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Seven diving instructors arrested for working illegally at Maya Bay, Koh Phi Phi Lay

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Seven diving instructors arrested for working illegally off Phuket
Tanyaluk Sakoot

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The seven were arrested when found working at Maya Bay, Koh Phi Phi Lay. Photo: Jeffry Ng Darwis/Flickr

PHUKET: -- Seven Phuket based diving instructors, six Chinese and one Swede, were arrested for working illegally at Maya Bay, Koh Phi Phi Lay on New Year’s Eve, (Dec 31) because it did not stipulate in their work permits that their work would take them away from the island.


The seven are currently being held at Krabi Police Station awaiting for their cases to go to court.

Full story: http://www.thephuketnews.com/seven-diving-instructors-arrested-for-working-illegally-off-phuket-55665.php

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-- Phuket News 2016-01-04

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What constitutes "away from the island"? I presume a diving instructor would need to work in the water and not just on the shore going over procedures and equipment familiarization. If they were in the Bay, they can't be too far from the island! I suspect they the "authorities" got complaints that the instructors were actually acting as tour guides, taking work and business away from Thai local organizations.

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As predictable as X-mas . . .
and as predictable as Easter, clarification time will come soon ....

http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/710165-questions-over-crackdown-on-phuket-dive-industry-as-foreigners-arrested-over-permits

http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/716629-foreigners-in-phuket-dive-shop-blitz-clarifies-instructors-work-descriptions/

Sure must generate quite a bit of an income, this diving industry wink.png

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Guys were training people to dive safely in the water...thus enhancing the probability of the tourists availing themselves of day trips to dive sites,and the local tour companies earning some much needed tourist revenue...but trust the beauracrats to foil it...TIT.

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I wonder how the Labour office would deal with "in Thai Territorial waters" on a work permit.. I suspect the lawyers of the accused will simply bring up the fact that many migrant workers in the fishing industry are doing the same..

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I think immigration are tightening up on this idea of only working at the place mentioned in the work permit.

The university I work at has a campus upcountry and when I renewed my visa last time, the officer asked if I ever teach at the campus. Before I had chance to answer, the secretary blurted out "No", which is untrue.

Later I asked her why she had lied. She replied that we would have to travel to the immigration in that province and register with them as well.

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This old chestnut again...

I have worked in and around the Dive Industry in LOS for more than 20 years - the solution to preventing the problems in the OP are easy.

only work in accordance with the conditions stated in you work permit.

In other words:-

1. Only carry out the work designated in your work permit.

1.1 Have Dive Instructor listed as your main job description

1.2 Have teaching water sports added as another job description in the same work permit

The general rule for not falling foul of the your job description designation is:-

If you need to carry out other duties that are not obviously covered by your existing job description - then have them added to you work permit - your lawyer can do this for you.

2. Only work at the specific location listed in your work permit.

2.2 List the Dive Center as one location for Academics

2.3 List the swimming pool as another location. List Swimming pools at hotels as a more general location description.

2.4 List Andaman Sea, Koh Phi Phi, Gulf of Siam etc (as necessary) as additional work locations
If you need to work at locations not precisely listed in your work permit - then get your lawyer to add these additional locations

My own work permit is annotated above plus other duties have been added such as the repairing of scuba gear, compressors, engineering work that I often get called out to - It took a long time to slowly get my work and locations properly described in the WP and now results in zero hassles at all when inspected by the WP police.

As an example of how nit-picking the WP police can get - I was caught up in a raid of dive shop employees in a large dive shop spread over several shop units. It was a big operation with 153 Intern Instructors and 7 big dive boats out at the weekend. The WP police obviously sniffed the cash flow and sprung a serious raid with a mini-bus of peaked hats going over everyone and everything. Interestingly, they even wanted to check that each individual townhouse that made up the dive shop was listed in my WP - else 'big problems for me' They were. No issues.

Other obvious no-no's

Do not get involved in carrying boxes of dive gear or any other obvious manual labor in the public view - since manual labor by foreigners either paid or unpaid is general forbidden under Thai labor law, even with a work permit.

Ensure the Dive Co understands the rules (They will get fined a fortune too if you get caught) - convince them to pay a 3rd world laborer or the boat boy(whoever) hanging around on the peer 100 Baht to load the fkin boat, while you sit and drink a coffee with the customers. This is small money for peace of mind and allows you to give better service.

Now, from experience, I know the comments here will get poo-poo'd by the usual knuckle dragging tattoo faced scum bags who run many of the Dive Centers in this dear country - who know better - but gents(unless you have friends in the sky) you (as well as your instructors) will get fined or gouged for a huge amount of cash under the Alien Business Law (N.E.C. Announcement 281) so sort your sh#t out or pay the piper.

To close - Cheers - and have a great day diving.wai2.gif

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Chinese in deep water... cannot ! Government saved their lives... and the Swede on New Years day probably was still too pissed to swim... gigglem.gif

Good job, guys ( as dive shops most likely forgot to fill the tea box money on time )

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There is probably some reason why these particular guys were "selected". I am surprised that they all had work permits. There are a whole lot of instructors who only come for the high season.

The work permit has to state a place of work, which needs to be an address, all dive instructors are in the same boat, so to speak.

Place of work : Andaman Sea

Just does not compute down at the Labour Department.

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The whole thing is ridiculous. Someone flexing there muscles as they did not get there cut

as the work permits for Phuket keep the kickbacks in Phuket. whistling.gif

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in same time they run the shop that sale gear. and I know that diving instructors work as a secretary too, taking phone calls, book boats, ...

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...pretty hard to dive on land....

...never mind...give all the business to the expert Thai instructors....

...let's review how many tourists have died in their hands lately......

...so far we are allowed to go to the washroom without any permits....wait and see...

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