Cable chaos near Phuket Airport: Theft and damage probe takes off

Picture courtesy of Bangkok Post.

Phuket Provincial Police are accelerating the investigation into the recent theft and damage of power and communication cables near Phuket International Airport. The cables, located by the road leading to the aircraft control tower, were targeted by unknown culprits who managed to cut and steal them, leading to damages amounting to 50,200 baht.

The investigation is being led by Police Major General Sermphan Sirikong, the Phuket Provincial Police Commander, and Sakhu Police Chief Police Colonel Salan Santisasanakul.

The theft came to light after a meeting with local key figures, including Phongchai Munrin, Director of the Phuket Air Traffic Control Centre, who confirmed that the power cables were stolen overnight on August 25.

The unidentified criminals returned five days later on the night of August 30, to cut the communication cables connected to the Phuket Air Traffic Control Centre. Despite the incident, the centre reported no impact on its functionality or its capability to guide aircraft during takeoff and landing at the airport.

Intriguingly, the Sakhu Police were only formally notified of the incident on Thursday, September 7, with the complaint filed after images of a notice, imploring locals not to steal cables, surfaced across social media networks and Thai-language news platforms.

Cable chaos near Phuket Airport: Theft and damage probe takes off | News by Thaiger
Police officers look for the missing cable. Picture courtesy of Phuket News.

Despite the late notice, the Sakhu Police Chief was instructed to promptly gather evidence and follow up on leads to apprehend and prosecute the criminals swiftly.

Further measures were introduced, including the formation of a rapid mobile team, tasked with immediate identification and response to incidents or suspicious activities in the area. An increase in patrol frequency has also been initiated in the area to deter potential criminal activity.

Police officers have been instructed to monitor the operating status of CCTV cameras along the roads leading to the Phuket Air Traffic Control Centre. The local community leaders and air traffic control officials, specifically Aerothai Phuket, have also been asked to remain vigilant and assist in preventing any further thefts.

The Phuket Provincial Police, who are in the process of tracking down the thieves, have committed to keeping the public updated about any progress in the case.

“We are accelerating the process. If there is progress or the criminal is arrested and prosecuted, we will inform you at the next opportunity.”

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.