Connect with us


Phuket vendors protest alleged corruption, extortion

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: Seaside souvenir stall merchants in Kata and Karon have called on Phuket authorities to take action against alleged unfair treatment and intimidation by local authorities.

About 50 Karon and Kata kiosk owners on Tuesday took their grievances to the Damrongtham Center, which serves as the provincial ombudsman’s office.

Stall owner Somchai Pandum led the group in submitting an official complaint to Prapun Kanaprasang, head of the Damrongtham Center.

Mr Prapun assured the kiosk owners that the letter would be forwarded to Phuket Governor Tri Augkaradacha as requested.

The operators of paeng loi, literally “floating stalls”, alleged that Karon tambon chief Winai Chitchiew had been extorting money from them for police protection and asked for him to be removed.

They claimed they had been singled out in raids led by the chief on grounds of employing illegal migrant workers and dealing in imitation brand-name watches, sunglasses, hats and bags.

Mr Somchai told the Phuket Gazette that on the first of each month, Winai and his associates came around to collect 2,500 baht for each migrant worker employed in exchange for assurance that police would not interfere.

Mr Somchai said that if any shop owner refused to pay, or openly expressed opposition to the intimidation, Winai unjustly used his influence to have the shop raided.

There are reportedly up to 300 shops near beaches in Kata and Karon, each employing up to three Nepalese or Burmese migrant workers, who by Thai labor law are banned from working in sales positions.

Mr Somchai told the Gazette that Winai, with one associate and a tuk-tuk driver, raided his shop last Tuesday.

The raid cost him about 400,000 baht worth of merchandise, he said.

“This unfair treatment impedes our ability to make a living,” he said.

“We already live hand-to-mouth as it is,” he added.

Somchai said he and his group of fellow vendors filed a report at Chalong Police Station last Friday.

Soon after, the tambon chief was summoned for questioning, he said.

However, Kamnan Winai was adamant in telling the Gazette that he was not responsible for raids.

“I’m not involved in the collection of money from people,” he said.

“It’s police officers who are collecting money from them. I have video evidence that it is police officers doing this,” he added.

The 50 vendors who complained to the Damrongtham Center on Tuesday were paid by police, he said.

“The Chalong Police superintendent hired them to complain about me. I’m not involved in anything here and I’m going to sue Somchai for reporting to police that I stole from him,” he added.

Chalong Police Superintendent Kraithong Junthongbai this afternoon told the Gazette, “I cannot comment on this at this time because we are currently investigating complaints against Kamnan Winai.”


Get more from The Thaiger

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


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

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Tourism3 hours ago

Alcohol ban predicted to damage Thailand’s reopening, reputation

Crime5 hours ago

Woman who cut safety rope of workers offers feeble excuse

Video5 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Dirty gloves probe, Bocelli & Lisa, ASEAN fallout | October 27

Sponsored12 hours ago

Top 5 dental clinics by Dental Corporations PLC in Thailand

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!

Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 hours ago

Police seize Covid-19 antiviral drugs allegedly stolen by hospital manager

Thailand5 hours ago

Student dies after receiving second Covid-19 vaccine shot

Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 hours ago

Foreign Ministry denies blocking Poland’s donation of vaccines

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand5 hours ago

Travellers now exempt from quarantine advised to directly contact AQ hotels for refund

Crime6 hours ago

Legal proceedings expected this week for “Joe Ferrari” death in custody case

Coronavirus (Covid-19)7 hours ago

Wednesday Covid Update: 8,452 new cases; provincial totals

Bangkok7 hours ago

Police bust Bangkok pub serving alcohol, 61 arrested

Bangkok8 hours ago

Russell Crowe bids Bangkok goodbye after much-praised tweets

Thailand8 hours ago

Thai government forms panel to probe the export of used medical gloves

ASEAN8 hours ago

Myanmar no-show a focus as ASEAN summit gets underway

Drugs8 hours ago

Police arrest 3 vans in Korat with 1.82 tonnes of marijuana

Thailand8 hours ago

Sedatives and painkillers, Thai new year – 3 million USD on 2 people | Thaiger Bites | Ep. 47

Thailand1 month ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand8 months ago

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

Tourism8 months ago

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

Phuket8 months ago

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

Tourism8 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand8 months ago

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

Tourism8 months ago

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

Thailand9 months ago

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

Thailand9 months ago

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

Thailand9 months ago

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

Thailand10 months ago

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

Thailand10 months ago

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

Thailand10 months ago

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

Thailand10 months ago

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

Thailand10 months ago

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