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Troops and police arrested two foreigners and four Thais on Wednesday for allegedly running six hostels without licence on the tourist destination Koh Pha Ngan in Surat Thani province.
The four Thais were charged with acting as nominees for foreign-owned hotel businesses. They were identified as Prathumsri Pitchanankul, Sukanya Diewma, Kongkiart Moolpol, and Matniya Charujit.
The authorities ordered their six hostels – Ecco Beach, The Wonderlust, Cash-in Space Hotel, The Nomate House, Pha Ngan Arena, and Slumber Party Hostel and Bar – to be closed.
Action was taken after a group of hotel operators on the island recently staged a protest against hostels illegally opened by foreigners, as they offered cheaper rates and affected the local people’s businesses.