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5 senior Phuket police officers face discipline following video posted by lawyer

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In the aftermath of a 3 minute video showing people partying and drinking at the Patong Bay Hill Resort Hotel, that was allegedly open past the current legal closing time of 11pm, 5 senior police from Patong police station have been ‘transferred’ to the provincial head office… sidelined to desk duties whilst the incident is being investigated.

And when we say ‘senior’, we mean SENIOR, including the station chief and his direct deputies.

The video clip, posted on Facebook over the weekend by lawyer Sittra Biabangkerd, claimed that he had “many complaints” and reports from locals saying that the Patong Bay Hill Resort Hotel has been running the Songkran event past the closing time for causing loud noises and disturbances. The clip has been viewed more than 350,000 times.

The lawyer also claims he had reported the matter to the Patong police in the past, but it was allegedly brushed off and ignored. When he arrived at the hotel on Saturday night, camera rolling, he says he witnessed firsthand how the hotel was allegedly operating as a nightclub and was open untilthe early hours of Sunday morning. In his video, narrated in Thai language, he asks why the Covid 19 rules and regulations had been ignored.

“I think it is not possible for entertainment outlets in the hotel to have operated beyond the allowed opening hours, catering to about 1,000 clients per day, without the knowledge of the authorities. Large bribes may have been paid.”

A protest in response to the posting of the video was staged in Bangla Road, with placards claiming that the video put the Patong Bay Hill Resort staff at risk of losing their jobs. About 50 people turned up for the protest. He dismissed the protest against those who wanted the parties to continue, and that he represented the locals who were effected by the loud noises in the area, including other people staying at the property.

Sittra, according to an unnamed hotel shareholder, posted the video “without permission”. The person claimed that, because of what he’d done it would make some employees feel like their jobs was on the line.

For their part, the Patong police station says they will cooperate with the provincial headquarters for an investigation. Assistant national police chief lieutenant general Surachate Hakparn (aka. Big Joke), the Thai police ‘fixer’, who came to fame for his dogged approach to immigration law breakers and international crime gangs, is leading the investigation.

He says that investigators from his team will check to see if the hotel has broken any laws and will interview senior officers from Patong who were overseeing the town over recent months.

Patong business, and most of the transport for the area, has been under the control of some highly influential business people for decades. The army, high profile Thai police and local Phuket politicians have tried to break the cabal, to no avail. One senior policeman, Maj Gen Paween Ponsirin, was even run out of town and fled to Australia fearing reprisals and threats made to the safety of his family over his investigations into the Phuket transport ‘mafia’ and human trafficking in southern Thailand.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post | Phuket PR

 

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    Pete is a writer for The Thaiger, and he writes various topics from news, travel and property. His main focus is writing about Thai news, and what is happening in Thailand.

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