By The Thaiger
They measured the boundaries of some hostels on Tuesday after receiving complaints that public areas had been encroached upon.
Officers found that a few of the hostels checked were using traffic cones to block off public areas for use as car-parking areas for their customers, for example.
Ladders and steps had also been hastily constructed, providing some hostels with direct access to the beach.
Officers demolished all structures which were found to be encroaching on public land.
Krabi vice governor Apinan Pueakpong said: “There were 52 illegal hostels in Ao Nang that have been ordered to shut down. These hostels have modified the buildings without a permit and are operating without proper licences.”
Officers – led by Lt-General Piyawat Nakwanit, commander of the Fourth Army, and Maj-General Pornsak Poonsawat, deputy commander of Army Region 4 – held a meeting at Krabi Provincial Hall later on Tuesday to explain to the media about the crackdown on the illegal hostels.
Piyawat said that many operators had been affected by the raid on illegal hostels.
More than 500 illegal rooms have been closed down, as they were competing with legal facilities and having an increasing impact on them.
In the short term, he said, he expected the shutdowns to have an impact on Krabi tourism and he advised the illegal accommodation providers to contact customers with future bookings.
Piyawat confirmed that hostel operators must follow the law.
They will have to modify their buildings in accordance with local codes and laws before they can open their hostels again, he stressed.