Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: The arrest of well-known former Tourist Police Volunteer Gary Halpin, and the very serious charge of selling the illegal narcotic ya ice (crystal methamphetamine), rocked the Phuket expat community this week (story here).

For many people in the local English-language media, the New Zealander was relied on as a valuable and trusted source of information on numerous high-profile cases in the Chalong Police precinct.

Mr Halpin was a prominent figure in the south of the island, often seen assisting Chalong Police in conducting raids on various businesses, including recent raids on dive shops. In February last year, it was none other than Mr Halpin who escorted Stein Dokset* out of his luxury villa in Kata after the Norwegian was placed under arrest for the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Rungnapa Suktong (story here).

News of Mr Halpin’s arrest sparked intense debate over a range of related issues on local blogsites. There is a clear desire by the community to have a deeper understanding of how Mr Halpin was arrested by Phuket Provincial Police, not Chalong Police, in a room with a digital scale and over 18 grams of the powerful stimulant.

If the allegations against Mr Halpin are proved true in court, it will likely serve as a blow by association to the reputation of Tourist Police Volunteers (TPV) on the island. Indeed, the reaction to his arrest shows that there already exists a great deal of resentment and distrust among expats toward those foreigners who would don a uniform to assist the Royal Thai Police. Allegations of these volunteers being self-serving, power hungry and even corrupt are not uncommon.

However, the vast majority of Tourist Police volunteers we have interviewed or otherwise interacted with over the years have appeared to be well-intended and selfless. Their considerable efforts in assisting foreign visitors in distress go largely unreported and are thus unappreciated by many in the local expatriate community.

Police are rightly emphasizing that Mr Halpin’s official role with the Tourist Police had ended well before his arrest. However, that will do little to influence the court of public opinion, which has as its perfect medium the blogosphere, that grand digital masquerade party where virtually all matter of speculation is served up by legions of anonymous contributors with no accountability for their assertions whatsoever.

One thing certain, however, is that none of this banter will likely have any real bearing on the fate of Mr Halpin, whose future prospects now fall squarely into the hands of the criminal justice system.

*The original story wrongly cited Dokset as having previously been a Tourist Police Volunteer. The error is regretted.
– Phuket Gazette

1

"Phuket Provincial Police, not Chalong Police"? Why does this disturb me? Oh, I know. I've lived here in Phuket for some time already.

Posted by AFriend December 22, 2013 07:33:38AM

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2

Recently, in a Thalang District Pharmacy, I was informed that only the police sell Generic Sildenafil Citrate Ip (Viagra). Has anyone else had a similar experience? Michael Maurice Arvin

Posted by Michael Arvin December 22, 2013 09:34:46AM

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0    0

3

Recently, in a Thalang District Pharmacy, I was informed that only the police sell Generic Sildenafil Citrate Ip (Viagra). Has anyone else had a similar experience? Michael Maurice Arvin

Posted by Michael Arvin

Go to another pharmacy, ask for Sedegra (the 'real' Thai viagra copy, original formula, produced in Thailand) because they can only sell with a prescription, so always charge you 'a bit more' than the official 180 baht per pill in a 4-pill pack of 100mg each.

Posted by AFriend December 22, 2013 02:44:00PM

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0    0

4

Recently, in a Thalang District Pharmacy, I was informed that only the police sell Generic Sildenafil Citrate Ip (Viagra). Has anyone else had a similar experience? Michael Maurice Arvin

Posted by Michael Arvin

Sorry Michael, I am afraid I can't help you. I don't use Viagra (yet).

Posted by Lung Manu December 22, 2013 03:08:28PM

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0    0

5

Recently, while at Phuket Immigration, I was brusquely turned away from the service counter by an Immigration officer who couldn't seem to speak English or Thai. He grunted at me and pointed in the direction of the police volunteers. The implications of this act speak volumes about why so many REAL expats resent these guys. It seems Immigration still think of me as a tourist after 13 years here, and that I resent.

Posted by CaptainJack December 22, 2013 04:34:17PM

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0    0

6

Recently, in a Thalang District Pharmacy, I was informed that only the police sell Generic Sildenafil Citrate Ip (Viagra). Has anyone else had a similar experience? Michael Maurice Arvin

Posted by Michael Arvin

As SIDEGRA is the Thai answer against Viagra, with same Sildenafil filling, is in many Thai pharmacies available without prescription, 4 x 100mg for 180-25o baht, I do not see a substance in this saying of the pharmacist.

