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Pattaya Daily News

14 February 2013 :: 13:02:32 pm 71879

DSI officials arrive to check ‘Russian’ firms in Phuket

A team from the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) in Bangkok arrived in Phuket today (February 13) to gather information about Russian-operated businesses suspected of operating illegally in Bang Tao.
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PHUKET – Febuary 13,2013; The DSI team was led by Pol Lt Col Somboon Sarasit, the commander of the Bureau of Special Crime Section 3, who was joined by Ma-an Samran, President of Cherngtalay OrBorTor, and Kasem Samran, a representative from the Bang Tao Taxi Association.

The DSI officials spent time visiting the area where the “anti-Russian” protest happened on January 28. During the protest, which was conducted by Thai businessmen who also admitted they didn’t like the competition, many Russian-run businesses were accused of operating illegally.

Today, the plan was to visit the businesses accused of operating illegally and to speak to the staff inside, but when officials arrived all the businesses were closed.

“We chose to start in this area because this is the place that has a lot of issues with Russian businesses,” Col Somboon said.

Officials spent time listening to Mr Ma-an and hearing Mr Kasem’s concerns. They will now contact the Phuket Provincial Employment Office (PPEC) and the Business Development Office (BDO) to collect information about the Russian businesses suspected of operating illegally in Bang Tao.

They will collect information relating to work permits for Russian staff, business licences and Thai shareholders, and return to Bangkok where they will analyse the information. If the businesses are found to be operating illegally, the DSI has the power to close them and/or prosecute the owners.

“Foreign businesses must be approved by the BDO. If they are not, they will be fined up to B1 million, and the owners could face three years in prison,” Col Somboon said.

Mr Kasem said many tourists were using the Russian businesses for everything related to their stay in Phuket.

“They have complete tourism companies, which include all the elements of tourism such as restaurants, transport, and tickets. Customers do not have to use any other Thai companies for services. The way Pattaya is now, with many Russian businesses – Phuket is going to end up like that,” he said.

“We must nip this kind of business in the bud before it is too late for us,” Mr Ma-ann said.

View the original story on The Phuket News here.

Category : Thailand News

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