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Phuket DSI Probe Backed By British Embassy

Tuesday, August 13, 2013
PHUKET: The British Embassy in Bangkok has backed the Department of Special Investigation's probe into organised crime connected to tourism on Phuket.

Investigators from the DSI today were ''out in the field'' and an update on their findings will be revealed next week, the man leading the innovative Phuket campaign, Major General Somboon Sarasit, said today.

A British embassy spokesperson said: ''We welcome steps being taken by the DSI to tackle problems faced by tourists in Phuket and hope that this is the start of a continued campaign to bring an end to scams in Thailand's most popular holiday destinations.''

Following a summit of European Union ambassadors in June, the British embassy released a statement on behalf of all the ambassadors.

The 24-Hour Telephone Number for the Airport Crisis Centre: 076 327100


It listed seven points. Soon after, following a meeting with the ambassadors, The Minister for Tourism and Sport, Somsak Pureesrisak, called in the DSI to help.

Two Crime Crisis Centres are now open on Phuket for tourists, residents and expats to supply information on ways to rid Phuket of scams, rip-offs, extortion and corruption.

The British embassy spokesperson said today: ''We will continue to work with EU colleagues to maintain a dialogue with the relevant national authorities such as the Ministry of Tourism, as well as ensuring through our travel advice that our citizens have accurate information and advice available to them.''

Phuket's Governor, Maitree Intrusud, intends to resume meetings with Phuket's honorary consuls next week after a gap of 11 months.

Phuket's honorary consuls, meeting with the island's administrators in a public forum, were a vital force behind the pressure for change.

However, the governor now proposes low-key meetings separately with Thai honorary consuls on Monday and expat honorary consuls on Tuesday.

European Union Ambassadors' List of Seven Phuket Needs


.. An efficient and fairly priced public transport system in Phuket which is available to foreign tourists and residents alike.

.. An end to intimidatory and violent behavior by an element of tuk-tuk and taxi drivers.

.. Strict enforcement of marine safety standards, including flags on beaches to indicate when it is safe to swim.

.. Strict enforcement of standards of behavior for public officials, including police and Immigration, to ensure that foreign visitors and residents feel protected, treated in a fair way and never at risk of extortion.

.. An end to scams involving hiring of equipment such as jet skis or motorbikes.

.. Strict enforcement of road safety regulations.

.. Promotion of environmental issues, including monitoring of water quality.

Phuketwan's List


Corruption Start a well-promoted public campaign to end corruption on the island and prosecute any official caught taking bribes. Investigate all allegations about Immigration officers and police. Create a corruption-free Phuket model for other provinces.

Sustainability Begin an investigation into what's required to keep Phuket a natural and appealing destination and set limits on development and tourist numbers based on the results of that investigation. Save the reefs and the beaches. Create a Phuket Beach Authority.

Transport Require all tuk-tuk and taxi drivers to register again and to meet international standards of service before being given new licences. Reduce their numbers by 10 percent a year for three years, offering alternative training. Introduce a call centre and abolish double-payment for journeys passengers don't make.

Crime Provide an extra 500 police for Phuket based on its actual population. Take up the Australian ambassador's suggestion of obliterating all illegal weapons and make the island a no-guns, no-knives zone.

Comments

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All expats in Phuket are expecting and would like that other ambassies in Thailand follow the British Ambassy in its approach, especially amongst European countries.
Without tacite support of local administration and the corrupt civil servants, those thugs would not have built crime empires in Phuket and keep under fear all the Phuketians, Thais and foreigners alike.

Posted by Whistle-Blower on August 13, 2013 13:27

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Corruption is virtually always about making money in illegal ways.

If someone is sincere about catching corrupt individuals, just follow the money.

Start digging into their finances, properties, vehicles, spending habits etc.

There's little effort in Thailand to hide illegally gained wealth. You can see Government officials earning Bt 350.000 per year living in Bt 10m houses and driving a Bt 5m car.

A certain high ranking police officer on Phuket was driving around in a brand new black BMW M6.

In the developed world the tax authorities would be all over such unexplained wealth and you'd be immediately summoned for an audit.

Working in the real estate industry, I can tell you it's common practice that a certain Land Office official has to be given one house on the property you develop for free.

If you don't do that, your permits and certificates will simply not be processed.

Posted by ThaiMike on August 13, 2013 13:48

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I went to the Airport yesterday to lodge a complaint at the Crime Crisis Center. I looked all over the first floor and couldn't find it. Went to level 2 and couldn't find it there either. Went back to level 1 and asked at the Airport Information desk. They had no idea what I was talking about. They made some calls and sent me back up to level 2. I looked around again, couldn't find it. I went to the Airport Information desk on level 2. They had no idea what I was talking about either. They made some calls and told me to go back down to the Information desk on level 1. When I arrived, there was a security officer waiting for me. He took me through the No Entry security doors to the arrivals area of the airport. To my surprise, this is where the DSI Crime Prevention Center is located. In the arrivals area between domestic and international. To me, the location doesn't make much sense. People who are just arriving on Phuket are not likely to have had a problem, and it is not easy to get to as you need to have a security escort just to get to it. Anyway, I found it. There were no English speaking police from Bangkok. There was just a young female clerk who seemed very surprised to see me. She was very helpful and gave me some forms to fill in. She explained that the DSI guys were out but would be back in the evening. I would be very surprised if they call or email, but I hope they do.

Posted by Tim on August 14, 2013 09:21

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[quote]
..where the DSI Crime Prevention Center is located. In the arrivals area between domestic and international
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Surely not? That location is completely out of bounds to any 'ground-side' passenger, unless they are escorted by airport security.

I thought that the DSI were serious about their job, but now I'm not so sure.

Move that new office into the public area, don't 'hide' it away!

Simon

Posted by Simon Luttrell on August 14, 2013 15:25

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It's all about BKK getting a share, anyone who believes Bangkok operates any differently is well, just stupid.

Posted by Not fooled on August 15, 2013 10:34


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