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Phuket bus drivers test positive for ya bah

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: Two more Phuket bus drivers tested positive for ya bah (methamphetamine) yesterday afternoon during an anti-drug blitz led by Phuket Governor Maitri Inthusut.

“We tested 33 bus drivers from two companies: Je-Siam Holiday Phuket and MKR Transportation,” Muang District Chief Administrative Officer (palad) Suthee Sirianan said.

“Natthapong Chimree and Udon Sainate, both from MKR Transportation, tested positive for ya bah.”

The men, who confessed to taking half a pill of the drug, will be admitted to a rehabilitation program, explained Mr Suthee.

“Usually, if a driver tests positive and admits to having used the drug, we send him to rehab. If he does not confess, we perform more rigorous urine tests at the hospital. If those results come back positive, we arrest him.”

Kaengkla Jeangjedriw, the owner of MKR Transportation, told the Gazette that he would give his drivers a second chance after rehab.

“I always give second chances to my employees. However, if they come back from treatment and test positive again, I will not allow them to work for me. There is no third chance,” he said.

The blitz yesterday was the first step in a new initiative set in motion by Governor Maitri in response to the deadly bus accident at Patong Hill on December 29 (story here).

Phuket officials will begin randomly testing bus drivers from different companies without any advance notice.

“If bus drivers don’t use drugs, the number of accidents in Phuket will decrease. Random drug testing is just one way to start solving the problem,” Gov Maitri said.

— Saran Mitrarat

 

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