Probing Phuket: 49 residences face investigation over suspected illegal construction

Illegal villas in Phuket. Picture courtesy of Chatchanon Na Thalang.

Investigations have been launched into 49 residences suspected of illegal construction in Thailand’s Phuket region. Thalang District Chief, Bancha Thanu-in, instructed the leaders of Thepkrasattri Tambon Administration Organisation (OrBorTor) and Sakhu OrBorTor to carry out these probes.

These alleged violations came to light earlier this month, with a deadline of September 15 for the two OrBorTor chiefs to present their findings. As per the report, 34 of these suspect houses are located in Tambon Thepkrasattri, while the other 15 are in Tambon Sakhu. Notably, these areas are situated around Phuket International Airport.

The order was a direct response to a complaint lodged by Jamroon Kerddam, Chairman of the Gulf of Thailand – Andaman Area Conservation Network. Following the accusation, Piya Raksakul, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Special Investigation (DSi), arrived in Phuket on August 15 to examine the alleged illegal constructions and illicit occupation of areas within the Bang Khanun Protected Forest.

The complaint incorporated confidential information from a conservationist part of the network based in Phuket. It drew attention to a significant flooding incident at Phuket International Airport in Thalang District, Phuket Province, last year. The incident negatively impacted the city’s reputation as a prime tourist destination, marking an unprecedented disaster.

Upon further investigation, the network discovered that despite the challenging terrain of numerous mountains, steep hills, and flat areas surrounding Phuket International Airport, unauthorised construction was taking place. It was highlighted that these buildings violated the regulations set forth in the Building Control Act of 1979, later amended in 1992.

The report noted…

“These unauthorised constructions, including 34 houses in Thepkrasattri and 15 houses in Sakoo, have been built without proper authorisation from local authorities. However, the responsible parties for this negligence remain unknown, whether they are relevant officers or not.”

The mystery around the responsible parties further deepens the ongoing situation, adding to the gravity of the issue at hand.

Further updates regarding the case will be released following the completion of the investigations.

Follow The Thaiger’s latest stories on our new Facebook page: CLICK HERE.

Crime NewsEnvironment NewsPhuket NewsSouth Thailand News

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.

Related Articles