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PHUKET CITY: Aekachai Soonthorn, secretary to Phuket Provincial Chief Administrative Officer (Palad) Nivit Aroonrat, today told the Gazette that the new regulations for the diving industry are being reviewed by the Chief of the Phuket Provincial Public Prosecution Office, Bantoon Thongtan, who is checking for loopholes that dive operators might use to avoid compliance.

“The regulations have been in the Public Prosecutor’s Office since last week, after the Governor read them. The Governor wants to ensure that there are no loopholes in the new rules,” he said.

He explained that the new rules were expected to be returned to the Governor today. Once Gov Udomsak has ratified them, they may be brought into force immediately.

However, K. Aekachai said that K. Bantoon was not asked to check whether the new rules were legal, as the Prosecutions Chief was a member of the committee that drafted the rules.

Members of the dive industry have retained lawyers to examine whether the new rules are unconstitutional.

K. Aekachai said that Gov Udomsak left for Bangkok this morning on his way to Sweden. “He will return on August 22, so K. Bantoon has more time to read through the new regulations carefully, and he might add more points that will make the regulations more comprehensive.”

Although the new rules have yet to be ratified by the Governor, Palad Nivit on August 8 said he expected them to come into force September 1.