Australian yachties dodge 10,000 baht fine east of Phuket

Thanks to Bob Mott of Charter Catamarans in Phuket for sending this link to PHUKET GAZETTE:

PHUKET: A 10,000 baht fine lodged against an Australian-owned yacht was dropped after officials confirmed that the vessel was registered with the Phuket Marine Office.

Over the weekend, four Australian yachties claimed that a group of six uniformed Thai marine officers had shown up on a dinghy and had attempted to extort money from them while at sea in Phang Nga Bay. The Thai officers and Australians had a 45-minute-long broken conversation about the charges before the officers wrote up the official fine and left without money, explained Phang Nga Marine Office Chief Wimonman Suwannarat to the Phuket Gazette today.

“The officials that handed down the fine that day are my staff,” Ms Wimonman said. “I ordered them to drop the case after we found out that the Australian yacht was registered in Phuket.”

Ms Wimonman denied reports that her officers had called the Australians multiple times after the fact, asking for the payment. Ms Wimonman also denied that the fine had been imposed because the Australian vessel was not flying a Thai flag while in Thai waters.

– Read more here 

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