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The head of Pattaya’s thesakit authority has responded to claims that tourists are still messing up the beach by smoking and tossing their cigarette butts.
But when asked to come up with statistics for how many small fines have been issued he was just as evasive.
Sophon Cable interviewed Jeerawat Sukhonthasap after a Fanpage was rife with comment that Pattaya’s beaches were as filthy as ever littered with discarded cigarettes and people smoking – and they pointed the finger squarely at tourists.
This is despite signage going up in many places in Thailand saying that offenders can face 100,000 baht fines and a year in jail.
Jeerawat effectively said that there was no way that anyone was going to jail or being fined such a large sum.
Those regulations are based on environmental laws, he said. The thesakit (local authority responsible for such matters) can in reality only fine people up to 2,000 baht for littering under “phor ror bor” regulations.
But Jeerawat couldn’t even say how many, if any had been fined this smaller amount of money.
He told Sophon that there were no statistics available because smoking fines are not considered separate from those issued for littering.
So he doesn’t know.
Thaivisa notes that back in February there was a huge song and dance that smoking on beaches was to be ended by the threat of draconian fines and even imprisonment.
The reaction of the Thai public now is: