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Phuket Police prepared for Thaksin assets ruling



PHUKET: Phuket’s most senior cop says he has no intelligence suggesting there will be political protests in Phuket today, when the Supreme Court delivers its verdict on the fate of Thaksin Shinawatra’s Bt76bn in seized assets.

Despite this, Phuket Provincial Police Commander Pekad Tantipong said there could be ‘other kinds of mobs’ to deal with, so police need to be ready to handle any situation at any time.

To this effect, more than 300 officers took part in a riot drill at Phuket City Police Station on Wednesday morning.

Police divided into two groups, one demonstrating a column formation fighting with sticks, the other showing how to control a crowd.

The first step in the crowd control strategy is to try to negotiate peacefully with the mob.

Failing that, they march forward in a phalanx formation with their Plexiglas shields raised, then spray water cannons at the crowd. As a last resort, canisters of tear gas are launched toward the mob.

New Superintendent of Kathu Police Arayapan Pukbuakao said police in Patong were prepared for any eventuality.

“We’re working hard to gather information. Even though we haven’t heard of any unusual movements planned, we’re not ignoring the threat,” he said.

Wednesday’s drills took place on the orders of Royal Thai Police Region 8 Headquarters in Surat Thani.

At around 1.30pm today, Supreme Court judges will announce their verdict.

It is feared Mr Thaksin’s red-shirted supporters may launch a campaign of protests and disruption if the ruling is not to their liking.

To view or cast a last-minute vote on the outcome in the latest readers poll click here.

— The Nation


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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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