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Phuket governor speaks out following arrest of New Zealand brothers

PHOTO: The Phuket Express

The governor of Phuket has spoken up following the arrest of two New Zealanders last Saturday. The two brothers face a host of charges after allegedly assaulting a Chalong police officer.

Hamish and Oscar Day remain in detention at the Phuket Provincial Court following their initial hearing on Monday. They are denying all charges and have engaged a lawyer.

Meanwhile, Governor Sophon Suwannarat says all foreign visitors on the island must respect Thai laws.

“As a result of the incident, legal action has been taken. Strict action must be taken against foreigners who commit crimes in the area. Foreigners travelling into Phuket must respect the law, and promote a good image of tourism.”

95 foreign nationals have been deported since last October. They include 41 Chinese, 28 Burmese nationals, 8 Russians, 5 Indians, 3 Australians, 2 Moroccans, 2 British, and 5 “other nationalities”.

Governor Sophon was addressing a press conference at Phuket Provincial Police headquarters last Monday. He was joined by Sinlert Sukhum, Phuket Provincial Police Commander, as well as Deputy Commander Teerawat Liamsuwan, and senior officers from Phuket Immigration and Phuket Tourist Police.

According to a Phuket News report, the press conference was held to clarify matters surrounding the arrest of the two Kiwi brothers, Hamish and Oscar Day, aged 36 and 38 respectively. Sophon says the authorities are liaising with the New Zealand consul over the arrests.

“As for the Phuket Provincial Office, a letter will be sent to the New Zealand consul in Thailand to report the behaviour of the New Zealanders who caused the incident. However, the Phuket Provincial Office has a meeting with consuls every two months, during which we ask for the consuls’ cooperation to help publicise to foreign tourists from all countries to follow the laws of Thailand so that they can travel and stay in Phuket happily.”

Meanwhile, Sinert told reporters that everyone on the island, regardless of nationality, must uphold the law and protect Phuket’s reputation.

“Police officers are to enforce the law regarding offenders in all areas ‒ be they Thais or foreigners, to promote the tourism image of Phuket Province to be peaceful and orderly.”

Offences included attempted murder in the case of one person, resisting arrest and obstructing an officer (6 cases), theft (6 cases) and 23 drugs-related convictions.

In addition, Sinert adds that the authorities are also cracking down on car and motorbike rental firms who rent out vehicles without checking if customers hold a driving licence. Sinert says the penalty for renting a car or motorbike to someone who doesn’t hold a valid licence is a fine of up to 2,000 baht.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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