Vendors on Bangtao Beach, one of the most popular beaches on the northern west coast of Phuket, have been caught illegally selling floating lanterns, according to a Phuket Express report. A total of 49 lanterns were seized from 4 beach vendors, following a visit by officials from the Thalang District Office.
According to the report, the officers were patrolling the beach on Monday night when they found the 4 vendors in possession of the lanterns. District Chief Bancha Tanooin says the offenders were taken to the District Office for processing and 49 lanterns were confiscated.
Bang Tao is also about 20 minutes drive from the Phuket Airport, where the sky lanterns can cause air safety problems.
It’s understood the vendors have each signed an agreement that they will no longer sell the flying lanterns. Bancha says if they are caught again, they will face legal action.
The lanterns have, for years, been a popular attraction for friends and romantic partners to jointly launch a lantern from the beach as they ‘make a wish’.
Phuket has a ban on floating lanterns and violators can face up to 3 years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to 60,000 baht.
SOURCE: The Phuket Express