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Phuket Police’s 300 boost Bangla red-light security

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Police’s 300 boost Bangla red-light security | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: In a mass show of police strength, more than 300 officers gathered in Phuket’s famed red-light district of Soi Bangla in Patong on Saturday night in the government’s latest campaign to bolster tourist safety on the island.

Led by Phuket Governor Maitri Inthusut, the officers patrolled the bars with an eye to keeping the peace, on the lookout for any troublemakers.

“Tourists need to have confidence that Phuket is a safe place, so we are staging raids from July 1 to July 15 to boost security,” Governor Maitri said.

“The Thai Government wants to increase revenue from tourism, and Phuket is among the top five tourist destinations in Thailand, along with Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya and Samui,” he said.

The show of 300 on Saturday followed 100 officers staging similar raids on Friday that netted at least seven suspects who failed on-the-spot urine tests.

Patong Police Superintendent Chiraphat Pochanaphan separated the officers into four teams. The officers set up a drug-test checkpoint on the beach road and raided nightclubs, internet cafes and karaoke bars.

“Our focus is on drugs, illegal workers and children under 18 years old working in nightclubs,” Col Chiraphat explained.

The random drug tests led to the arrests of seven persons found to have used narcotics, said Deputy Superintendent Akanit Danpitaksat.

“Three were at a nightclub on Soi Bangla, and four were at a karaoke bar on Phang Muang Sai Kor Road,” he confirmed.

“We are conducting tests on any people we suspect of using drugs, whether they be motorists driving down the road or people partying in a nightclub,” he said.

“We are also checking work permits and passports of foreigners,” he added.

Governor Maitri welcomed the security boost.

“It doesn’t matter whether it’s the low season or not, every season must be safe for tourists,” he said, “especially since the number of tourists is rising.”

Governor Maitri pointed out that from January to June this year, tourist arrivals were up 19 per cent over last year.

“Making Phuket safe will make tourists happy and help to inspire more visitors to return,” he said.

Additional reporting by Thawit Bilabdullar

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Phuket

Police say Phuket school won’t be charged for employing foreign teachers without a work permit

Caitlin Ashworth

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Police say Phuket school won’t be charged for employing foreign teachers without a work permit | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO

An international school in Phuket is not facing charges for employing foreign teachers without a work permit, police told the Phuket News. Back in November, 2 British nationals were arrested at the Palm House International School in Rawai in a raid by Phuket Immigration officers, acting on a tip that teachers were working at the school without a work permit.

The case was handed over to the Chalong Police. The department was also requested to investigate the school for suspected illegal hiring practices. When pressed by Phuket News reporters, the Chalong Police Chief Sarawut Chuprasit said the school officials are not facing any charges for employing the teachers illegally, without a work permit, and referred reporters to the provincial prosecutor.

“I have no reason to press any charge against the school at all. It is not right to accuse the school.”

Many schools in Thailand, especially international schools, obtain work permits for foreign teachers and even pay the fees. It’s also fairly common for foreign teachers to work without the proper documents, especially during the pandemic where travel restrictions make border runs nearly impossible.

Phuket News say police will not release the names of the 2 British teachers and will not give any additional information. They add that the provincial prosecutor’s office will also not release information without a police case number or suspects’ names. In a previous report, Phuket Immigration Deputy Chief also declined to identify the British nationals by name or age.

“Their visa status does not allow them to work or perform any form of business. They were arrested as they are suspected of working without a work permit.”

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Phuket

Phuket health chief urges “red zone” travellers to abide by quarantine measures

Caitlin Ashworth

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Phuket health chief urges “red zone” travellers to abide by quarantine measures | The Thaiger
PHOTO: National News Bureau of Thailand

With Phuket’s new disease control measures requiring those travelling from high risk areas to quarantine, the province’s public health chief is now saying those at alternative state quarantine hotels won’t be locked up in their rooms throughout their 14 day stay in isolation. He says guests can wander through certain areas of the hotel to have meals and do other activities.

Those travelling from “red zone” provinces are required to self-quarantine at a hotel or at their home for 14 days. People from areas classified as the “highest risk,” including Samut Sakhon, Chonburi, Rayong, Chanthaburi and Trat, must quarantine and undergo a Covid-19 swab test.

The public health chief Thanit Sermkaew says there will be harsh penalties for anyone who violates the new measures and urges travellers to stay at their quarantine location, home or hotel, for 14 days. People who violate the order can be punished under the Disease Control Act, either under Section 51, which carries a fine up to 20,000 baht, or under Section 52, which carries up to a year in jail and a fine up to 100,000 baht.

“It would be great if visitors from the ‘red zone’ areas stay in their hotels, so we are asking for their cooperation. They do not need to stay only in their room. They are able to do activities within the hotel, such as having meals, swimming, yoga and other activities… Please do not go outside the hotel. That would be a good preventative measure in Phuket province.”

Phuket Vice Governor Pichet Panaphong says hotels should “request” that their guests stay inside the hotel.

“Phuket officials have asked for the cooperation from operators to record the travel moments of guests before they arrived at the hotel and to request that their guests stay within the hotel area only, not to go outside of the hotel area.”

People who completed quarantine in Bangkok and tested negative for Covid-19 do not need to quarantine in Phuket as long as they travel directly to the island immediately after being released.

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Phuket

Screening measures to enter Phuket, travellers from “red zone” provinces to self-quarantine

Caitlin Ashworth

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Screening measures to enter Phuket, travellers from “red zone” provinces to self-quarantine | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Siangtai

Phuket authorities have announced screening measures for those entering the island province, which includes requiring those travelling from 20 “red zone” provinces to self-quarantine for 14 days. Those travelling from “hotspot” and “high risk” areas are required to do a swab test. While measures were put into effect over the weekend, some people say nothing has changed.

The “required” self-quarantine, which is apparently monitored by the Mor Chana tracking app, might be more of a guideline than a requirement. Arrivees on flights from Bangkok to Phuket Sunday morning, just 24 hours after the new screening measures were imposed, were not required to self-quarantine.

The minimum required for all individuals travelling to Phuket is to 1) download the “Mor Chana” app on their smartphones and display them when the officer calls for inspection, and 2) register online through the website www.gophuget.com to inform officials of the travel details to Phuket.

Screening measures to enter Phuket, travellers from

Screening measures to enter Phuket, travellers fromScreening measures to enter Phuket, travellers from

Screening measures to enter Phuket, travellers from

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