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Arrests and demolition ordered for an outlaw club on a Phuket beach

Raiders Nab 'Mafia' Boss of Phuket Beach

Saturday, February 7, 2015
PHUKET: A raid made this week to end ''mafia'' control at a small Phuket beach indicates that authorities are ready to take a stand and will not allow the holiday island's seaside assets to be privatised again.

Army, Navy, police and Phuket Marine 5 were among the large group who invaded Nui beach on Friday and scattered their targets at the Nui Bay Member Club.

Navy men chased and caught Jakkapong Sawadtawee, 30, a member of the club staff, who tried to escape in a pickup from the beach below the Kata-Karon Viewpoint. In the vehicle, officers allegedly found a handgun and gear for smoking ice.

A second gun was also seized during the raid, with urine samples of five staff testing positive to illegal drugs.

Four jet-skis were confiscated and an order was given for the buildings on the shore to be destroyed.

Among those taken into custody was Chatotorn Chotipanang, 64, who claimed the land along the shorefront belonged to him.

Vice Governor Somkiet Sangkaosutthirak, who led the raiders, told Khun Chatotorn that there was no evidence of his ownership.

Residents who live within earshot of the beach say guns were often fired at night there and Khun Chatotorn claimed he had ''a big Army guy'' to protect his money-making venture at the Phuket seaside.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


All gone very quiet about your chum from Patong who was supposed to be arraigned. Keep quiet and it never happened?

Posted by Mister Ree on February 7, 2015 13:06

Editor Comment:

We don't have any ''chums'' in Patong, Mister Ree. We have some friends and a smattering of acquaintances. Your constant attempts at pathetic slurs add no value. Try to think constructively, make your posts accurate, and with luck you will be published again. If not, stick with Thai Visa.


Love to hear stuff like this. This is what gives people some degree of hope that the Army is not done, and that they haven't turned their backs on Phuket. More than ever, this place needs Army and Navy personnel posted throughout Phuket to ensure that the gangsters and greedy selfish lawbreakers are cleared out, and are not allowed to regain a foothold here. This wannabe landowner and his accomplices embody much that is wrong with Phuket.

Posted by Ed Sanders on February 7, 2015 13:21


GOOD JOB.... But it is only one among hundreds of stollen Phuket public lands by greedy predators.

Posted by Whistle-Blower on February 7, 2015 13:38


How did it still remain there throughout the major beach clearances last year?

Posted by phonus balonus on February 7, 2015 13:39

Editor Comment:

Out of the way beach. Probably not even mentioned. if you didn't call, then nobody else probably bothered.


we call him mafia he calls himself a entrepreneur.

Posted by slickmelb on February 7, 2015 14:08


Ed always used to maintain there is no "mafia" in Phuket even though it's quite clear that there is. Nice to see a change of heart there.

Posted by Amazing Thailand on February 7, 2015 17:27

Editor Comment:

The word Mafia is misused in the context of Phuket and Thailand. There is no Mafia here. For that reason, we put quotes around the word to make the point that the word ''mafia'' is being used by others but that it has no basis in fact. There is no Mafia on Phuket.


I am encouraged by this story - might even come back to the island I loved & lived on for 18 years.

There are many 'farangs' now living up country wondering if they might be tempted to return to the venues they once cared so much about - Samui, Pattaya, Phuket, etc.

Posted by Logic on February 7, 2015 17:59


Erm.......Ed...... Yes, there are ! :-)

Posted by Amazing Thailand on February 7, 2015 18:11

Editor Comment:

No there aren't. It's a word used to hide the inability of the user to accurately define the criminals any other way, and with accuracy.

the Mafia, an international secret organization founded in Sicily, probably in opposition to tyranny. It developed into a criminal organization and in the late 19th century was carried to the US by Italian immigrants
any group considered to resemble the Mafia See also Black Hand, Camorra, Cosa Nostra


I like to compliment PhuketWan with this very informative article. Once again it proves that not Mayors and councils should be in charge of all this beach matters. There should be a 'off- Phuket island government body' that rules all Phuket beaches in the same way! Mayors and councils know everything of their beaches, but they still not comply with NCPO ruling. You may say why that is so.

Posted by Kurt on February 7, 2015 19:23

Editor Comment:

It's certainly an issue as to why this beach was left uncleared for so long.


A complete illegal 'club' scene, including drugs ( staff tested positive), illegal jet skies, illegal possession of weapons, fired at nigh time. Question of the day: Did the Mayor/council , 'ruling' that area, really not know anything about all this?
Once again, Beaches should not be in Mayors/councils portfolio!!

