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Every boat in Phuket waters raises questions about purpose and origin

Phuket Pirates 'May Target Cruise Ships'

Tuesday, August 10, 2010
PHUKET'S Navy personnel are preparing for an attack by pirates off the Andaman coast as the Thai military readies to sent two battleships to join the suppression of piracy on the other side of the Indian Ocean, off Somalia.

Cruise ships may be a target for pirates off Phuket at some stage, a meeting of officers from the Third Royal Thai Navy and other water-based officials was told at the Metropole Hotel in Phuket City.

An attack by pirates is something the Navy wants to be ready for, just in case. Of more practical concern have been 11 rescues executed by the Navy in the Andaman in the past nine months.

While large numbers of vessels carrying Rohingya boatpeople appears to no longer be the issue that it became in 2008-2009, the Navy says it has apprehended 52 Burmese illegal immigrants in 18 interceptions of vessels at sea since October.

Vice Admiral Choomnoom Ardwong, commander of the Third Navy, attended the meeting with Marine Police, the Marine Office, Customs and fishing industry organisations.

The Navy was involved in six drug arrests at sea, one case of arrest of a vessel carrying illegal timber, one arrest of a fishing boat operating in a conservation zone, and one case of a large quantity of whisky being imported without customs duty.

While the main concern along the Andaman coast remains yachts and longtail boats carrying drugs or other illegal imports, the Royal Navy is awaiting Cabinet approval to reinforce the international action against pirates operating off Somalia.

Thai-registered vessels have been among those taken by pirates and Thai crew have been captured.

Meanwhile, a group of 397 Thai soldiers is to head for Darfur, Sudan, to serve on the United Nations peace keeping mission on October 25, with 400 more troops to follow in November.
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Comments

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The Thai navy has battleships! Well I never knew that. A load of hot air, me thinks, just like the balloons purchased by the military.

Posted by Pete on August 10, 2010 12:50

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I think "warships" would have been a better choice of words than "battleships." My best wishes for the troops headed to the Sudan.

Posted by Lee on August 10, 2010 13:09

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"An attack by pirates is something the Navy wants to be ready for, just in case. Of more practical concern have been 11 rescues executed by the Navy in the Andaman in the past nine months.

"While large numbers of vessels carrying Rohingya boatpeople appears to no longer be the issue that it became in 2008-2009, the Navy says it has apprehended 52 Burmese illegal immigrants in 18 interceptions of vessels at sea since October.

"Vice Admiral Choomnoom Ardwong, commander of the Third Navy, attended the meeting with Marine Police, the Marine Office, Customs and fishing industry organisations.

"The Navy was involved in six drug arrests at sea, one case of arrest of a vessel carrying illegal timber, one arrest of a fishing boat operating in a conservation zone, and one case of a large quantity of whisky being imported without customs duty.

"While the main concern along the Andaman coast remains yachts and longtail boats carrying drugs or other illegal imports, the Royal Navy is awaiting Cabinet approval to reinforce the international action against pirates operating off Somalia.

"Thai-registered vessels have been among those taken by pirates and Thai crew have been captured."

So the Somolain Pirates are going to come across the Indian Ocean becasue the Royal Thai Navy sent 2 ships??? Wow. If this happens, I will be here to take pictures!

Posted by Lee on August 10, 2010 14:13

Editor Comment:

Although Somalian-based pirates have struck hundreds of kilometres into the Indian Ocean, nobody is suggesting the Somalian pirates are coming this way. South East Asia has its own pirates, with a history going back hundreds of years. It's highly likely that there have been attacks close by, although not lately. If you'd been around then with your camera, you'd have some valuable photos.

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I am sorry to say this and await the editors hot headed reply - headline is very very misleading. Suggests pirates are in these waters, suggests pirate attacks are likely in these waters. Codswallop.

Posted by Jamie on August 10, 2010 21:28

Editor Comment:

My replies are never hot-headed.

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Pete, they've probably confused Frigates with Battleships, however they also posses an aircraft carrier, albeit not the fuel to move it. Maybe if they convert it to biofuel it might do more than just rust at port.

Posted by Cat on August 11, 2010 10:21


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