Connect with us

Phuket

Phuket’s sea gypsies face strict regime to repay debt

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

RAWAI, PHUKET: Many Moken sea gypsies living in a village close to Rawai Beach are still heavily in debt to violent loan sharks, despite the actions of a community organization which paid off more than half a million baht’s worth of their debts earlier this month.

Now, the villagers have agreed to strict new rules aimed at helping them pay off the debt.

“The villagers have had to agree to stop gambling and drinking and to keep their village clean,” Preeda Kongman, a community organizer, told the Gazette.

Cutting out gambling and drinking would make it easier for them to save money, while keeping the village clean would keep them healthy enough to work off their debts, she explained.

Although the ‘Poor’s Right to Develop Phuket Network’ (PRDPN) paid off debts worth more than half a million baht for 162 of the village’s residents, debts of more than two million baht – backed up by threats of beatings and electrocution – still hang over many of the villagers.

For our previous report, click here.

“154 sea gypsies still have a total of more than two million baht’s worth of debt at very high interest rates because they can’t borrow money through official channels,” Ms Preeda said.

“But during the monsoon season they need the money to survive,” she added.

Ms Preeda said a saving scheme had been set up in which villagers were asked to pay in five baht every day.

In addition to the money still owed to loan sharks, the villagers will have to pay back the half a million baht paid by the PRDPN, though at the significantly more manageable interest rate of six percent per year.

A meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall presided over by Vice Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office Nipon Boonyapataro and attended by Phuket Governor Wichai Phraisa-ngop, last week aimed to hammer out a solution to the problems of the villagers, which are not confined to debt.

Gov Wichai reiterated a promise to work with landowners to improve the water and electricity supply to the village – a pledge he made back in April following a protest outside Provincial Hall.

“The land the village is built on belongs to four private landowners who won’t allow electricity cables to be set up in the area,” Gov Wichai said.

“A process of verifying the title deeds is underway, but it’s going to take a long time, so we’ve asked the landowners to sell the land to Rawai Municipality at a cheap price.”

— Atchaa Khamlo

 

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

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:

Thailand8 hours ago

Thailand News Today | OnlyFans content creators arrested on pornography charges | September 21

Thailand9 hours ago

Soldier allegedly assaults neighbours following horn honking

Thailand11 hours ago

Border agencies instructed to look out for gun smuggling along Myanmar border

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)11 hours ago

Tuesday Covid Update: 10,919 new cases; provincial totals

Thailand11 hours ago

Officials clarify Korat police van stopped at the beach after collecting murder suspect

Crime12 hours ago

OnlyFans content creators arrested by Thai police on pornography charges

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand12 hours ago

Comments Galore! feat. Golf | Thaiger Bites | September 21

Cambodia12 hours ago

Scientists study bats in Cambodia to find clues about Covid

News14 hours ago

Update: government official that allegedly stole from fund meant for the disabled spent all the money on gambling

Thailand14 hours ago

Morning Top Stories | Reopening of entertainment venues, Manny Pacquiao for president | September 21 |

World14 hours ago

Flight restrictions to the US to ease in November – US government

Thailand15 hours ago

Bangkok re-opening Criteria, Thai Airways keeps Struggling | Good Morning Thailand | Episode 93

Thailand16 hours ago

Government warns that posting pornographic material is illegal following OnlyFans creator being questioned by police

Indonesia16 hours ago

Bali to re-open for international yachts with fully vaccinated crew, passengers

World16 hours ago

British Airways tests first ever net-zero carbon emissions flight

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14 | Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Tourism7 months ago

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

Phuket7 months ago

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

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand7 months ago

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

Tourism7 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Trending