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Kata boatmen blockade Amancruises yacht

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Kata boatmen blockade Amancruises yacht | The Thaiger

KATA: A dispute over business territory led to a seaborne blockade at Kata Beach this morning in which a motor launch from the exclusive Amanpuri resort was forced to sail without eight passengers. The 38-foot motor yacht Maritess, operated by Amancruises, had been booked to pick up four adults and four children from Kata Beach, and take them to Phi Phi. But when local boatmen saw the Maritess at Kata and realized it was picking up passengers, they sprang into action, preventing it from leaving for about an hour. Mongkol Maneesri, captain of the Amancruises yacht, told the Gazette that he had an appointment to pick up the guests at 8:30 am. “I beached the boat and the guests got aboard,” he said. “At least six boat operators then told me that the boat couldn’t take guests from the beach and that the guests had to get out again.” The boatmen included longtail and speedboat operators, he said. He added that, normally, the boat picked up guests at Bang Tao Beach or at the Boat Lagoon. Today was the first time an appointment had been made for a pick-up at Kata. “The passengers were not pleased,” he said. “I think they [the boatmen] should be flexible in cases like this. Sometimes, guests from Kata arrange a pick-up at Bang Tao Beach – there are no bans on boats going to Bang Tao to pick up passengers.” He said that, as a compromise, he had suggested the boatmen ferry the guests out to the Maritess but they had refused to do so. In the end the guests had to take a car to Chalong where they were picked up from the pier. “I don’t know why [the local boatman] did that,” he said, “Maybe it’s because we were picking up guests in ‘their area’. In future we may collect passengers from Chalong Pier because we don’t want any more problems with local operators.” Samrit Taweesaman, President of the Rak Kata Karon (Love Kata Karon) Club told the Gazette that he owns two speedboats and has operated them for more than 10 years. “I get about 10,000 baht [a month] from this business. It’s an income for local people who live in the area. If we don’t keep it for local people, what will they do for a living?” Met Chulak, President of the Longtail Boat Club of Kata, Kata Noi and Karon, said that if other boats come to do business at Kata or Karon beaches, the captains should ask for permission from the local organization first, by contacting the Kata-Karon Municipality. If more boats came to these beaches from elsewhere, he said, this would affect local operators because tourists would go with those boats instead. “We have divided up the area for picking up guests,” he noted. For example, he said, boat operators from Kata would not pick up customers at Karon Beach and vice versa. The Chief Administrative Officer of Karon Municipality, Thawatchai Tongmung, said, “We need to have a well-organized plan for good tourism. Otherwise people will just come from everywhere and set up business at will.” He explained that local people – taxi drivers, beach chair owners, longtail boatmen, jet-ski operators and masseuses – all earned their income from tourism. Each group has specific membership and regulations. “These groups are members of the Rak Kata KaronClub,” he said. “The club has agreements with the municipality and also liaises with other local committees. “Although the law doesn’t specifically say that we can or cannot do this, social rules make it a suitable arrangement,” he said. “For example, with such things as motorbike taxis in Karon, the issues need to be discussed first. Although there are no legal bans, if [local] people were to agree that motorcycle taxis were not suitable, we would usually ask for cooperation to end their use.” K. Thawatchai added that there are 38 longtail boats and nine speedboats operating off the three beaches. Because of the agreement between the municipality and the club, no more boats are allowed to operate in the area. He explained, “If one new boat [is allowed to come] here to transport tourists, then more will come, and it will no longer be well organized.” Local monopolies such as this are common on Phuket. Fifteen months ago demonstrations and threats of violence by tuk-tuk drivers stopped safari companies from picking up their own customers from hotels in the Kata-Karon area. Instead, the customers were forced to use local tuk-tuks or taxis.

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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

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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Crime

Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room

The Thaiger

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Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Phuket Hot News

The security guard of a hotel in Nai Yang, northern Phuket, 52 year old Yingyot Butsabong, from Maha Sarakham province, was found dead yesterday (October 16) in his room. Police remain mystified how the man came to grief.

A woman named Supattra received a call from the hotel he worked at and was informed that he didn’t show up at work yesterday, so she went to his apartment to check on him.

She saw that his room was locked from the inside, so used the key she had in her possession to open the room and found Yingyot laying on the floor, face down. She thought he was just sleeping so she tried to wake him up but once she flipped him, she found that he already passed away.

She immediately called Saku police, and once on the scene, police found that there was some blood on the floor. The man had a 2 centimetre wound on his left eyebrow which was deep into his skull. There was also a wound on his chin about 1 centimetre long and about a centimetre deep. His left eye had a bruise which looked like he was attacked by a hard object.

Police report that he had been dead for around four hours in the room.

The room was not ransacked and there was no sign of fighting or theft. His body has been sent to Thalang Hospital for a detailed autopsy and to look into the cause of death.

SOURCE: Phuket Hot News

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People

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people

Nattha Thepbamrung

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‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | The Thaiger

On October 18, the ‘Always Smile Journey’ group and its partners will host an exhibition with plenty of fun activities at the Yak Yai Market, near Chalong Circle, in Phuket. This event was designed to raise funds to provide free English classes for underprivileged people on the island of Phuket on Saturdays and Sundays. The group does not accept donations but aims to raise money through the sales of the products available at the event.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

From 2 pm to 8 pm, there will be a number of artists, musicians and performers who will keep the attendees entertained along the way. There will be a short film about His Majesty King Rama 9 as well as fun activities and games for kids and families, which are all free of charge.

The big bike crew is also a part of this event. They will ride a parade from Rawai Beach heading to the market and showcase their gorgeous two-wheel buddies.

One of the highlights of the Always Smile Journey exhibition is the ‘Happening’ artists group, who will draw and paint a picture of the His Majesty King Rama 9 under the name ‘Street Art King Bhumibol’ on a 4×10 meter sign live at the event so the guests will experience this large-scale art in action. The Happening will also offer portrait sketching for the participants.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

One of the works created by the Happening team; a painting of HM the King Rama 9 on a huge wall (Photo credit: Chawat Chumpasan)

There will also be some western menus available at the event which will be donated to underprivileged children.

This free English class project has over seven years of experience through its cooperation working with individuals and other charity organizations. Throughout the years, the group visited several areas such as Ban Laem Hoy School, Ban Bopud School and Ban Angthong School in Samui, Surat Thani province, Ban Bueng Ao Oun School and Ban Kakoh Rayong, in Surin province, Jalae Village of Lahu (Muser) in Chiang Rai province, as well as community education centers in Siem Reap, Cambodia and in Luang Prabang, in Laos.

This event is a cooperation between several groups, including Happening, Yak Yai Market and Arrow Media, Tattoo artist group, Thonburi Art School Alumni, International School of Tourism, Suratthani Rajabhat University, big bike group from Phuket, artists/performers/musicians from many provinces as well as several businesses across Phuket.

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