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Phuket's Police Commander seeks to restore Phuket's image

Phuket Venues Told to Register Staff, Check for Weapons, Close on Time

Monday, January 9, 2012
PHUKET: The owner of the Rassada Pub in Phuket City, where staff attempted to kill a customer last week, sent an accountant along to attend an important meeting today with Phuket Police Commander, Major General Chonsit Wadhnawarangkun.

Major General Chonsit was not pleased when the accountant, one of 102 representatives from Phuket City nightlife venues, said he was unable to provide details of what took place at 4.30am on Wednesday in the now-notorious attack.

Two more staff from the pub bar are being sought by police over the assault on Sri panwa resort owner-manager Vorasit ''Wan'' Issara - and one of the staff has already fled Phuket, today's meeting at Phuket City Police Headquarters was told.

Six of the pub's staff have already been charged with attempted murder. Major General Chonsit said that a staff attacker who wielded a tomahawk was under-age - and as a minor, should not have been working at the pub or named in media reports.(Phuketwan obeyed the law.)

As part of an immediate crackdown, all nightlife venues in Phuket City will be obliged to submit the CVs of all staff to police, and to close by 2am. Action is likely to follow all over Phuket.

All venues will be obliged to make sure their staff are not keeping weapons or drugs on their person or on the premises, and to ensure none of their employees are underage.

All Phuket venues are to be obliged to submit copies of the CVs of all of their staff immediately to local police stations, within seven days, and CVs of new staff will have to be presented from now on within seven days.

''We also want owners and managers to take responsibility for people who have too much to drink,'' Major General Chonsit said. ''People who are drunk should not be allowed entry.''

While all venues on Phuket will have to submit the CVs of all staff to local police stations, Major General Chonsit said that as Phuket Commander, he would check personally, without consulting Superintendents, to make sure laws were being obeyed.

Instructions for action after Wednesday morning's incident had come direct from Bangkok, said the commander, who took charge on Phuket just before New Year.

He was at pains, though, to make the point more than once that he would have acted to bring venues under control even if the people involved had not been famous and influential.

As well as being closed for 90 days on the orders of Phuket Governor Tri Augkaradacha, the Rassada Pub has been fined 5000 baht for staying open beyond the island-wide 2am closing time.

It's no secret that many venues on Phuket stay open well beyond the official closing time - often with the knowledge of local police.

Boonsak Nawait, manager of the Pink Lady karaoke bar chain in Phuket City, told today's meeting that venues in the island's capital were already feeling the effects of Wednesday's vicious assault.

''People are not going out late,'' he said. ''In 10 years, we've never before had a problem of this kind in Phuket City.''

Earlier today, greeting two new vice governors, Phuket Governor Tri Augkaradacha said that the incident had done severe damage to Phuket's reputation.

It was fortunate that Hollywood actor Jeremy Renner - who was with Khun Wan at the time - had not been injured, or much greater damage would have been done around the world.

Comments

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Best part of this story is that the orders came directly from BKK. It's been a long time coming.

Now if we can get some rich and famous people into a sinking speedboat, being beaten to a coma by tuk tuk drivers and blackmailed at gunpoint by jet-ski thugs, then perhaps those seemingly eternal problems may get solved quickly, too.

I wonder who to contact in Hollywood for casting ? There's plenty of once-in-a-lifetime roles available on Phuket.

Posted by Steve C. on January 9, 2012 19:11

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Steve C. is correct. We need a few rich and famous to come under the lash of the tuk-tuk drivers, be shoved around by jet-ski criminals and caught up in a boat sinking.

Posted by Anonymous on January 9, 2012 20:34

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Looks like there's definitely a new sheriff in town.

Posted by Mister Ree on January 9, 2012 20:46

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Nightclubs would lose about 98% of their business if they refused to admit people who were intoxicated. Don't they know that people get intoxicated in bars first and then, when the bars close, move on to nightclubs? Then again, I'm in favor of all venues in Phuket closing at midnight. Then the quality of people coming to Phuket will increase, and the rest of the party crowd can go to Pattaya instead, which is ideally suited to what they're looking for.

Posted by Simon on January 9, 2012 20:59

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''We also want owners and managers to take responsibility for people who have too much to drink,'' Major General Chonsit said. ''People who are drunk should not be allowed entry.!!!'' So the 2 discos in Rawai that open (I mean start to have customers)at 2.30 have to close for more than one reason: cause must be already closed at that time (5000 bah fine)and all the people are going inside is coming already drunk from the closing bar around.. Really I wanna know how much is the fine...

Posted by Dave on January 9, 2012 21:54

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This is positive sign but I would not be surpised if this is short term. When the heat is off in month or so things will go back to what it was before. I do hope the new rules last.

Posted by Billy on January 9, 2012 22:25

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I think a zero or two has been left off the figure for the fine? 5000.00 Baht and the owner will not even flinch. Hardly a deterrent but what a good deterrent I see now, good drops in sales all over the island in night venues. This crack up or crack down was a long time coming.

Posted by Dun on January 10, 2012 09:12


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