Posted by Kurt on February 7, 2015 19:36


It is true what editor says. There is no mafia on Phuket. Phuket only suffers not law obeying government officers ( corruption)and a lot of them create their own 'laws & rules'. Mayors/councils, they all know what is wrong in their jurisdiction, but no mafia, just tea money.

Posted by Kurt on February 7, 2015 20:14


Now we wait to hear more about that "big Army guy" who is/was protecting his illegal money making venture at a Phuket seaside. ( But do not call it mafia, there is no mafia in Thailand).

Posted by Kurt on February 7, 2015 20:17

Editor Comment:

He could be just a person invented by a creative imagination.


and in the meanwhile, on Kata-Kata view point road, in the best seaview point, many small illegal bars are growing up like mushrooms.. But even Army, Navy, police and Phuket Marine 5 can't see this shame..

Posted by dave on February 7, 2015 20:51


They may not be Mafia using your definition but it is organised crime!

Posted by mike on February 8, 2015 09:53

Editor Comment:

In this case, the ''mafia'' chief allegedly controlled a small Phuket beach. No torture, no brutal gang rivalry, no murders . . . That's a long way short of being an international criminal organisation.


Ed your head is well and truly in the "beach" sand if you think there is no organized crime in Patong

Posted by Harry on February 8, 2015 10:57

Editor Comment:

This article is about Nui beach.


You are confusing transnational organised crime with local organised crime this group are organised criminals and fit the definition!

Posted by mike on February 8, 2015 11:05

Editor Comment:

Nui beach. Not on the radar.


I wouldn't call it organised crime"", more like Dis-organised crime! Well done to the police and army. I bet losing 4 jet skies will sting quite a bit.

Posted by Mr Wolf on February 8, 2015 11:22

Editor Comment:

Let's hope they stay lost.


@ED,how you can live with yourself only you know, here you publish ONLY the definition that suits you, failing to publish the other definition, even from the very same site...
Once again you show that what you publish can not be taken as the whole truth, a failing, of course, by many of your journalist colleagues.

Posted by Laurie Howells on February 8, 2015 11:42

Editor Comment:

Nui beach, Laurie, is not exactly Sicily.

As Wikipedia says: A mafia is a type of organised crime syndicate whose primary activities are protection racketeering and the arbitration of disputes in criminal markets. Secondary activities may be practiced such as drug-trafficking, loan sharking and fraud. Being bonded together by a code of honor, in particular the code of silence (or omerta in southern Italy), safeguards the Mafia from outside intrusion and law enforcement action.

The term was originally applied to the Sicilian Mafia, but has since expanded to encompass other organisations of similar methods and purpose, e.g. ''the Russian Mafia'', ''the Japanese Mafia'', or ''the Albanian Mafia''.

And Wikipedia continues: Giovanni Falcone, an anti-Mafia judge murdered by the Sicilian Mafia in 1992, objected to the conflation of the term ''Mafia'' with organised crime in general:

While there was a time when people were reluctant to pronounce the word ''Mafia'' . . . nowadays people have gone so far in the opposite direction that it has become an overused term . . . I am no longer willing to accept the habit of speaking of the Mafia in descriptive and all-inclusive terms that make it possible to stack up phenomena that are indeed related to the field of organised crime but that have little or nothing in common with the Mafia.''

No mention of Nui beach here either, Laurie. Good luck overcoming your conflation. I'd suggest a course in rational thinking.


Is there one address, or email, ( police/army/navy ) that Thais and foreigners can write to , to denounce these illegal businesses ? And I don't mean the local governments office or TAT. If everyone sends complaints maybe things would advance !

Posted by Elizabeth on February 8, 2015 11:46


Mafia: "Any of various similar criminal organizations, especially when dominated by members of the same nationality."

Seems to fit. nui beach is not exempt from the definition

Posted by phonus balonus on February 8, 2015 12:04

Editor Comment:

Perhaps you missed it, PB:

Giovanni Falcone, an anti-Mafia judge murdered by the Sicilian Mafia in 1992, objected to the conflation of the term ''Mafia'' with organised crime in general:

While there was a time when people were reluctant to pronounce the word ''Mafia'' . . . nowadays people have gone so far in the opposite direction that it has become an overused term . . . ''

The use of the term in relation to Nui beach only shows how imaginative some readers have become. You really wouldn't want a Mafia on Phuket.


Is-it the same people who cut a hose from an air-compressor for local Moken divers from Rawai while they were fishing in the bay, few year ago?
It would be interesting to get an answer about it?

Posted by Whistle-Blower on February 8, 2015 12:04

Editor Comment:

C'mon, WB. Anything else you'd like to blame on these guys?


