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Phuket Drug Wars: Westin Siray Bay joins the fight



PHUKET: The Westin Siray Bay Resort and Spa has become the latest hotel to sign up for the Phuket City Police Department’s controversial “White Hotel” anti-drugs project, which includes mandatory drug tests for employees.

Westin hotel manager Sean Raine last week signed the White Hotel memorandum of understanding (MoU), pledging to adopt the so-called “Triple No!” strategy in dealing with illegal narcotics use on the resort’s premises: No drug makers, no drug traders and no drug takers.

Also signing the agreement were Muang District Chief Supachai Pochanukul, Phuket City Police Superintendent Wanchai Ekpornpit, and Sak Thaenchaikul, the island’s public health chief.

Col Wanchai said the day marked the first step in a new understanding between the Phuket City Police and the hotel.

He said the hotel and police had agreed to cooperate and campaign against illegal drugs so employees and guests know the dangers.

Staff will be trained in ways to spot behavior that could be indicative of drug dealing or drug use, as well as how to report suspicious individuals to the authorities.

Mr Raine said the hotel’s signing of the MoU was a show of support for the local community and its commitment to work with local police to rid the island of illegal drugs.

However, a Phuket Gazette readers poll in November revealed considerable cynicism about whether the project would have the desired effect, with 45.2% of respondents having no conviction that random drug testing would reduce illegal drug use.

The White Hotel project was launched in October last year when representatives of 75 accommodation establishments met for a briefing on the initiative.

The number of drug-related crimes in Phuket increased 32.5% from 2009 to 2010, when 3,492 people were arrested.


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