Kathu police keep tabs on ladyboys

PATONG, PHUKET: A ‘ladyboy’ registration plan that went into effect in October has been hailed a success by Patong’s top cop, with a drop in the number of crime cases committed by members of Patong’s transgender community.

The registration plan was established last October following concerns that US military servicemen on leave in Phuket might fall prey to gangs of ill-intentioned ladyboys.

Kathu Police Superintendent Grissak Songmoonnark said that since the plan was established, Kathu Police have compiled a list of 183 ladyboys who have run afoul of the law and are now on a watch list.

Most cases involved theft, he said.

From January through October this year, there were 760 cases involving ladyboys filed with Kathu Police.

Many of these involved ladyboys who are not affiliated with any particular bar or entertainment venue, he explained.

The new system requires ladyboys to be in possession of both their Thai identification card as well as a card issued by their place of employment at all times.

“Before, we had a lot of problems with ladyboys stealing valuables from foreign tourists. After we set the rule that they must have both ID cards and bar cards, the number of theft cases involving ladyboys has decreased,” Col Grissak said.

Those found without possession of their bar cards are fined 500 baht and their details are added to the ladyboy watch list, he said.

Ladyboys flock to Phuket from all parts of the country, with many coming here from Pattaya, Col Grissak said.

Those who choose to spend time with foreign tourists can do so as long as they don’t exchange sexual favors for money, he said.

— Atchaa Khamlo

Phuket News
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