Connect with us

Phuket

Phuket dive companies move to end alleged police corruption

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

PHUKET: A new consortium of dive operators staged a meeting on Saturday calling for Phuket dive companies to sign up as members in order to present a unified front in combating alleged corruption by the Chalong Police.

The meeting, held by the recently formed Association of Thailand for Underwater Sports (ATUS), drew an estimated 50 representatives from dive companies across Phuket.

“More than 20 dive instructors were arrested at Chalong Pier on March 10, but no charges were pressed [story here],” said ATUS Secretary Pongsawan Sathatham.

“Instead, we were told that police asked for money from the instructors,” he said.

Mr Pongsawan, a lawyer and member of the Lo Yung Tambon Administration Organization (OrBorTor) in Takua Thung District, Phang Nga, said that restrictive definitions listed in dive instructors’ work permits presented officials an opportunity to exploit the dive community as a source of unofficial fines for breaking the law.

“What appears to be the problem is what is written in the dive instructors’ work permits. The work is listed as ‘diving instructor’ and under this definition dive instructors are not allowed to do anything else, not even carry their own dive equipment,” he said.

Consequently, dive companies across the island have suffered an ongoing barrage of raids, mainly carried out by the Chalong Police, aimed at snaring foreign dive staff for working beyond the remit of their work permits, he alleged.

Mr Pongsawan said ATUS will draft letters to be sent to Phuket Governor Maitri Inthusut, the Phuket Employment Office and the Region 8 Police, who outrank their counterparts in Phuket.

“We will send a letter explaining the problem to the Phuket Governor and ask his advice on what to do,” Mr Pongsawan said.

“The letter to the Employment Office [which issues work permits] will also explain the problem, and ask if there is any way the definitions can be expanded so that dive instructors will not be arrested for appearing to do work not listed in the work permit.

“We will also send a letter to Royal Thai Police Region 8 Commander Panya Maman and to Deputy Commander Maj Gen Ronnapong Saikaew, who is the current ATUS Vice President. We will ask what should dive instructors do to make sure they follow the law and not be arrested.”

Claude de Crissey, the French honorary consul for Phuket and former head of the Tourist Police Volunteers in Patong, explained that the ATUS was formed after direct talks with Ministry of Tourism and Sports officials in Bangkok.

“They asked for us to first set up an organization to represent the dive industry. We did this years ago under the Thai Diving Association [TDA], but that fell by the wayside as people declined to join for a variety of reasons,” he said.

“Now we have a new organization [ATUS] and we can conduct talks – and explain our problems – directly with the Ministry of Tourism and Sports in Bangkok.

“All we need now is members.”

— Chutharat Plerin

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Myanmar7 hours ago

Myanmar’s economy to shrink by 18% due to military coup and Covid-19

Singapore9 hours ago

Singapore plans to vaccinate 80%, reopen with quarantine-free travel by September

Thailand10 hours ago

Pattaya suspects arrested for live streaming breaking curfew

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Thailand11 hours ago

Sinovac/AstraZeneca highly effective, according to Thai research

Phuket11 hours ago

Phuket vice governor says “Sandbox” tourists aren’t scared off by Covid situation

Thailand12 hours ago

Ministry of Education seeks 21.6 billion education subsidy

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Coronavirus (Covid-19)13 hours ago

The ‘infodemic’ – interview with Helen Petousis-Harris about Covid misinformation

Best of13 hours ago

Phuket’s 8 Best Rooftop Bars

Coronavirus (Covid-19)13 hours ago

Ayutthaya logs 255 new infections, hospital beds full

Thailand13 hours ago

Another “monkey war” in Lop Buri, hundreds fight in the street- VIDEO

Thailand14 hours ago

Plantations International provides Pattaya with provisions

Coronavirus (Covid-19)14 hours ago

Monday UPDATE: 15,376 new infections, Provincial report

Thailand15 hours ago

Thai baht goes from top-performing to worst-hit currency in Asia

Coronavirus (Covid-19)15 hours ago

Covid train cancelled, SRT cites lack of passengers

Coronavirus (Covid-19)16 hours ago

Government submits proposal to allow department store restaurants to sell food online

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism5 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending