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Phuket dive extortion cases 'close to going to court'


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The question is,why do people pay tea money if they have a legal set up ? or am i being naive ?

If you not pay they find a reason to close the shop..permanently, happened to my internet cafe a couple of years ago.

We're talking diving here.

As mentioned, I have never paid anything, nor been asked to pay anything.

Lucky you, btw the post is about EXTORTION of divers.

Correct, extortion because they acted illegally, but the police demanded money in stead of proper processing.

Again, there were a few exceptions here where the police arrested because of unclarity about WP address rules, which should not have happened.

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Why don't the PACC set up a couple of hidden CCTV along Chalong pier road. They can then check to see if any of the local police pop in to each of the beer bars and massage parlours along that strip to collect tea money.

The question is,why do people pay tea money if they have a legal set up ? or am i being naive ?

You're being naive. They will always something whether legal or not.

No, they don't, soalbundy is absolutely right.

I have had them many times in my shop, and never have had a problem.

You know as well as I do that the main problem here is that these people were working illegally. And I'm not talking about location or bags, those were just side issues.

That's some inductive reasoning there steve. Just because you have escaped their wrath doesn't mean everyone else have. For example, when Rick moved in around the corner from you before he was a dive shop, he was approached by a Thai gentleman with a gun on his hip who described himself as the Kata kamnan (village chief). Rick ran a 100% legit business, but this guy wasn't there to check business licenses or work permits. He told Rick that everyone pays him protection money for the right to have a business there. Rick happened to know one of the vice governors at the time and so brought up his number on his phone and asked the man to call this number and explain what it was he wanted. The guy left and never returned.

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It was 30 to 50 thousand baht if you were caught working illegally, and 10,000 baht if you were caught working legally.

How exactly can you be 'caught' working Legally? Isn't that an oxymoron ?

Normally, yes. But not in Thailand.

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The question is,why do people pay tea money if they have a legal set up ? or am i being naive ?

You're being naive. They will always something whether legal or not.

No, they don't, soalbundy is absolutely right.

I have had them many times in my shop, and never have had a problem.

You know as well as I do that the main problem here is that these people were working illegally. And I'm not talking about location or bags, those were just side issues.

That's some inductive reasoning there steve. Just because you have escaped their wrath doesn't mean everyone else have. For example, when Rick moved in around the corner from you before he was a dive shop, he was approached by a Thai gentleman with a gun on his hip who described himself as the Kata kamnan (village chief). Rick ran a 100% legit business, but this guy wasn't there to check business licenses or work permits. He told Rick that everyone pays him protection money for the right to have a business there. Rick happened to know one of the vice governors at the time and so brought up his number on his phone and asked the man to call this number and explain what it was he wanted. The guy left and never returned.

You want to talk about the people who got arrested that day, how legal they were?

You know as well as I do that, with the already mentioned exceptions, these people opened themselves up to extortion by acting illegally.

So yes, the police were in the wrong that day, but so were a great number of the parties 'extorted'. There will come a time when they'll regret their big mouths afterwards.

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The question is,why do people pay tea money if they have a legal set up ? or am i being naive ?

You're being naive. They will always something whether legal or not.

No, they don't, soalbundy is absolutely right.

I have had them many times in my shop, and never have had a problem.

You know as well as I do that the main problem here is that these people were working illegally. And I'm not talking about location or bags, those were just side issues.

Steve, with all due respect, you weren't on the pier that day and you weren't standing next to people as they were detained left and right, including some genuine tourists. You didn't see who they took or how they took them. I did. Many, if not most, were veteren,work permitted tourleaders and instructors. They were not even asking for WP's, just grabbing anyone they thought was working. If you were carrying boxes or wearing a company shirt, you were in the back of the pick-up headed to Chalong police station with no questions asked. There was even at least one genuine tourist, as in on holiday, not working or getting paid, detained with the rest of them. Oods are some of the instructors caught were illegal. That is what these officers were hoping for, as they can extort more money from them.

Steve, did you go to the ATUS meeting or the labour department meeting spawned by this event, because I didn't see you at either.

BY the way, this was not the only incident where police were arresting people for carrying boxes or not having the address pier on their WP. The same thing was reported weeks before but on a smaller scale.

"Mr Pongsawan, a lawyer and member of the Lo Yung Tambon Administration Organization in Takua Thung District, Phang Nga, said that restrictive definitions listed in dive instructors work permits presented officials an opportunity to exploit the dive community as a source of unofficial fines for breaking the law.

What appears to be the problem is what is written in the dive instructors work permits. The work is listed as diving instructor and under this definition dive instructors are not allowed to do anything else, not even carry their own dive equipment, he said.

Consequently, dive companies across the island have suffered an ongoing barrage of raids, mainly carried out by the Chalong Police, aimed at snaring foreign dive staff for working beyond the remit of their work permits, he alleged."

- See more at: http://www.phuketgazette.net/phuket-news/Phuket-dive-companies-move-end-alleged-police/27930#ad-image-0"

Edited by NomadJoe
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work permitted tourleaders

Sorry Joe, there you already are wrong, this does not exist.

I don't think it is wise to have ATUS enter the game here, just look at who were the biggest complainers at their meetings.

And I know exactly what is happening at the pier, much better than you do, but I'm not one of the moaners and complainers.

Edited by stevenl
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work permitted tourleaders

Sorry Joe, there you already are wrong, this does not exist.

Of course they do. They just need to be teaching, not guiding.

No, they can not be tourleaders.

Seems we're at the end of the discussion here :)

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Sorry Joe, there you already are wrong, this does not exist.

I don't think it is wise to have ATUS enter the game here, just look at who were the biggest complainers at their meetings.

And I know exactly what is happening at the pier, much better than you do, but I'm not one of the moaners and complainers.

I am interested, Steven.

How do you know so much about what is happening at the pier? More than people legally working there?

You seem to know everything. Does your wisdom flow from divine or psychic powers? Please understand, I am not accusing you of being a smart-alec, a know-it-all, or a bar-stool-bore. I respect you so very much.

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Sorry Joe, there you already are wrong, this does not exist.

I don't think it is wise to have ATUS enter the game here, just look at who were the biggest complainers at their meetings.

And I know exactly what is happening at the pier, much better than you do, but I'm not one of the moaners and complainers.

I am interested, Steven.

How do you know so much about what is happening at the pier? More than people legally working there?

You seem to know everything. Does your wisdom flow from divine or psychic powers? Please understand, I am not accusing you of being a smart-alec, a know-it-all, or a bar-stool-bore. I respect you so very much.

I am there nearly every morning, working legally.

Considering your earlier posts about me, you are accusing me of those things.

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Why don't the PACC set up a couple of hidden CCTV along Chalong pier road. They can then check to see if any of the local police pop in to each of the beer bars and massage parlours along that strip to collect tea money.

The question is,why do people pay tea money if they have a legal set up ? or am i being naive ?

There are always small things wrong in every single operation even with the best of wills...say lack of a fire extinguisher, or a customer smoking in the bar, a broken tile etc.. that can lead to a fine. The tea money avoids some of this stupidity in the application of the rules. Most people try to have a legal setup, I'm sure.

Tony it sounds like you approve of "Tea Money". Can never be a good thing, as it has absolutely no boundaries. How about applying laws, by-laws and standards, with a little understanding and logical judgement. Yes I agree applying the law with leniency, can also lead to a boundlessness situation. But I do think extorting money, is a bigger gate way to crime and Mafia style conduct and should be nipped in the bud where possible.

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Why don't the PACC set up a couple of hidden CCTV along Chalong pier road. They can then check to see if any of the local police pop in to each of the beer bars and massage parlours along that strip to collect tea money.

The question is,why do people pay tea money if they have a legal set up ? or am i being naive ?

If they don't, the police will find a way to make life very difficult for them. So in the past it as been easier to just pay up..........YES you are naive !

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Do any farang who has been 'ripped off' by these corrupt cops, ever get the chance to put their story to NCPO and will they be summoned to give evidence when or if these grubs ever get to court.

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