Posted by Alfred December 22, 2013 08:56:54PM

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7

I know of several of these 'police' who I wouldn't spit on if they were getting burned. Surprised more of them ain't in a box!

Posted by Who cares? December 22, 2013 09:18:20PM

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8

Stein Dokset was never a Tourist Police Volunteer.

Posted by NomadJoe December 22, 2013 10:49:06PM

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0    0

10

Recently, in a Thalang District Pharmacy, I was informed that only the police sell Generic Sildenafil Citrate Ip (Viagra). Has anyone else had a similar experience? Michael Maurice Arvin

Posted by Michael Arvin

As SIDEGRA is the Thai answer against Viagra, with same Sildenafil filling, is in many Thai pharmacies available without prescription, 4 x 100mg for 180-25o baht, I do not see a substance in this saying of the pharmacist.

Posted by Alfred

Without prescription? Illicit, yes. And even 250 baht is a little service charge, on top of the official 180 baht price. That's, why the price is mostly higher than that. In the wrong places!

Posted by AFriend December 25, 2013 01:23:18PM

Reply

0    0

12

Recently, in a Thalang District Pharmacy, I was informed that only the police sell Generic Sildenafil Citrate Ip (Viagra). Has anyone else had a similar experience? Michael Maurice Arvin

Posted by Michael Arvin

As SIDEGRA is the Thai answer against Viagra, with same Sildenafil filling, is in many Thai pharmacies available without prescription, 4 x 100mg for 180-25o baht, I do not see a substance in this saying of the pharmacist.

Posted by Alfred

Without prescription? Illicit, yes. And even 250 baht is a little service charge, on top of the official 180 baht price. That's, why the price is mostly higher than that. In the wrong places!

Posted by AFriend

I am not perfect and have a legal prescription, so to buy a drug under the counter is not my way. The original Thalang pharmacist may have misunderstood my English, although I now have an iPhone 5 with a translation App and will program carefully based upon previous replies the Generic item. Michael Maurice Arvin

Posted by Michael Arvin December 25, 2013 02:16:55PM

Reply

0    0

13

Recently, in a Thalang District Pharmacy, I was informed that only the police sell Generic Sildenafil Citrate Ip (Viagra). Has anyone else had a similar experience? Michael Maurice Arvin

Posted by Michael Arvin

As SIDEGRA is the Thai answer against Viagra, with same Sildenafil filling, is in many Thai pharmacies available without prescription, 4 x 100mg for 180-25o baht, I do not see a substance in this saying of the pharmacist.

Posted by Alfred

Without prescription? Illicit, yes. And even 250 baht is a little service charge, on top of the official 180 baht price. That's, why the price is mostly higher than that. In the wrong places!

Posted by AFriend

I am not perfect and have a legal prescription, so to buy a drug under the counter is not my way. The original Thalang pharmacist may have misunderstood my English, although I now have an iPhone 5 with a translation App and will program carefully based upon previous replies the Generic item. Michael Maurice Arvin

Posted by Michael Arvin

A prescription from a Thai doctor? But not the pills from the doctor's in-house pharmacy? I doubt that. Afaik, no doctor prescribes here to go to a 'road pharmacy'. You'll have to go to a hospital, show your (home country?) prescription, get a check, minimum a bill and the tabs. Or you go with your iPhone and the relevant news (last year Oct) + home prescription to a pharmacy, show 180/pack and accept ~2-300 baht/pack.

Posted by AFriend December 25, 2013 06:59:25PM

Reply

0    0

14

Recently, in a Thalang District Pharmacy, I was informed that only the police sell Generic Sildenafil Citrate Ip (Viagra). Has anyone else had a similar experience? Michael Maurice Arvin

Posted by Michael Arvin

As SIDEGRA is the Thai answer against Viagra, with same Sildenafil filling, is in many Thai pharmacies available without prescription, 4 x 100mg for 180-25o baht, I do not see a substance in this saying of the pharmacist.

