PHUKET: An official at the immigration office in Patong has been removed after complaints were filed against him for charging foreigners for services that should be free, Phuket Governor Nisit Jansomwong confirmed today.
The news comes more than two and half months after Governor Nisit gave the Patong Immigration chief 15 days to explain why his office was charging for free services.
The governor ordered an explanation after a foreigner filed a complaint with the Phuket Damrongtham Center [ombudsman’s office], alleging that a Patong immigration officer charged 500 baht for a confirmation of address letter (story here).
“I had the chance to pass the issue on to a high-ranking police officer to take care of,” Governor Nisit told the Phuket Gazette today.
“I do not know many details about the investigation or even the officer’s name. However, what I do know is that the officer who allegedly charged the 500 baht has been removed from Patong Immigration.”
Immigration officers were not immediately available for comment or to name the officer transferred.
However, Governor Nisit could not confirm whether or not the officer would face any disciplinary action or were the official had been transferred to.
Governor Nisit urged people to file complaints of any alleged corrupt activities by officials.
“Even though I have no direct authority over police officers, I will investigate your problems and see what can be done within my authority,” he said.
“Any person who has problems [with corruption] are welcome to file a complaint at the Damrongtham Center. I will do my best.”
The Damrongtham Center is located at Phuket Provincial Hall on Narisorn Road in Phuket Town. Tel: 076 213203. Email: email@example.com
Alternatively, complaints can be filed directly to the Governor’s Office through a web form, click here.
— Chutharat Plerin