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Military bulldozes Phuket beach structure, owners to face charges

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PHUKET: Military personnel armed with tear-down orders and official charges are swarming Phuket’s west coast beaches today as a 30-day deadline to remove illegal seaside structures comes to an end.

“We are following orders from the National Council for Peace and Order [NCPO]. Multiple business owners have ignored the order to remove their establishments, so we are doing it for them,” said Col Somchai Ponatong of the Army’s 41st Military Circle.

“They will be paying for our time.”

The owners of the establishments have been ordered to present themselves to local police or the Navy to face charges for encroachment, failure to obey an official order and building without permission.

“If they refuse to present themselves, they could be taken to military court,” Col Somchai added.

The Windsurf Shop and Restaurant and the Tri Trang Restaurant, both on Tri Trang Beach, are now being torn down by a 150-strong brigade of military personnel and local officers.

The business owners were not present when the tear-down team arrived this morning.

The military’s next targets are structures left standing on beaches in Cherng Talay, as the deadline for removal of those businesses was also today.

— Woranut Pechdee

 

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