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Governor Wichai Praisa-nob with the gun brandished by ''jet-ski JJ''

Phuket Scams: Governor Calls for Corruption Probe

Tuesday, September 15, 2009
THE GOVERNOR of Phuket, Wichai Praisa-nob, wants the Department of Special Investigations to probe major corruption on the holiday island.

He has also asked the Foreign Ministry and the Tourism Authority of Thailand to investigate widespread crimes and rip-offs.

He said yesterday that for 10 years or more, the island had been ''driven in neutral gear.'' ''We need more information about what's been going on,'' he said.

The DSI, Thailand's equivalent to the FBI in the US, is seen as the nation's least corruptible investigation team.

Speaking at Provincial Hall, Governor Wichai said the DSI needed to be involved because some island police and local officials had also been accused of involvement in the corruption.

Despite being the island's leading administrator, Khun Wichai said he could not be sure of the ''quality and skills'' of some island police.

There was a need to investigate allegations that police had been aware of the scams and received pay-offs.

''If necessary, the DSI will have to come to pursue this issue, especially if the media thinks that some of the latest disclosures that are bad for tourism are not real,'' he said.

A spokesperson for the TAT said that resorts needed to help restore Thailand's image by warning tourists with written information about jet-ski scams.

Long-standing scams involving jet-skis, tolerated on the island for years, have received media coverage in Thailand and overseas since the screening of a documentary on British television that showed an operator allegedly scamming British royal marines.

The future of the eight-part reality series, 'Big Trouble in Tourist Thailand,' has been thrown into jeopardy because Thai authorities are concerned about its effects on the tourism industry.

Permissions from authorities and releases for individuals have to be approved through the Thailand Film Office before more of the series can be screened.

The first episode led to the arrest of jet-ski operator Winai ''JJ'' Naiman and caused alarm among many Thais who viewed an alleged rip-off in Phuket on-screen. Millions of baht are said to be extorted from tourists in the scams each year.

Phuketwan on the Jet-Ski Scam

Thai Officials Put 'Big Trouble' Series in Limbo
Photo Album Concern about the 'Big Trouble in Tourist Thailand' series has led to permissions and releases being withheld. But the British producer says the series is not harmful to tourism.
Thai Officials Put 'Big Trouble' Series in Limbo

'Big Trouble' for JJ: Inside the Jet-Ski Scandal
Latest The producer who shot the series that focuses on the underbelly of Phuket's tourism troubles provides his own illuminating account of the filming and the fuss that followed.
'Big Trouble' for JJ: Inside the Jet-Ski Scandal

China Anger: Jet-Ski Scammers Told to Behave
Photo Album Phuket's Governor has told the island's jetski operators to clean up their act, or else. His plain speaking warning came as VIPs from China told Phuket to protect their tourists.
China Anger: Jet-Ski Scammers Told to Behave

MediaWATCH: How Jet-Ski JJ Scammed US Marines
Scam Scandal Update New footage shows Phuket jet ski JJ operator ripping off US marines; national anger at scams grows; Zeman remakes Hong Kong; Aussies prime sex offenders
MediaWATCH: How Jet-Ski JJ Scammed US Marines

Jet-Ski JJ Arrested: 'I Will Ban Them' Warning
Photo Album Phuket's long history of jet ski scams may be coming to an end with the arrest of one operator and a warning from the governor that he will ban them unless the scams cease
Jet-Ski JJ Arrested: 'I Will Ban Them' Warning

Phuket Jet-Ski Summit as 'Scam' Scandal Screens
Updating Report The television series that will probably damage Phuket's reputation for years has triggered a 'Scam Summt' as the Governor calls a crisis conference.
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British TV Captures Gun in Phuket Jet-Ski Standoff
Photo Album Phuket's jet ski scams are about to be highlighted on British television in a series on tourist police that shows a gun being used to intimidate royal marines.
British TV Captures Gun in Phuket Jet-Ski Standoff

US Aircraft Carrier, Warships Heading for Phuket
Latest The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and two warships are heading for Phuket . . . not to cause problems for jet ski operators, but to enjoy the island's delights on shore leave.
US Aircraft Carrier, Warships Heading for Phuket

British Tourist Hires Car in Patong, Vanishes
Latest Police are concerned for the safety of a British visitor who hired a car on Phuket and then vanished mysteriously, leaving the vehicle in Phang Nga Town. Blood was found on a seat.
British Tourist Hires Car in Patong, Vanishes

Comments

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We need the help of the DSI, please come to Phuket. But in my opinion I think most people will not say a word as they are too scared of the consequences, especially the farangs as they are scared of having to pay more in bribes than they already do!!

I love Thailand and am lucky to be able to live here. You ask any Farang that lives here or owns a business here and they know that it's not what you know but who you know and how much does it cost to get things done. There is a Thai price and a Farang price.

I now recommend people to do their shopping in Bangkok or Chang Mai, Phuket is a rip off.

Posted by anon nanai on September 15, 2009 19:08

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It would be nice to think that the Governor is serious about stamping out bribery, corruption and all the scams ... but how serious is he? Can Phuketwan tell me how one would go about emailing the Govenor? I for one would like to put his anti-corruption policies to the test.
Editor: Don't know if the governor has an email address but there's a post box outside the Governor's Mansion in Phuket City or you can write to Provincial Governor of Phuket, PO Box 101, Phuket City, 83000

Posted by noddy on October 11, 2009 21:52

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Thanks Editor ... I'll give it a go

Posted by noddy on October 12, 2009 12:50


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