Pattaya business operators trying to cut the line for SHA+ certifications ended up being bilked for tens of thousands of baht and getting charged with holding fake certificates.
A group of 20 Jomtien Beach business owners appealed March 8 to Deputy Mayor Wuthisak Rermkijakarn for help, claiming a person claiming to be a Pattaya official approached them, offering expedited Safety and Health Administration Plus seals for prices ranging from 3,000 to 45,000 baht.
The business owners said that going the normal route to obtain the SHA+ seal – required for bars to open as “restaurants” and for genuine restaurants to service alcohol – was complicated and slow due to a large backlog of applications.
So they paid to jump the line and put up their shiny new SHA+ seal thinking they’d hoodwinked their rivals. That is until public-health officials from Bangkok came calling and told them the certificates were fake and then fined them.
Wutisak told the business owners he understood their situation, but that they should have known that SHA+ certificates are only issued by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, not Pattaya City Hall.
He did promise to look into the matter to determine if the person claiming to be a city government official – the name given to police was not disclosed – actually was a corrupt civil servant.