Thai Navy reveals arrest record at Phuket base

PHUKET: Statistics announced by the Royal Thai Navy Third Area Command for its fleet operations in the Andaman Sea during the first eight months of 2010 show a remarkably low number of arrests for smuggling and illegal fishing over the period.

The figures were revealed during a meeting at the Marine Operations Coordination Center, chaired by Royal Navy Third Fleet commander Vice Admiral Chumnum Atwongs.

According to V/Adm Chumnum, whose area of responsibility includes waters off Ranong, Phang Nga, Phuket, Krabi, Trang, and Satun, units under his command intercepted violators as per the following:

Smuggling: 1 case

Illegal entry: 18 cases, 52 people arrested

Illegal fishing: 1 case

Violation of Forestry Law: 1 case

Violation of Narcotics Law: 6 times

In addition, some 11 rescues were performed at sea.

V/Adm Chumnum noted that his office, located at the Navy base at Cape Panwa, must co-ordinate activities between naval forces and units of the Marine Police, Harbormaster Department, Revenue Department, Fisheries Department and the Marine and Coastal Resources Department.

Tasks handled by his forces include: drug suppression; illegal immigration; illegal fishing; illegal appropriation or destruction of marine natural resources; terrorism; sales of contraband, and piracy.

The same day, the admiral chaired a seminar on revising regulations for vessels operating in Thai waters. Participants were divided into three working groups to consider the following:

  • Guidelines and steps pertinent to creating and implementing new regulations for domestic and foreign vessels;
  • Maintaining safety in Thai waters for domestic and foreign vessels, and protecting against piracy;
  • Issues relating to equipment and supporting technology;
  • New boating regulations;
  • Legal and regulatory amendments.
  • “The Andaman Sea is of tremendous value to the nation, as a highway for goods, for fishing, for tourism and many other purposes. It is the task of the Third Fleet’s Marine Operations Coordination Center to ensure the situation continues that way,” V/Adm Chumnum said.

    Capt Nipon Som-moh, chief of the center’s policy and planning board, said new regulations would be formulated for convenience in keeping an eye on traffic, maintaining safety and defending national interests.

    Phuket News

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