Officials from the Phuket Employment Office (PEO), police and representatives of the dive industry met yesterday (May 22) to clarify the rules regarding foreigners working in the industry.
At the meeting, held in the Royal Phuket City hotel, Yaowapa Piboonphol from the PEO explained, “A lot of foreigners work in the diving industry, especially training diving techniques.
“Some do not understand the nature of working legally according to their work permits, so they have been working in the wrong job or in the wrong place.
“This resulted in the recent arrests and complaints [about extortion]. This meeting is to ensure that business owners and the foreigners working for them will have the knowledge and understanding to work legally in the industry, their rights and benefits such as health insurance and the responsibilities of employer and the employee.
Governor Maitri Inthusut, who chaired the meeting, said “Two months ago, there was an appeal about government officers illegally wrongdoing with diver operators. Officers [from the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission – PACC] came to take on the case and will continue to investigate.
“Today’s proactive meeting was called to explain the rules and regulations to obtain a work permit that allows them to work anywhere in Phuket.
“We were informed about some police officers who were able to exploit gaps in the law for corrupt purposes, which created a bad image.
“We are going to try to set up a system to prevent this kind of incident from destroying the image of tourism [in Phuket].
“In Thailand, there are 164 dive companies and 194 dive instructors, of which 60 per cent are in Phuket.
“We are not investigating the complaints ourselves; we have government officers who have come [from the PACC] to do this.”
He noted, too, that corruption was not always one-way. “Some companies were clandestinely breaking the law with the consent of government officers.”
Pol Maj Gen Ronnapong Saikaew, Deputy Commander of Region 8 and vice-president of the Association of Thailand Underwater Sports (ATUS) said, “Part of the problem of government officers extorting money from dive operators stemmed from misunderstanding by foreigners of how to get a work permit to allow them to comply with all the rules.
“We will try to get the business operators to become members of the ATUS so that it will be easier for us make recommendations to them about details of the profession, and close gaps in the law.”
Phuket’s dive industry is notoriously competitive and fractious, and few of the companies in the past have been keen to pay the fees to join ATUS or its predecessor, the Thailand Dive Association – though when there is a problem they expect ATUS to solve it.
Gen Ronnapong added, “As for the recent [extortion] cases, one of the police officers has been transferred out of the area. The cases of the rest of the accused officers are currently going through the legal process. If they are found guilty they may be discharged from the police.”Facebook.
Mental Health Issues Mounting According To University Poll
One New Case, One Death – Covid-19 Update (June 2)
Boxer Acquitted From Drug Charges Wants Justice
Samui Hotels May Join Chopping Block
Stranded Italian Helps Traffic Police
Bangkok Airways To Offer More Flights To Koh Samui
Despite Spam, Thai Chana App Crucial In Covid-19 Fight
Cinemas Keep Extension Plans Despite Decreased Ticket Sales
Pattaya Beaches Open But Give Tourists Nowhere To Go
Thai Ship Workers Quarantined In Phuket
Thailand Focusing On Tourism Bubbles And Domestic Tourism
World-Class Colouring Book Sales Benefit 2 Samui Organizations
Koh Samui Hotels Ready To Welcome Tourists
Thai Bank Anticipates A Prolonged National Tourisum Recovery
Bangkok Airways Waives Fees To Promote Travel
Thai Man Prefers Sex With Others’ Flip-Flops Over Humans
20 Thai UK Returnees Have Covid-19 Symptoms
Starving Monkeys Overrun Hua Hin
July 1 – End Of Emergency Decree, Lockdowns, International Travel Ban
Curfew From 11PM-3AM Starting June 1
- Regional News2 months ago
Koh Samui. 7-Eleven and Family Mart close overnight.
- Koh Samui News2 months ago
Samui Covid-19 update
- Breaking News2 months ago
Koh Samui’s first Covid-19 case
- Breaking News3 months ago
One dead, two injured after bar shooting in Samui
- Events2 months ago
Koh Samui is going into full lockdown
- Thailand News2 months ago
Bangkok booze ban and postponed holidays
- Regional News2 months ago
National curfew starts today
- Thai Life2 months ago
Thailand’s government officials extend tourist visas