Posted by Alfred

Without prescription? Illicit, yes. And even 250 baht is a little service charge, on top of the official 180 baht price. That's, why the price is mostly higher than that. In the wrong places!

Posted by AFriend

I am not perfect and have a legal prescription, so to buy a drug under the counter is not my way. The original Thalang pharmacist may have misunderstood my English, although I now have an iPhone 5 with a translation App and will program carefully based upon previous replies the Generic item. Michael Maurice Arvin

Posted by Michael Arvin

A prescription from a Thai doctor? But not the pills from the doctor's in-house pharmacy? I doubt that. Afaik, no doctor prescribes here to go to a 'road pharmacy'. You'll have to go to a hospital, show your (home country?) prescription, get a check, minimum a bill and the tabs. Or you go with your iPhone and the relevant news (last year Oct) + home prescription to a pharmacy, show 180/pack and accept ~2-300 baht/pack.

Posted by AFriend

Is that ~2-300 baht/pack or PER PILL? If it's per pack (4 pills), we're going to have a lot of sex maniacs on Bangla me thinks.

Posted by Edgar Cobblestone December 25, 2013 07:14:38PM

Reply

0    0

15

Recently, in a Thalang District Pharmacy, I was informed that only the police sell Generic Sildenafil Citrate Ip (Viagra). Has anyone else had a similar experience? Michael Maurice Arvin

Posted by Michael Arvin

As SIDEGRA is the Thai answer against Viagra, with same Sildenafil filling, is in many Thai pharmacies available without prescription, 4 x 100mg for 180-25o baht, I do not see a substance in this saying of the pharmacist.

Posted by Alfred

Without prescription? Illicit, yes. And even 250 baht is a little service charge, on top of the official 180 baht price. That's, why the price is mostly higher than that. In the wrong places!

Posted by AFriend

I am not perfect and have a legal prescription, so to buy a drug under the counter is not my way. The original Thalang pharmacist may have misunderstood my English, although I now have an iPhone 5 with a translation App and will program carefully based upon previous replies the Generic item. Michael Maurice Arvin

Posted by Michael Arvin

A prescription from a Thai doctor? But not the pills from the doctor's in-house pharmacy? I doubt that. Afaik, no doctor prescribes here to go to a 'road pharmacy'. You'll have to go to a hospital, show your (home country?) prescription, get a check, minimum a bill and the tabs. Or you go with your iPhone and the relevant news (last year Oct) + home prescription to a pharmacy, show 180/pack and accept ~2-300 baht/pack.

Posted by AFriend

Is that ~2-300 baht/pack or PER PILL? If it's per pack (4 pills), we're going to have a lot of sex maniacs on Bangla me thinks.

Posted by Edgar Cobblestone

4x50 = 100 baht 4x100 – 180 baht. That's the official price, published (search via google) last year. Even in Europe, the price for 'real' tabs (Viagra) is down to 4 Euro/each. Pfizers monopoly ended, in Asia, last year, in Europe, this year. And it has nothing to do with Bangla. One of the reasons: Make it available for locals. The other was to stop the uncontrolled Indian copies. Naa, don't let the money go!

Posted by AFriend December 25, 2013 07:39:23PM

Reply

0    0

15

Recently, in a Thalang District Pharmacy, I was informed that only the police sell Generic Sildenafil Citrate Ip (Viagra). Has anyone else had a similar experience? Michael Maurice Arvin

Posted by Michael Arvin

As SIDEGRA is the Thai answer against Viagra, with same Sildenafil filling, is in many Thai pharmacies available without prescription, 4 x 100mg for 180-25o baht, I do not see a substance in this saying of the pharmacist.

Posted by Alfred

Without prescription? Illicit, yes. And even 250 baht is a little service charge, on top of the official 180 baht price. That's, why the price is mostly higher than that. In the wrong places!

Posted by AFriend

I am not perfect and have a legal prescription, so to buy a drug under the counter is not my way. The original Thalang pharmacist may have misunderstood my English, although I now have an iPhone 5 with a translation App and will program carefully based upon previous replies the Generic item. Michael Maurice Arvin

Posted by Michael Arvin

A prescription from a Thai doctor? But not the pills from the doctor's in-house pharmacy? I doubt that. Afaik, no doctor prescribes here to go to a 'road pharmacy'. You'll have to go to a hospital, show your (home country?) prescription, get a check, minimum a bill and the tabs. Or you go with your iPhone and the relevant news (last year Oct) + home prescription to a pharmacy, show 180/pack and accept ~2-300 baht/pack.

