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Phuket police refuse to confirm or deny bail for Phoenix boat owner

PHUKET: The leading police investigator for the Phoenix tour boat disaster today told the The Phuket News that he was unable to confirm or deny whether or not the registered owner of the Phoenix, Phuket resident Woralak Rerkchaikarn, 26, and the chief construction engineer for the boat, Onchan Kanhayote, 56, of Phetchabun Province, had been denied bail by the Phuket Provincial Court.

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By The Phuket News

Tuesday 17 July 2018, 06:56PM


Capt Somkiat Sansithi, Chief of the Investigation Division at Chalong Police Station, today declined to confirm or deny whether ’Phoenix’ owner Woralak Rerkchaikarn, 26, and chief construction engineer for the boat, Onchan Kanhayote, 56, had been denied bail by the Phuket Provincial Court. Photo: The Phuket News / file

Capt Somkiat Sansithi, Chief of the Investigation Division at Chalong Police Station, today declined to confirm or deny whether ’Phoenix’ owner Woralak Rerkchaikarn, 26, and chief construction engineer for the boat, Onchan Kanhayote, 56, had been denied bail by the Phuket Provincial Court. Photo: The Phuket News / file

Both face charges of negligence causing death for the Phoenix disaster, which killed 47 Chinese tourists when the boat capsized and sank in storm conditions off Phuket on July 5.

Asked whether Woralak and Onchan had been denied bail, Capt Somkiat Sansithi, Chief of the Investigation Division at Chalong Police Station, late this afternoon told The Phuket News, “I don’t know, ask the court.”

However, Capt Somkiat’s reply to The Phuket News directly contradicts reports in the Thai media today (July 17) that openly cited Capt Somkiat as confirming that Woralak and Onchan had both been denied bail by the Phuket Provincial Court and were now being held on remand behind bars.

The Phuket News has yet to learn why the reply was different.

Regardless, if Woralak and Onchan have been denied bail, the pair are the first Thai nationals to be incarcerated over the Phoenix disaster, while police have yet to even publicly name any officials under investigation for allowing the unsafe boat to put to sea at all.

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Asked if there were any other developments today, Col Somkiat said, “Nothing new today.”

The one thing Capt Somkiat could confirm today was that “no officials have been charged so far” over the Phoenix disaster.

The news today comes while Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Governor Yuthisak today sat front and centre at a press conference where Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong delivered a full recount of the disaster and the ensuing rescue and body recovery operations.

Gov Norraphat extolled his praise for the efforts of those who provided assistance to the families of the dead, including Phuket arranging funerals for their now-departed loved ones, and how the province was taking concrete steps towards enforcing marine safety standards in line with direct orders from Prime Minster Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha.

 

 

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Christy Sweet | 21 July 2018 - 13:38:53

The charges are not alleged,  but established facts. And under law, all are innocent until proven guilty. 

Capt B | 21 July 2018 - 12:38:21

Nobody is guilty of the alleged charges. However, they are all guilty of operating under a flawed maritime safety system which greatly contributed to this tragedy in the  first place. Soon, we'll have a "Thailand Maritime Safety Authority" & it's New Build Vessel Surveys, Firefighting & Safety Equipment Standards will be accepted worldwide ?
A day that will live in infam...

Kurt | 18 July 2018 - 18:37:19

When the thai phuket police refuse to confirm or to deny, they violate their oath:  To serve and protect the people.  But that happening is not news. Is it?
Police just keep her gun powder dry so far for own benefits. Is there anyone who not understands that?

BigA | 18 July 2018 - 07:22:16

Interesting to knew what this concrete steps will be and for how long!There are  enough empty   rooms at the control center to make a school for would be Captains and Engineers and ONLY with a license from this SCHOOL you are permitted to navigate in Phuket waters.This would be the only realistic start and noting else,Gentleman show some common sense Phuket need a school
Horst

Shwe | 18 July 2018 - 06:29:21

being arrested means nothing in Thailand, nor does being charged, I doubt this will ever come to court, how many suspects ever get convicted here, Red Bull heir a classic case 

BenPendejo | 18 July 2018 - 00:36:08

So..."The Phuket News has yet to learn why the reply was different." Maybe because a standard response from Thai police is a lie, and any dealings in this affair by the police renders the whole thing questionable. They are the core of many problems here, yet nothing ever changes with them. And glad to hear more from delusional Governor that is still heaping praise after bungling the disa...

Wilma | 17 July 2018 - 19:55:06

What happen with the captain and the Chinese husband of the boat owner ?

Pauly44 | 17 July 2018 - 19:46:47

Typical behaviour from corrupt policemen and officials, keep mouths shut, transfer responsibility, change the subject etc. hoping it will blow over, this boat was allowed to operate by corrupt officials, make them all accountable for the  47 dead tourists, bring them all to justice including the crew, boat builder, owner and the corrupt officials, disgusting.

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