They are only one small part of organised crime in Phuket But when Bigger groups engage in money lending,fraud,drugs and corruption of local law enforcement this is the classic definition of organised crime I am not calling them Mafia although we also have strong evidence that international criminal groups operate in Thailand including Phuket who would fit that description.

Posted by Mike on February 8, 2015 12:10

Editor Comment:

Not true, Mike. To be ''organised crime,'' the one thing the crime has to be is organised. There is no evidence that the yet-to-be-proven guilty people from Nui beach had any connections elsewhere.


Overused, maybe. But none the less apt in these circumstances. Just because you don't like it doesn't make it inappropriate usage. It is entirely appropriate in the Phuket context. You are in a minority of one (or maybe 2 if you include ga-ga Italian anti-mafia judges)

Posted by phonus balonus on February 8, 2015 12:19

Editor Comment:

Your penchant for abusing the truth is showing. Brutal slayings were what distinguished the Mafia. Wikipedia and the dictionary support what I'm saying . . . yet I'm in a minority of one? My my, your brain is slipping, PB.


@Ed, Nui beach has NOTHING to do with definitions. What you failed to publish was.
3. often mafia Informal A tightly knit group of trusted associates, as of a political leader.
3. (l.c.) any influential clique.

Rational thinking seems to elude not only me.

Posted by Laurie Howells on February 8, 2015 12:24

Editor Comment:

Turning every Phuket gang into the ''Mafia'' appears to be just perverse wishful thinking on the part of readers who enjoy exaggeration.

The word you are struggling to find, Laurie is this one:

Gang: a group of persons associated for some criminal or other antisocial purpose.

Let's leave it at that, shall we? This is a waste of time.


MY penchant for abusing the truth is showing?? Hahhahahahhahahhhaaaahahaha...good one ed

Posted by phonus balonus on February 8, 2015 12:32


The councils here cant run the basics being roads rates and rubbish let alone beaches or anything else.

Posted by slickmelb on February 8, 2015 15:59



so far only this address:

Good Deeds Department
Eastern Methane Lake
Solar System
Milky Way Galactic

Posted by Sue on February 8, 2015 16:18


Ed are you never wrong

Posted by Harry on February 8, 2015 17:56

Editor Comment:

I am human and inevitably wrong from time to time, Harry. As professional journalists, though, we make our reports as accurate as possible. We also try to learn as much as we can about the topics we write about. We don't use guesswork or gossip. We don't rely on what we hear at the pub. We even talk to the people involved in making the key decisions. It's odd then that readers who know so much without doing any research find it surprising that we are wrong less often than they are. And Harry, I have to say: you're wrong this time, yet again. But then, as you are a poorly informed constant critic of PW and its editor, that won't surprise anyone.


If you look on the NCA agency national crime agency website you will see their definition of organised crime serious crime planned,coordinated and conducted by people working together on a continuing basis lots of crime that happens in Phuket fits that description including what has happened in the land office the transport system on the island,and many more examples that I am sure you are aware of.

Posted by mike on February 8, 2015 20:13

Editor Comment:

This article is about Nui beach and an alleged gang operating at Nui beach. To extend the article to other cases elsewhere on the island that aren't mentioned and aren't relevant would be to see ghosts that aren't there and to react to shadows. How odd that reality eludes some PW readers.


Nui beach is part of a much bigger problem on Phuket and is relevant to the discussion or are you still denying the existence of organised crime on the Island? If so I will wish you goodbye and good luck with that!

Posted by Mike on February 8, 2015 20:44

Editor Comment:

What puzzles me is why so many readers can't stick with the topic - a crackdown on alleged gang activities at a small Phuket beach - and choose instead to use their vivid imaginations to invent other problems. The inability to stick with reality affects the ability to think straight. Doomsaying is what I'd call it.


They are not mafia but small gangs of criminals working together usually in one enterprise, they would not be called mafia elsewhere, the editor is right

Posted by peter allen on February 12, 2015 10:36


My wife is from Nong Khai. She said that if she opens a business there, she has to pay the Thai mafia for protection. I asked from who? She said just protection.

Posted by Randy on February 18, 2015 08:20


this is Great to see and hear they have had this BS going on there for a long time

Posted by brent on February 20, 2015 03:33


I'm here to tell you the beach club is alive and well and nothing has changed as of february 23rd. Just bring your 500 baht entrance fee and you can enjoy the beach all you want. Nice read on the article though. More phuket fantaSEA!

Posted by dmac on February 25, 2015 09:40

Monday May 20, 2024
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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