Posted by AFriend

Is that ~2-300 baht/pack or PER PILL? If it's per pack (4 pills), we're going to have a lot of sex maniacs on Bangla me thinks.

Posted by Edgar Cobblestone

4x50 = 100 baht 4x100 – 180 baht. That's the official price, published (search via google) last year. Even in Europe, the price for 'real' tabs (Viagra) is down to 4 Euro/each. Pfizers monopoly ended, in Asia, last year, in Europe, this year. And it has nothing to do with Bangla. One of the reasons: Make it available for locals. The other was to stop the uncontrolled Indian copies. Naa, don't let the money go!

Posted by AFriend December 25, 2013 07:39:23PM

Reply

0    0

14

Recently, in a Thalang District Pharmacy, I was informed that only the police sell Generic Sildenafil Citrate Ip (Viagra). Has anyone else had a similar experience? Michael Maurice Arvin

Posted by Michael Arvin

As SIDEGRA is the Thai answer against Viagra, with same Sildenafil filling, is in many Thai pharmacies available without prescription, 4 x 100mg for 180-25o baht, I do not see a substance in this saying of the pharmacist.

Posted by Alfred

Without prescription? Illicit, yes. And even 250 baht is a little service charge, on top of the official 180 baht price. That's, why the price is mostly higher than that. In the wrong places!

Posted by AFriend

I am not perfect and have a legal prescription, so to buy a drug under the counter is not my way. The original Thalang pharmacist may have misunderstood my English, although I now have an iPhone 5 with a translation App and will program carefully based upon previous replies the Generic item. Michael Maurice Arvin

Posted by Michael Arvin

A prescription from a Thai doctor? But not the pills from the doctor's in-house pharmacy? I doubt that. Afaik, no doctor prescribes here to go to a 'road pharmacy'. You'll have to go to a hospital, show your (home country?) prescription, get a check, minimum a bill and the tabs. Or you go with your iPhone and the relevant news (last year Oct) + home prescription to a pharmacy, show 180/pack and accept ~2-300 baht/pack.

Posted by AFriend

Is that ~2-300 baht/pack or PER PILL? If it's per pack (4 pills), we're going to have a lot of sex maniacs on Bangla me thinks.

Posted by Edgar Cobblestone December 25, 2013 07:14:38PM

Reply

0    0

13

Recently, in a Thalang District Pharmacy, I was informed that only the police sell Generic Sildenafil Citrate Ip (Viagra). Has anyone else had a similar experience? Michael Maurice Arvin

Posted by Michael Arvin

As SIDEGRA is the Thai answer against Viagra, with same Sildenafil filling, is in many Thai pharmacies available without prescription, 4 x 100mg for 180-25o baht, I do not see a substance in this saying of the pharmacist.

Posted by Alfred

Without prescription? Illicit, yes. And even 250 baht is a little service charge, on top of the official 180 baht price. That's, why the price is mostly higher than that. In the wrong places!

Posted by AFriend

I am not perfect and have a legal prescription, so to buy a drug under the counter is not my way. The original Thalang pharmacist may have misunderstood my English, although I now have an iPhone 5 with a translation App and will program carefully based upon previous replies the Generic item. Michael Maurice Arvin

Posted by Michael Arvin

A prescription from a Thai doctor? But not the pills from the doctor's in-house pharmacy? I doubt that. Afaik, no doctor prescribes here to go to a 'road pharmacy'. You'll have to go to a hospital, show your (home country?) prescription, get a check, minimum a bill and the tabs. Or you go with your iPhone and the relevant news (last year Oct) + home prescription to a pharmacy, show 180/pack and accept ~2-300 baht/pack.

Posted by AFriend December 25, 2013 06:59:25PM

Reply

0    0

12

Recently, in a Thalang District Pharmacy, I was informed that only the police sell Generic Sildenafil Citrate Ip (Viagra). Has anyone else had a similar experience? Michael Maurice Arvin

Posted by Michael Arvin

As SIDEGRA is the Thai answer against Viagra, with same Sildenafil filling, is in many Thai pharmacies available without prescription, 4 x 100mg for 180-25o baht, I do not see a substance in this saying of the pharmacist.

