The new Cherng Talay Police Station Superintendent, Colonel Paworn Pornpromma, told Phuketwan this afternoon that he was obliged to investigate the complaint.
The complainant, Khun Palat, said that while public land had been cleared on the seaward side of a pathway that runs along Surin beach, he was surprised to see businesses still operating on the other side of the path, which he believed was also public land.
Colonel Paworn said that he had asked the chief of Marine Office 5 and the director of the Phuket Land Titles Office to meet with him on Friday to examine the issue and report back speedily.
According to reports, the property titles under which the shorefront land remains occupied - a title known as a nor sor lor - can be issued to an individual but is not transferable and is not meant to be used for private profit.
The present use of a long line of premises as beach clubs and restaurants at Surin beach predates the appointment of the present Phuket governor and the election of the current Cherng Talay mayor.
Colonel Paworn said that after talking to the chief of Marine Office 5 and the director of the Land Titles Office, he will call in the businesspeople involved. If necessary, he said, he would give them seven days to demolish any constructions deemed to be illegal.
Cherng Talay Mayor Ma-Ann Samran told Phuketwan this afternoon that he met this morning ''with the National Peace and Order Council committee.''
He said that he was not troubled by the action being taken by Khun Palat in reporting an alleged breach of law to the local police.
''I have done my job,'' said Mayor Ma-Ann, who proposes similar clearances to Surin beach at Layan, Laypang and Bang Tao beaches.
Phuketwan: From now on you are going to apply the law 100 percent?
Mayor Ma-Ann: More than 100 percent.
Some of the people involved with the businesses at Surin beach may also face charges of encroaching on public land, Colonel Paworn said.
The military took over Thailand in a coup on May 22 and has since been vigorously driving a campaign to clear Phuket's beaches and foreshores of illegal commercial activities on public space.
Umbrellas and loungers are now banned from Surin beach and are said to be about to be banned at Patong, Kamala, Nai Harn, Kata, Karon and other popular west coast beaches.