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The crunch comes for 'black' jet-ski operators in Patong

Phuket Scam Purge: Police Impound 'Black' Jet-Ski

Friday, November 20, 2009
A JET-SKI operator was arrested at Patong today and his vehicle was impounded and taken to Kathu police station. The operator was accused of hiring out his vehicle without registration or insurance.

His arrest and the confiscation of the jet-ski was the clearest indication so far that the bad old days of scamming by jet-ski operators may finally be over.

It was an unmistakable warning to 35 other ''black'' jet-ski operators that they face similar treatment if they continue to rent out their vehicles.

And it may even mark a turning-point in the way authorities view all the other scams and rip-offs that have been a part of the island's rocky ride as a 21st century tourist destination.

Some of Thailand's top government politicians have shown exceptional interest in Phuket, the country's premier tourist resort, since diplomats drew attention to the damage that extortion and corruption was doing to Thailand's international image.

A high-powered committee from Bangkok met with Phuket Governor Wichai Praisa-ngob today to learn about the future of the island's tourism industry . . . and Winai ''Jet-Ski JJ'' Naiman.

Khun Winai's coincidental appearance on the first episode of a reality television show in Britain led to his arrest and an as yet-unresolved charge of extortion with menace.

The chairman of the Senate Committee on Tourism, Torpong Chaisan, heard today from deputy mayor of Patong, Chairat Sukhban, that attempts were being made to solve the jet-ski problem.

The committee then travelled to Patong. About the same time Kathu police and Marine Police pounced on the ''black'' jet-ski hirer, who was operating on the beach near Loma Park.

Officers told Phuketwan that they planned to find out where the jet-ski, which carried no licence plate, had its origins.

Earlier today, 17 jet-ski operators from Bang Tao, who had been reluctant to join the majority in signing up for the governor's new registration and insurance scheme, changed their minds, leaving the 36 ''black'' jet-ski operators isolated.

The presence of the Bangkok committee on the island is a sign that the purge by local authorities may yet be extended to motorcyle hire companies and other operations that have put Patong's reputation on the nose among tourists.
Update: Phuket's Jet-Ski Owners All Aboard
Friday UPDATE Phuket's jet ski owners have all signed up for the new insurance scheme, except for 36 ''black'' vehicles. More image damage may be done, though, to Phuket.
Update: Phuket's Jet-Ski Owners All Aboard

Lost in Paradise: Riddle of Woman in a Wet Suit
Latest Phuket police have yet to identify the body of a woman in a wet suit, apparently a European, fetched from the water at Paradise Beach near Patong more than 48 hours ago.
Lost in Paradise: Riddle of Woman in a Wet Suit

Tourist Anger as Patong Prices Soar Out of Control
Phuket PriceWATCH The cost of items in Patong is being investigated after a rash of complaints leads the Governor to request an investigation and action by local authorities.
Tourist Anger as Patong Prices Soar Out of Control

Cambodia Takeover Pushes Thailand to the Brink
Latest Today's takeover by the Cambodian Government of the Thai company that controls aircraft movement over Cambodia lifts the standoff between the two countries to an ominous level.
Cambodia Takeover Pushes Thailand to the Brink

MediaWATCH: Phuket Will Celebrate 'Jet-Ski Day'
Phuket News Digest Phuket jet ski hirers to hold fair; Tata Thai pickups for export; Coup chief to lead political party; Pirates repelled; Confronting corruption; Mobile man refused to end conversation.
MediaWATCH: Phuket Will Celebrate 'Jet-Ski Day'

JJ and Phuket Jet-Ski Hirers Mostly Sign Up
Latest Phuket's attempt to prevent alienating tourists with jetski scams appears to be succeeding with hundreds signing for insurance. More image damage may be done, though.
JJ and Phuket Jet-Ski Hirers Mostly Sign Up

Photo Special: Does Phuket Need a Cable Car Now?
Photo Special The views would be spectacular, and so would be the revenue. That's the economic impact assessment of Phuket gaining a cable car to match that of Hong Kong.
Photo Special: Does Phuket Need a Cable Car Now?

Airport Activity Boosts Phuket High Season Hopes
Latest Latest arrival figures for Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi international airport indicate a resurgence in tourist numbers is underway. Many travellers come to Phuket via the capital.
Airport Activity Boosts Phuket High Season Hopes

Comments

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Hopefully the "local" enforcement do not stop, when the "powerful" Bangkok committee go back to Bangkok.

The tourism industry in Phuket could do so much better. But as long as public safety enforcers can and have to bribe their way into getting a "lucrative" post in the Phuket force, they will look for compensation and more for their investment into coming to opportunity island.

That's why scam artists have a golden future in the cooperation business.

Posted by Lena on November 20, 2009 17:30

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He he he just a show because of the big guys from BKK being here, he will be back, wait and see

Posted by No Name on November 20, 2009 22:25

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Never stop the scams unless there is the political will and an en end to police 'paybacks'

Posted by Ben Dover on March 3, 2010 21:52

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When we see the pictures of the jet skis being destroyed like the counterfiet goods, then we might believe it

Posted by Michael on March 3, 2010 22:46


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