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Anutin touches down in Phuket for brief inspection

PHOTO: Matichon

Thailand’s Interior Minister flew into Phuket yesterday to monitor the current state of affairs following a number of high-profile incidents, most notably the 45 year old Swiss man allegedly kicking a female Thai doctor in the back as she sat on the steps in front of his house in Cape Yamu.

Anutin Charnvirakul landed at around 3.30pm and went straight to a meeting on the fifth floor of the airport. A number of provincial officials, government representatives, and Phuket Governor Sophon Suwannarat were also in attendance.

The Governor, recalled from an overseas trip a week before by Anutin, provided the minister with an update on issues such as the eviction of an illegal sunbed operator from Laem Singh Beach and the ongoing case against Swiss national Urs Fehr.

There were also updates on the island’s crackdown on illegal drugs and new checks on land title documents to ensure there is no encroachment on public land by businesses or private home owners.

During the subsequent investigation against the Swiss man, Fehr, it was discovered the steps were illegally built on a public beach and they have now been demolished. Fehr’s elephant foundation is also being dissolved.

Sophon also provided an update on safety measures for business operators and customers across 5 zones in Patong where bars can remain open until 4am.

Following a 4.15pm press conference at the airport, Anutin visited Kamala Beach to meet tourists, local residents and business owners. Later that evening, he took a tour of Bangla Road in Patong, again mingling with locals and foreign tourists.

PHOTO: Matichon

During his brief visit, the Interior Minister reiterated Phuket’s importance as a major tourist destination, emphasising the need to maintain tourist confidence and safeguard the island’s reputation.

He flew back to Bangkok at 10am this morning.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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