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Governor shuts the Shark

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Governor shuts the Shark | The Thaiger

PHUKET: The biggest disco in Phuket, Patong’s Shark Club & Discotheque, was today ordered closed permanently on instructions from the Minister of Interior, Purachai Piemsomboon. The closure order, announced by Governor CEO Pongpayome Vasaputi, came after it was discovered that the operating license for the disco – which can hold more than 1,500 revelers at a time – contained irregularities and had, in any case, expired. Gov Pongpayome said that it would not be renewed. The check on the license followed the publication, in the Thai newspaper Khao Sod, of photographs showing male customers kneeling with their hands behind their backs, eating ice cream out of cups gripped between girls’ thighs. The photographs, Khao Sod claimed, had been taken by a Thai tourist who had been scandalized by the entertainment. After a meeting of top officials today, Gov Pongpayome also displayed photographs of girls dancing semi-naked amid a crowd of onlookers in the club, which he said were taken in the club in July or August last year. He did not reveal where the photos had come from, but the Gazette understands they were provided by members of the local press. “This kind of behavior conflicts with Thai culture,” Gov Pongpayome said. Even though the pictures were taken last year, he added, they still showed illegal acts. Kevin Radke, the Canadian managing director of Mirage Entertainment Group, which owns the Shark Club, told the Gazette this evening, “All of this is just slanderous and not true.” Saying that the photographs were “not recent”, he accused the Thai press of “showing them out of context. They put little censor bars on them when there was nothing to censor. These are games that are played everywhere in the world.” He denied that the operating license was irregular, pointing out, “We went through all of the [correct] steps and all of the appropriate officials came and inspected our building, checked that everything was in order, and we were allowed to open.” The Governor said he had ordered Immigration Police Superintendent Col Apirak Hongtong to conduct rigorous checks on the passports, visas and work permits issued to Mr Radke and to the club’s general manager, Bob Hunt. In addition, he said that if it was found that Thai government officials or armed forces members were among those in the photographs, they would be hauled before a provincial inquiry or, if stationed outside Phuket, reported to the Ministry of Interior in Bangkok. The club was one of several visited by K. Purachai two weeks ago during a whirlwind tour of the island, but evaded closure. Mr Radke said changes to the club’s safety equipment and layout were currently being made in order to comply with local authority orders issued after K. Purachai’s visit. Asked what he thought had sparked the publication of the photos and the subsequent actions announced by the authorities, Mr Radke said, “There are always lots of stories. One is that we had a key member of staff leave on not such good terms, who is trying to hurt the business. I believe that’s the key. “If the place was a bad place, there wouldn’t be so many people there every night,” he said, adding, “I don’t believe I’ve done anything wrong, so I want to clear some of this so that the truth comes out, not these distorted stories. We try to run a very clean operation. “My other big concern is my staff. We have over 130, and if we close, all of these people lose jobs, and some of them have children and families. And then it goes down the line to beer suppliers and everything else. Obviously it will hurt me, but it will also hurt a lot of other people.”

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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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Crime

Thalang Police arrest local Phuket drug dealer with amphetamine pills

The Thaiger

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Thalang Police arrest local Phuket drug dealer with amphetamine pills | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: เหยี่ยวข่าว ภูเก็ต Newshawk Phuket

Thalang Police have arrested a local drug dealer with more than 192 amphetamine pills. Thalang police in Phuket arrested 29 year old Wimon Songkong from Nakhon Si Thammarat with 192 amphetamine pills that he was carrying when they nabbed him in front of a 7-Eleven store inside a PTT gas station on Thepkasattri Road, in Thalang District.

The amphetamine pills were packed in a black zip-lock plastic bag, which was hidden in his grey shoulder bag. Two of the pills were green and 190 of them were orange, while each pill had the letters ‘wy’ printed on them.

Wimon was charged for possessing and trading illicit drugs and was sent to Thalang police station for further investigation and processing.

STORY: Newshawk Phuket

Thalang Police arrest local Phuket drug dealer with amphetamine pills | News by The Thaiger

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Hua Hin

Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain

May Taylor

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Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain | The Thaiger

The Thailand Meteorological Department issued a weather warning for southern Thailand with torrential rain forecast to hit the region throughout the weekend. The heavy monsoon over the Gulf of Thailand and south of the country is being blamed for the rough weather, with the TMD predicting flash flooding in many areas.

(Phuket, Hat Yai and Hua Hin’s forecast below)

“Waves are expected to reach 2 metres in height in the lower Gulf of Thailand and possibly higher at the height of the storm. Ships are advised to proceed with caution.”

For the north and northeast of Thailand, the TMD forecasts strong winds and cooler mornings as the arrival of the “winter” season, coupled with a moderate high-pressure system, causes temperatures to dip.

Hua Hin’s five day forecast

Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain | News by The Thaiger

Phuket’s five day forecast

Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain | News by The Thaiger

Hat Yai’s five day forecast

Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation | weather.com

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Crime

Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft

Greeley Pulitzer

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Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Patong Police

Patong Police have yet to develop any tangible leads tracking down a foreigner who made off with US$30,000 in cash from a currency exchange booth in Kalim, north of Patong in Phuket, last Tuesday.

The man is about 168 centimetres tall with grey hair and around 60 years old, Patong police told The Phuket News.

“We have no clue what nationality he is.”

He was last seen at the currency exchange booth wearing a purple polo shirt, blue jeans and black cap. Police have checked hotels in the area, police stations across the island and Phuket Immigration, but have yet to join the dots and come up with firm leads.

“Investigators have checked CCTV in the area and collected what evidence we have but we still do not know the man’s name or where he was staying.”

The man had visited the booth several times before Tuesday, when he disappeared with the $30,000 in US banknotes, according to police.

“It was always small amounts”, he added, noting that the amounts didn’t warrant staff at the exchange booth to check the man’s passport before making the exchange.

The man arrived at the booth again at about 1pm on Tuesday, saying that he had 900,000 baht cash to exchange.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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