Bangla beggar’s raking it in: Phuket police

PATONG, PHUKET: On a night patrol in the early hours of Monday morning, Patong’s top cop showed a crowd of shocked tourists just how much money Phuket’s beggars can make.

Kathu Police Superintendent Grissak Songmoonnark stopped a known beggar in front of the Pizza Company restaurant on the famous Soi Bangla entertainment strip.

When the contents of the old man’s bag were emptied onto a table in front of curious onlookers, the crowd was amazed to see a pile of notes and coins totaling more than 3,500 baht (approx USD 105.00).

The man said he collected the money in just three hours.

“Do you know why people gave you this money?” Col Grissak asked the man.

“They want to make merit,” he replied.

“Then let’s take this money to make merit,” Col Grissak said.

The police proceeded to take the man to a local temple where he donated 3,400 baht, leaving him with just 100 baht to make his way home.

“I want to ask everyone who gives money to beggars to think before they donate,” Col Grissak told the Gazette.

“If they have the ability to work, please don’t support them because they’ll only go and spend the money on drink and gambling.”

Around 10 beggars persistently take money from tourists in Patong because the penalties for getting caught weren’t strong enough, he said.

“It’s just a 200 baht fine; then we have to let them go by law, so they always return,” he said.

Col Grissak asked anyone who saw people begging for money to call the police or Patong Municipality.

— Kitima Pornmongkhonwat

Phuket News

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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