Phuket cracks down on foreign criminals
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Phuket cracks down on foreign criminals

Cooperation by property owners in monitoring tenants one example of new approach

Tourists sunbathe at Patong Beach in Phuket. (File photo)
Tourists sunbathe at Patong Beach in Phuket. (File photo)

Phuket Provincial Police say they are coordinating with other agencies to crack down on international criminals on the island in a bid to ensure safety and improve confidence among tourists and the public at large.

The adoption of more crime-free measures is the result of cooperation among agencies including the provincial land transport and employment offices, the Phuket Provincial Police and Tourist Police, Phuket deputy governor Arnuparb Rodkhwan Yodrabam said on Wednesday.

He said that governor Narong Woonciew agreed to proceed with measures that were introduced in December, by asking for the cooperation of apartment or hotel owners to monitor their foreign tenants.

That helped lead to the arrest of two Russian nationals for cryptocurrency theft after obtaining their foreign visitor data under Section 38 of Immigration Act, Mr Arnuparb said.

As well, he said, Patong police working with land transport officials have been arresting more foreign tourists for driving without licences, for reckless driving causing harm to others, and for riding motorbikes without helmets.

Phuket Provincial Police, Patong police and Phuket tourist police also arrested a French national who was wanted on an Interpol Red Notice who happened to be overstaying in the kingdom; they also caught a Mongolian gang for theft.

A Swedish national who was wanted on a Red Notice was also arrested with the cooperation of an independent school, the deputy governor said.

In addition, he said, Mr Narong has encouraged provincial police officers to take action against foreigners displaying improper behaviour.

Punishments range from issuing a “yellow warning” on first offence, to informing the consulate in the person’s country of the offence and suspending the person’s permission to stay in the kingdom following another offence.

Foreigners’ permission to stay will be revoked and they will be deported back to their home countries if they are given a red warning for repeated offences.

Phuket authorities are also using the Traffy Fondue app, which allows citizens to inform local authorities of problems. So far they have received a total of three complaints about local problems, two of which have already been solved, Mr Arnuparb said.

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