smit Palawatwichai asked the whole prison assembly a question: ''How many of you are Phuket people? Please show your hands.''

About one tenth of the crowd of 148 lifted their hands, an indication that some of Phuket's problems are imported from other provinces.

The vice governor added: ''Good luck to you all. When you get out, please use the skills that you have been trained to do on the inside. I would hope that you are not seen in the jail again.''

About 60 percent of the jail's population are inside for crimes involving drugs, which mostly accounts for the overcrowding. The vast majority of those released today were inside for petty crimes, mostly theft.

One man's father told Phuketwan that his son was 23 and his daughter, aged 18 months, was with other relatives at the jail today.

''My son was a taxi driver,'' the father said. ''He carried an illegal gun, and you can't carry guns in a public place anyway, so he was sentenced to nine months.''

Today's release sees the young man freed almost two months early. ''My son had never broken the law before. I moved from Songkla to Phuket three years ago, and we both drove taxis.''

Another freed prisoner, a ladyboy katoey told Phuketwan he had been in jail for picking peoples' pockets in Patong. ''I am from Isarn,'' he said. ''I've been on Phuket for six years.'' Aged 23, he plans to head home to Isarn. He has served 11 months of an 18-month sentence.

A Thai-British woman, born in Britain to a Thai mother, said she had completed a university course in Britain before coming to Thailand to work as a translator. Accused of receiving stolen goods, she was surprised at her boyfriend's actions but was sentenced to nine months as his accomplice. She earned a two-month remission.

''I am heading back to Britain in September,'' she said. She was heading to a five-star resort. ''It was a bad experience,'' she said, ''I didn't kill anybody. I still feel as though I was harshly treated.''

Current non-Thai inmates by nationality are: China/Taiwan 40, including 7 women; British three, including one woman; Singapore 1; India 1; Malaysia 1; Sweden 1; Germany 2; Pakistan 3; Philippines 1; Tunisia 1; France 1.
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Comments

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Sounds not unreasonable to let them go a little early.

"When you get out, please use the skills that you have been trained to do on the inside"

But hopefully only the official skills... I chuckled a little, you know the say, prison is like university for higher crime.

Posted by Lena on May 21, 2010 14:33

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Not that I read or even want to read about crime on Phuket all day long, but I was surprised at the number of foreigners released mostly because I don't recall reading in any local media about their cases.

Editor: Two Afghanis were the only non-Thais released (although one of the women, daughter of a Thai mother, has a British passport.) Current non-Thai inmates by nationality are: China/Taiwan 40, including 7 women; (the alleged Bang Tao telephone fraudsters, covered by Phuketwan) British three, including one woman; (probably the atm family, covered by Phuketwan) Singapore 1 (probably Ms Goh, charged with the Canadian real estate man's murder, covered by PW); India 1; Malaysia 1; Sweden 1; Germany 2; Pakistan 3; Philippines 1; Tunisia 1 (the man accused of robbery during the tsunami alert, covered by PW); France 1. Police are not obliged to inform the media. Nor are honorary consuls and embassies.

Posted by Ben Goldman on May 21, 2010 15:03

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hai..me again!i want to know if my thai friend sell that drug=ice=......how long in jail he take it?

Posted by esther on March 26, 2011 14:40

Editor Comment:

better ask the judge but it could be a while.


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