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Mayor clears out the touts

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Mayor clears out the touts | Thaiger
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PATONG: The new mayor of Patong Municipality has taken resolute action over the past few weeks to clear Patong’s streets of aggressive sidewalk vendors – long a leading complaint of tourists walking around the town. Speaking today with the Gazette, Mayor Chalermsak Maneesri, who took up his new post less than two months ago, said officers of Patong Municipality had been arresting vendors for the past month. He said that initially as many as 60 people had been arrested in a single day. “We get a lot of tourists and other people complaining about the vendors grabbing at them to get them to buy things,” K. Chalermsak said. “It was time for us to get serious about this and to solve the problem quickly.” He noted that most of the offenders were from Nepal and Bangladesh, selling items on the sidewalk, though some Thais had also been arrested. Setting up a “shop” on a sidewalk is illegal in Thailand. “I’m confident that we don’t have this problem any more,” Mayor Chalermsak said, although he admitted that at first it had not been easy. “Sometimes, when we were checking at one end of the beach road, the vendors all moved to the other end. “But now we have changed tactics and have officers watching all along the beach road. That has solved the problem.” Offenders first receive a warning. If after that they are seen selling on the sidewalk, they are arrested. The fine is about 1,000 baht, and foreign offenders are also sent to the Immigration Department to check whether they entered and are working in Thailand legally.

 

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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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