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45 murders in Phuket in 2009



PHUKET: Crime statistics compiled by the Phuket Provincial Police reveal 45 murders and 310 cases of manslaughter on the resort island in 2009.

Based on the official population of just over 320,000, the figures put the total number of instances of murder and manslaughter at an alarming rate of more than one victim per 1,000 residents over the year.

However, the official population figure is highly inaccurate as it fails to take into account the number of migrants workers, expat residents, tourists and illegal aliens on the island.

There were two fewer recorded murders in Phuket last year than in 2008, a 4.4% fall.

In 2009 charges were filed in 66.7% of the murder cases and 59.4% of manslaughter cases.

The statistics, though official, are unaudited and do not necessarily include all actual cases or either crime.

There were 1,588 people arrested for prostitution, up 13.3% year-on-year.

To put this in context, some estimates have put the number of prostitutes working on the island at around 7,000.

There were 723 reported theft cases, down 13.4% year-on-year. Arrests were made in 500 cases, a success rate of 69.2%.

There were 111 reports of motorbike theft, with arrests in 78 cases, a rate of 70.3%.

Fraud cases numbered 102, with arrests in 31, just under one-third. There were 200 embezzlement cases, with arrests in just 18.

There were 2,043 people arrested for gambling in 684 cases, and 289 arrests for involvement with the illegal lottery, cases of which are tabulated separately.

A total of 278 guns were seized, down 14.9% on the previous year, while there were six seizures of military weapons.

Drug cases were up 30.5%, from 2008, with 2441 cases and 2,720 arrests.

Among the controlled substances seized in 2009:

Heroin: 217.4 grams

Opium: 61.25g

Dry marijuana: 7,602g

Kratom leaves: 94g

Ya bah (methamphetamine): 86,820 pills

Ecstacy: 531 pills

Cocaine: 28.2g

Alprazolam (Xanax): 253 pills and 8g

Diazepam (Valium): 9 pills.

— Atchaa Khamlo & Dan Waites


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