Posted by Alfred

Without prescription? Illicit, yes. And even 250 baht is a little service charge, on top of the official 180 baht price. That's, why the price is mostly higher than that. In the wrong places!

Posted by AFriend

I am not perfect and have a legal prescription, so to buy a drug under the counter is not my way. The original Thalang pharmacist may have misunderstood my English, although I now have an iPhone 5 with a translation App and will program carefully based upon previous replies the Generic item. Michael Maurice Arvin

Posted by Michael Arvin December 25, 2013 02:16:55PM

Reply

0    0

10

Recently, in a Thalang District Pharmacy, I was informed that only the police sell Generic Sildenafil Citrate Ip (Viagra). Has anyone else had a similar experience? Michael Maurice Arvin

Posted by Michael Arvin

As SIDEGRA is the Thai answer against Viagra, with same Sildenafil filling, is in many Thai pharmacies available without prescription, 4 x 100mg for 180-25o baht, I do not see a substance in this saying of the pharmacist.

Posted by Alfred

Without prescription? Illicit, yes. And even 250 baht is a little service charge, on top of the official 180 baht price. That's, why the price is mostly higher than that. In the wrong places!

Posted by AFriend December 25, 2013 01:23:18PM

Reply

0    0

8

Stein Dokset was never a Tourist Police Volunteer.

Posted by NomadJoe December 22, 2013 10:49:06PM

Reply

0    0

7

I know of several of these 'police' who I wouldn't spit on if they were getting burned. Surprised more of them ain't in a box!

Posted by Who cares? December 22, 2013 09:18:20PM

Reply

0    0

6

Recently, in a Thalang District Pharmacy, I was informed that only the police sell Generic Sildenafil Citrate Ip (Viagra). Has anyone else had a similar experience? Michael Maurice Arvin

Posted by Michael Arvin

As SIDEGRA is the Thai answer against Viagra, with same Sildenafil filling, is in many Thai pharmacies available without prescription, 4 x 100mg for 180-25o baht, I do not see a substance in this saying of the pharmacist.

Posted by Alfred December 22, 2013 08:56:54PM

Reply

0    0

5

Recently, while at Phuket Immigration, I was brusquely turned away from the service counter by an Immigration officer who couldn't seem to speak English or Thai. He grunted at me and pointed in the direction of the police volunteers. The implications of this act speak volumes about why so many REAL expats resent these guys. It seems Immigration still think of me as a tourist after 13 years here, and that I resent.

Posted by CaptainJack December 22, 2013 04:34:17PM

Reply

0    0

4

Recently, in a Thalang District Pharmacy, I was informed that only the police sell Generic Sildenafil Citrate Ip (Viagra). Has anyone else had a similar experience? Michael Maurice Arvin

Posted by Michael Arvin

Sorry Michael, I am afraid I can't help you. I don't use Viagra (yet).

Posted by Lung Manu December 22, 2013 03:08:28PM

Reply

0    0

3

Recently, in a Thalang District Pharmacy, I was informed that only the police sell Generic Sildenafil Citrate Ip (Viagra). Has anyone else had a similar experience? Michael Maurice Arvin

Posted by Michael Arvin

Go to another pharmacy, ask for Sedegra (the 'real' Thai viagra copy, original formula, produced in Thailand) because they can only sell with a prescription, so always charge you 'a bit more' than the official 180 baht per pill in a 4-pill pack of 100mg each.

Posted by AFriend December 22, 2013 02:44:00PM

Reply

0    0

2

Recently, in a Thalang District Pharmacy, I was informed that only the police sell Generic Sildenafil Citrate Ip (Viagra). Has anyone else had a similar experience? Michael Maurice Arvin

Posted by Michael Arvin December 22, 2013 09:34:46AM

Reply

0    0

1

"Phuket Provincial Police, not Chalong Police"? Why does this disturb me? Oh, I know. I've lived here in Phuket for some time already.

Posted by AFriend December 22, 2013 07:33:38AM

Reply

0    0

Right push panel.

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