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Could this be a casino under construction on an island off Phuket?

Secret Phuket Casino Being Built on Island, Say Raiders

Tuesday, July 31, 2012
PHUKET: Authorities have staged a massive raid on a small island off Phuket where officials suspect an illegal casino was being constructed.

The owner of Rang Noi island, off Phuket's east coast not far from Maithon island, has seven days in which to produce a property ownership title and a legitimate explanation for the buldings.

About 60 officers from the Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Division in Bangkok landed on the island today with Forests Department officials.

Splitting into three teams, the officers set out to check structures on the island, see whether any encroachment had occurred on beaches and find any people on the island.

The division's Commander, General Narasak Hemnidhi, told accompanying media that officers suspected the motives of a American man who had paid 900,000 baht to lease the island for 30 years.

The man, named as John Kevin Baldwin, had connections to a casino in Laos, the general said. He was allegedly an owner of the Savan Vegas Casino in Savannakhet province.

The island's largest building of two storeys was about 20 percent complete and had an upper floor with views out over the surrounding seas.

The large space below was enclosed and officers found a walk-in safe there.

In another building, investigators found two speedboats and three jet-skis.

Complaints from residents who lived on nearby islands had led to the investigation, the general said.

The general said a sor kor one title had been issued for the island's 17 rai back in 1954 but in 1969 nobody was living on the island so the sor kor one was suspended.

In 1975, two people found living on the island claimed ownership of 14 rai.

In 2007, a chanote title for 15 rai was issued to Bridge Rang Noi company.

In March 2012, Kan Krao company bought the land. The company was represented by a 32-year-old Thai man from Korat.

Mr Baldwin, a shareholder of Bridge Rang Noi, subsequently leased the island for 30 years.

The general said he believed the Kan Krao company may have been a nominee for Bridge Rang Noi.

Anyone with claims to ownership of the island has seven days to present themselves, after which the matter wil be handed over to police.

A lawyer for Kan Krao who went with the group said the company could respond to prove everything it had done was legal. The buildings were not for a casino, he said.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


...Or maybe it's just his new house and pool, on legitimately leased, Chanote land? Would anyone really be so stupid as to build a casino with such a high profile?

Posted by agogohome on August 1, 2012 08:40


Seems like a typical bogus raid on a wealthy person's private estate. Notice the line: "police suspect casino was being constructed" There is no casino...only in someone's mind. No real story here...assuming all title papers and all permits in order. How about all the hundreds of known exiting casinos in Thailand that Chuvit keeps exposing? No arrests to date?

Posted by Fred Simpson on August 1, 2012 08:44


OK, as a shareholder of Bridge Rang Noi, he couldn't buy or lease property directly from them, hence the sale to Kan Krao (which presumably he has no legal connection with). Nothing wrong with any of this.

It is a really beautiful spot, and these buildings shown in the photographs have been there for at least 3 years (the time I've being going fairly regularly past their). There is no beach to speak of, so can't see where this 'encroachment' justification is coming from, and the idea of a casino is a complete joke.

Definitely smacks of being an excuse to potentially grab back the island.

Posted by Phil on August 1, 2012 09:56


Few week ago, I want to to Koh Kai in Phang Nga Bay between Phuket and Koh Yai Noi Island where all speedboats are going for snorkeling and have lunch.
I was very surprised that a tiny rock without water has a restaurant built on the rock and on the sea is able to have legal document in protected zone; for me it is illegal.
The brochure give the name as CHOKDEE Restaurant & Bar at Khai Nui Island and the foreign owner is Peter and Khun Porn the Thai.
There is also a website:

Posted by Whistle-Blower on August 1, 2012 11:30


The message here is foreigners will not be allowed to run illegal casinos. That job is reserved for Thais. (Usually police)

Posted by Joe on August 1, 2012 11:36


I wonder how much it cost to launch this "raid" and who is going to compensate the state.

Posted by Tbs on August 1, 2012 11:42

Monday November 28, 2022
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