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Hotels and restaurants raided, 50 arrested for allegedly cheating “We Travel Together” subsidy scheme

Caitlin Ashworth

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PHOTO: MGR Online

Several hotels and restaurants in Phuket and Chaiyaphum were raided this morning and 50 people were arrested for allegedly stealing from the government subsidy scheme “We Travel Together.” The scheme was launched to help businesses that were financially hit by the lack of tourists during the Covid-19 pandemic and to stimulate the battered economy.

Last month, the Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Yuthasak Supasorn filed a criminal complaint against 312 hotels and 202 shops for allegedly cheating the scheme which covered 40% of room rates and offered e-vouchers. Instead of lowering prices to draw in more travellers, some hoteliers and restaurateurs allegedly raised their prices to get more subsidies.

This morning, police arrested 38 people in Chaiyaphum and 12 people in Phuket suspected of cheating the subsidy scheme. Suspects, including hotel and restaurant operators, face charges ranging from fraud and false identification to misusing electronic cards and adding fraudulent information to the computer system.

Nation Thailand says the verification system for the scheme was not stringent and people were able to register fake hotels and list fake bookings. Some hotel operators recorded higher prices for rooms to get a bigger payoff from the government.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Andrzej

    Wednesday, January 27, 2021 at 8:00 pm

    That’s normal in Thailand. They will cheat on their own grandmother or mother-in-law. It is in their blood.

  2. Avatar

    Bill

    Wednesday, January 27, 2021 at 8:34 pm

    Yea but the rules didn’t say they couldn’t raise prices…

  3. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Wednesday, January 27, 2021 at 10:06 pm

    No surprise there. The schemes was wide open to scams.
    Of course I blame their parents.

  4. Avatar

    Ian

    Thursday, January 28, 2021 at 1:13 am

    Whatever Thailand does it always leaves loopholes for lowlife to scam it so again and again we knock them for this I hope one day I can praise the government but alas under this dictatorship it ain’t gonna happen any day soon

  5. Avatar

    Anh Lam

    Thursday, January 28, 2021 at 6:03 am

    Welcome to the land if Smiles and Corruption. Amazing Thailand!

  6. Avatar

    Andy W

    Thursday, January 28, 2021 at 11:03 am

    Someone didn’t give the right people their tea money …

  7. Avatar

    Kim

    Thursday, January 28, 2021 at 11:31 am

    There are definitely many more outlets which has carried out fraud. We have been to Phi Phi twice and both times the hotel fiddled with the bill and the daily fnb voucher and 40pct discount. Interestingly we have not experienced any fiddling while staying in hotels in Bangkok.

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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