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The Chief of Phuket's Marine Office 5, Phuripat Theerakulpisut, yesterday

Phuket Charter Boats Safe For Now

Tuesday, October 2, 2012
PHUKET: Foreign-owned and operated yachts and power boats were breaking the law by running charters and other activities off Phuket, the Chief of Phuket's Marine Office 5, Phuripat Theerakulpisut, told a meeting yesterday.

But he added that although some of the businesses were making 100,000 baht to 200,000 baht a day without paying taxes, reports of a quick Phuket crackdown involving radar were premature.

''This would have a big impact so we really need to do the research to establish whether this is good,'' he told Acting Phuket Governor Dr Sommai Preechasin at Phuket Provincial Hall in Phuket City yesterday.

''About 2000 vessels will come to Phuket this year,'' he said. ''Most will be law-abiding but some will operate commercial activities. This is what we have to stop.''

He said that any move to target the wrong-doers still had a way to go.

''Marine Office 5, Immigration, Customs and Phuket police all need to become involved before we can act,'' he said.

Khun Phuripat said another frustration for Marine Office 5 was the lack of progress in redevelopment of Phuket's deep sea port so that more cruise ships could land at a modernised facility.

''We have been pushing for this project to go ahead for three years,'' he said. ''But the Environment Impact Assessment remains in our way.''

Dr Somai was updated on several of Phuket's key issues - jet-skis, illegal taxis and public land encroachment - at a media briefing that was probably intended to bring Phuket's new governor up to speed quickly.

However, a political scandal in Bangkok has delayed the appointment of the new Governor for Phuket and other provinces where there are vacancies.

It's likely Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's Cabinet will be presented with the names of the candidates today for approval.

Comments

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Foreign vessels and diving charter boats working illegally in Thai waters will undergo increased surveillance by the Thai government which will set up new regulations to protect jobs for Thais before the opening of its borders with ASEAN countries in 2015.

Posted by Whistle-Blower on October 2, 2012 10:39

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In the UK many local councils are controlled/ strongly influenced by hoteliers and b and b operators. They regard visiting yachts as a business threat, using the failed logic that these people should be staying in their hotels, not in luxury boats. They conveniently overlook the on shore spending power of these visitors and its benefit to the local economy. Sounds like a similar logic failure is at work in Phuket too.

Posted by barry on October 2, 2012 14:35

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@Barry - What you say is untrue as many motor and sailing yacht have websites and sell charter tours and dive package tours to oversea customers with payment by PayPal or bank transfers to oversea bank accounts and directly competing unfairly with Thai registered companies.
Most of those foreign yachts do not employ Thai people and do not buy anything in Thailand as most stop in Langkawi to get cheap supplies.

Posted by Whistle-Blower on October 2, 2012 15:45

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I am going give up using Google search, whistle - blower knows everything and anything. Empty vessels make the most noise, is that how the saying goes, does it not?

Posted by Robin on October 2, 2012 17:47

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@Robin - Many Thai boats operators in diving, fishing, touring and chartering tourism businesses have been losing too much businesses with unfair competion by foreigners setting up Thai companies with Thai proxy nominees and bribing civil servants to get legal documents in illegal ways.
Those Thai people have been lobbying the Central Government in Bangkok to crackdown those illegal foreigners in order to be ready for a fair competion between ASEAN countries in 2015.
You may see what is happening with those land-grabbers in national parks and we are just at a beginning of a complete cleansing of indesirable people.

Posted by Whistle-Blower on October 2, 2012 18:19

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@ Whistle -Blower I could not agree with you more. When I was in the business, what I saw horrified me. I do believe that a whole new clean up has to happen and then all can start with a fresh slate. 2012 is that year of change. I think only positive outcomes may help change peoples minds?

Posted by Robin on October 2, 2012 18:48

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do the speedboats pay taxes? or long tails or....

Posted by Vfaye on October 3, 2012 12:29

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@ WB

"Most of those foreign yachts do not employ Thai people and do not buy anything in Thailand as most stop in Langkawi to get cheap supplies."

Absolute rubbish.

I know a LOT of people in the business and they ALL have Thai a captain and crew, as stipulated by Thai law. Their boats are all Thai registered and if you would bother to check how far Langkawi is, even you would realize nobody can, could nor is able to exclusively get their supplies there or anywhere else outside Thailand as you claim.

Their companies are also in Thailand and the method of payment is irrelevant since every trip is logged and revenue filed to tax authorities. Websites and PayPal have no bearing on it.

Just because you can find tractors and apples on a farm doesn't mean they are the same.

You constantly portray yourself as being the only one adhering to Thai laws as if everyone else was a borderline criminal here.

Your constant chest-pounding is getting boring.

Posted by Andrew on October 3, 2012 13:57

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This is just an observation, not meant to pertain to anyone in particular. It has been my experience here that those who complain, spread rumors or tell stories of being wronged are often those who do not tell the whole story and the whole story is significantly different than the tale they tell. Those who say to me "my friend, my friend" or feel the need to express how honest they are turn out to be the worst antithesis of both. Those who tell me wild tales of foreign cheating, when followed up on are the only ones I ever find cheating. It seems that jealousy drives the accusations more than fact. But that is my observation, perhaps others have experienced this phenomena, perhaps not.

Similarly I have also seen the authorities claim certain conditions existed among the foreign community that are based on accusations by other foreigners,once inspected it is found they did not exist or never occurred and often when investigated the accuser becomes the accused.

It is a twist on the Orwell where the sheep chant "4 legs good two legs bad". Only here those bleating the most when caught in their own hypocrisy change to "4 legs good two legs better" but never admit the reality that they had no facts on others but were cheating themselves. Again just my experience and not aimed at anyone.

In specific respect to wB, as Andrew pointed out the chest pounding is annoying but the suspicious need to post the same "4 legs good, two legs bad" over and over again on every site and the constant inaccuracy and speculation in his posts are more than annoying, they are insulting. We get it. You are above board, you are honest and everyone else is a crook. You have been whispering in the authorities ears and they listen to you and are ready to move on it. You know, we don't, your big, we are little. Got it, got it got it.

I remember another person who was here some years back who told similar tales to me and anyone else who would listen about people in high places and foreign corruption. Sadly, his behavior caught up with him and when the police caught him it was at a bus station trying to flee the country, he passed some short time later. When I visited him in prison to see if I could be of some help to him. He indeed had changed his tale to "four legs good, two legs better" but still would not face the reality of his own malfeasance. It should be a cautionary tale for those spreading half-truths and avoiding self-truths, unfortunately "the bleat bangs on". But this is just my observation, your experience may be different.

Posted by Martin on October 3, 2012 15:11

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@ Martin. Well written bit there. Thank you.

Posted by Robin on October 3, 2012 16:09


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