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Governor Nisit Jansomwong announced plans to open an English language section of the Damrongtham, government complaint centre, to address allegations of immigration ‘service fee’ corruption.
The governor’s announcement follows a number of complaints about “immigration service fee” allegedly collected by Patong Immigration officers, for between B200-B500 on top of the B1,900 fee for extending a permit to stay.
Reporters on October 13 passed on the complaints to Gov Nisit, who firmly replied “I will assign relevant officers to investigate this allegation. The government’s working process must be clean, clearl and be able to scrutinize.”
“The Damrongtham Centre is a place where everyone can make a complaint. On this point, I will look to establishing an English section to receive complaints from foreigners.”
Phuket Governor added that he is trying to secure a budget to expand CCTV coverage in Phuket to cover all public and government office areas.
“CCTV will provide good evidence when such situations happen. Most criminals captured by CCTV can be arrested,” Gov Nisit said.
“Lucky for Phuket, we have a hotel association to support these [initiatives to expand CCTV coverage]. I have assigned every municipality to allocate a budget for more CCTV. Safety is the first priority in Phuket,” he added.
“CCTV can serve as a warning for people that they are being watched all the time, which can lead to decrease in criminal [activity] and also for [improving] work flow of government officers,” he explained.
However, the governor could not specific an opening date of said English section at the local Damrongtham Centre.