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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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...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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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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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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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

SteveB2 Well said. Clearly somebody 'in the office' too lazy to do a proper job.

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This old chestnut again...

Bloody good post mate,full of common sense.

Shows that If you do everything by the book,you have nothing to worry about.Served me well for almost 30 years here.

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:

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Isn't it obvious that a diving instructor will have to leave the island to do his job? As long as they work for the company that got them the paperwork for their work permit and they work in the area that is stated in their permit there shouldn't be a problem. So why the hairsplitting? It's sounds almost like a fine print rip-off you would expect from an insurance company. Well, the law is the law. Since they had work permits they'll probably have to pay a fine and get a lawyer to change their work permits.

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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...

Hmm. Lets think about that for a moment. whistling.gif

Ah yes. Got it. You are allowed to go to a washroom during your working hours providing it is located at an address specified in your work permit thumbsup.gif , and...

You must NOT facepalm.gif be carrying a heavy box of dive gear on the way to 'show Percy to the porcelain' thumbsup.gif

Else you might get nicked clap2.gifclap2.gifclap2.gif

Obvious really. Just don't start being logical (like assuming that having a work permit as a dive instructor immediately adds 'location of work = the ocean' or assuming that anything else is arranged in you favour - and you will do just fine here in LOS. wai2.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, ...

I started working in Thailand 20 years ago, and I remember having drummed into me by my WP lawyer that all of these activities in your one liner statement above (i.e. running a retail operation, acting as a cashier or secretary, taking phone calls, booking boats, salesman) are illegal for a foreigner to do even with a work permit, and were clearly identified as banned under an old, easy to understand 1970's decree prohibiting Foreigners (Aliens) from working in any the following positions:-

  1. Labour work except labour work in fishing boats under the next category below. The said work which is forbidden to aliens shall not apply to aliens who have entered into Thailand under an agreement on hire of labour concluded between the Government of Thailand and other nations, and also aliens whose status has been prescribed as legal immigrant and who possess a residence certificate under the law governing immigration.
  2. Agriculture, animal husbandry, forestry or fishery, except work requiring specialized knowledge, farm supervision, or labour work in fishing boats, particularly marine fishery.
  3. Bricklaying, carpentry, or other construction work.
  4. Wood carving.
  5. Driving motor vehicles or vehicles which do not use machinery or mechanical devices, except piloting aircraft internationally.
  6. Front shop sales and auction sale work.
  7. Supervising, auditing, or giving service in accountancy, except occasional internal auditing.
  8. Cutting or polishing precious or semi-precious stones.
  9. Haircutting, hairdressing, or beautification.
  10. Cloth weaving by hand.
  11. Mat weaving or making utensils from reed, rattan, jute, hay, or bamboo.
  12. Making rice paper by hand.
  13. Lacquer work.
  14. Making Thai musical instruments.
  15. Niello work.
  16. Goldsmith, silversmith, or gold/copper alloy smith work.
  17. Stone work.
  18. Making Thai dolls.
  19. Making mattresses or quilts.
  20. Making alms bowls.
  21. Making silk products by hand.
  22. Making Buddha images.
  23. Knife making.
  24. Making paper or cloth umbrellas.
  25. Making shoes.
  26. Making hats.
  27. Brokerage or agency except in international trading.
  28. Professional civil engineering concerning design and calculation, systemization, analysis, planning, testing, construction supervision, or consulting services, excluding work requiring specialized techniques.
  29. Professional architectural work concerning design, drawing/making, cost estimation, or consulting services.
  30. Dressmaking.
  31. Pottery.
  32. Cigarette rolling by hand.
  33. Tour guiding or conducting.
  34. Hawking of goods & Thai typesetting by hand.
  35. Unwinding and twisting silk by hand.
  36. Clerical or secretarial work.
  37. Providing legal services or engaging in legal work, except arbitration work; and work relating to defense of cases at arbitration level, provided the law governing the dispute under consideration by the arbitrators is not Thai law, or it is a case where there is no need to apply for the enforcement of such arbitration award in Thailand.

NOTE #1 This old Thailand decree has been amended, and added to by more recent Foreign Business Acts FBA (- however, it still makes a good starting point to always have in mind when asked to do activities that are unlikely to be permitted by your work permit.

NOTE #2 The above regulations (and their more recent FBA updates) apply to both paid and unpaid work. International volunteers working for charity organisations and NGO's during the Asian Tsunami still had to sort out work permits or risk having their volunteers arrested. The labour office peaked hats are bat sh1t crazy about implementing this stuff.

  • Perhaps another TV member will give a more updated list from the latest, most up to date FBA that now affects all of us who work in and around the dive tourism industry in LOS.

I hope this helps clarify the situation for you. wai2.gif

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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

Good info... cheers

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hmmmm...sound like the tip came from a rival dive company.... hope it was not the one who forgot to pick up a diver..

Youre on the right track.

The info came from a Phi Phi company who was recently forced to move their anchored boat away from Tonsai Bay. A Chinese agent decided he would prefer to do business with somebody else now, somebody who would go directly to Phi Phi, so the Phi Phi company saw suddenly 30? DSD's away fall away and decided to do something about it.

The problem was not 'working in another province', that is even allowed for a short period of time (although that was put in the official papers), the problem was them mooring in Maya Bay and going on land 2 days in a row even after having received an official warning.

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