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Phuket Police Arrest Condo Owner Accused of Fraud on Power, Water Bills

Tuesday, January 15, 2013
PHUKET: Pornsawan Rungsiriwarakul, managing director of a block of Phuket condominiums, was arrested tonight over allegations that he defrauded apartment owners.

Owners at the Pornsawan Condo in Vichit protested last night outside the Governor's Mansion in Phuket City, saying that there had been 11 meetings about their complaints but no action.

Police from Vicchit, south of Phuket City, arrested Khun Pornsawan about 6.30pm in his apartment at the condo block.

The Governor is away on a trip to China but officials appear to have responded with speed to the owners' twelth protest.

The owners claimed that electricity and water bills were too high and both services were frequently cut off.

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Overcharging for utilities, especially electricity is epidemic. In particular at apartment buildings serving mainly foreign clientel.

The average price per kW is about Bt 4, though it increases progressively with consumption. If you use about 600kW per month (easy to read off the meter) then that's your unit price.

It's quite common that apartment building management charges Bt 8/kW.

If you are renting, ask where the meter is and insist that you pay your own bill directly. If the landlord refuses, don't rent there.

If such practise is indeed deemed a fraud, then there would be a lot of compaints to be filed all across Thailand.

Posted by Andrew on January 16, 2013 00:23

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I see a huge meter outside the building and a small meter near my door. I always figured that the owner gets charged once and then charges all of the tenants, with a premium for "taking care of the infrastructure".

It's a pity some owners / managers are so greedy. I hope the tenants can sort out their issues without having to pay a second time.

Posted by Ty on January 16, 2013 09:02

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Do they not know, that they easily can kick the manager ??
70% had to vorte against first time, if not enough show up they can have a new meeting and each time the demand in Percent is going down !
We did it at Sky Inn Condotel in Patong, he actually left before the meeting, he know what was comming !
There is a board there have to overlook the managers work as well !

Posted by karsten on January 16, 2013 17:37

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Very interesting . That is also happening to us here in Rawai .

Posted by Paul Reaney on January 17, 2013 08:33

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I had this problem in Patong a while back, overcharging electric bills. One month, I was away in Australia for over three weeks, which was obviously overlooked by the owner. My next bill was very similar to the bill before, when confronted, he was at a loss for words! I didn't pay it!

Posted by Elizabeth on January 17, 2013 10:04

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A lot of Thais refer to these meters in apartment blocks as "Chinese-Meters" as a lot of these landlords are Chinese.

Posted by logbags on January 17, 2013 10:31

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I had the same problem living at a house in Baan Jo. The owner of the house would not let me pay electricity directly but I had to pay him. Found fault with the way they were reading the meter and not looking at the decimal point. I moved out rather rapidly and have never had the same problem since, as I am much wiser now. The advise by Andrew is so correct it hurts, "If you are renting, ask where the meter is and insist that you pay your own bill directly. If the landlord refuses, don't rent there."

Posted by Inept on January 17, 2013 11:10

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11 meetings no action try a consular meeting with the local powers that be re taxis and jetskis hundreds of meetings over 15 years.

Posted by slickmelb on January 18, 2013 03:11

Editor Comment:

Interesting point, slickmelb, except the condo owner was finally arrested. Why give up, if you are right? Change only comes with perseverance. Do you go through life abandoning just causes after one shot at everything? You've actually succeeded in making the point of the value of ''try, try, try again.'' The world has enough cynics and quitters. Their achievements amount to zero.

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So who is going to instigate the change?

Market forces will be the only thing that instigates change. There are many places in Thailand where you don't have to deal with the BS of Phuket. If enough people vote with their feet and wallet, there won't be enough money around to fuel this hopelessly corrupt system.

Posted by logbags on January 18, 2013 08:03

Editor Comment:

Bit hard to see what that has to do with high water and power bills at a condo south of Phuket City.

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Well if you didn't edit my post so drastically, people would see the jist of it is the fact most officials are running and protecting their own businesses. This is why there is no rule of law! Every second official has his own scam where he is either creaming off kickbacks or abusing his power to set up a monopoly on essential services. Whether it is the taxis or landlords ripping off people with dodgy meters, it all gets back to no law enforcement because everyone has been corrupted. So again I'd ask you, who is going to enforce the law if the law enforcers themselves are totally corrupt? If this isn't true, why doesn't anything ever change? Name even one Phuket official that has been jailed for taking bribes.

Posted by logbags on January 18, 2013 10:13

Editor Comment:

Name one person you believe is taking bribes and produce the evidence, logbags. Oh, but that would mean giving up your online anonymous status and showing some real-life bravery. Don't bore us with common gossip, rumor and innuendo. In this case, there has been an arrest - because the people who saw themselves as victims persevered and went to the trouble of putting themselves out there. Do the same. Put your bravery where your online anonymous mouth is, please. Or keep it shut.
It's called ''Justice.'' The thing you want, but don't grasp.

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(moderated)

Posted by logbags on January 18, 2013 13:26

Editor Comment:

Mindless slurs are a waste of your time and ours.

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Easier to just censor than debate the facts.

Posted by logbags on January 18, 2013 13:50

Editor Comment:

Give us the facts: your real name, the names of the people you claim are corrupt, and your evidence for saying so.
Facts are, by the way, facts. There is no debating them.

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logbags

"Alot of landlords are Chinese"? Are you saying owners of apartment blocks are Chinese citizens? I call BS on that, I'm sure the vast majority are Thai citizens.

Posted by christian on January 18, 2013 18:02


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