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Hundreds of tourism operators face fraud charges for allegedly cheating subsidy scheme

Caitlin Ashworth

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Hundreds of tourism operators face fraud charges for allegedly cheating subsidy scheme | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Siamrath
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Hundreds of tourism operators face fraud charges for allegedly cheating the government’s “We Travel Together” subsidy scheme which was intended to help tourism businesses financially hit by the coronavirus pandemic and stimulate travel.

Instead of lowering prices to draw in more travellers, some hoteliers and restaurateurs allegedly raised their prices to get more subsidies. The scheme paid 40% of room rates for travellers and offered e-vouchers worth 600 baht to 900 baht for a traveller’s daily spending. Apparently, there were even fake hotel bookings, including from hotels that were no longer open, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand, or TAT.

TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn filed a complaint against 312 hotels and 202 shops as well as a few customers. He met with deputy national police chief Damrongsak Kittiprapat to report evidence of fraudulent transactions and ask police to prosecute the tourism operators. The government is preparing a second phase of the “We Travel Together” scheme and Yuthasak says legal action needed to be taken before the second phase is launched.

The Crime Suppression Division will investigate the case, Damrongsak says.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Mister Stretch

    Wednesday, December 16, 2020 at 5:19 pm

    “Hundreds of tourism operators face fraud charges for allegedly cheating the government’s “We Travel Together” subsidy scheme which was intended to help tourism businesses financially hit by the coronavirus pandemic and stimulate travel.”

    All those surprised, raise your right hand.

    Right.

    • Avatar

      Rasputin

      Wednesday, December 16, 2020 at 5:28 pm

      Well my hand is still firmly in my pocket!!! What on earth did the Thai government expect?

      • Avatar

        Ynwaps

        Wednesday, December 16, 2020 at 8:41 pm

        Everything according to plan. They investigated and found a couple poor humans who thought it be smart to cheat the system. Now they’re being prosecuted and it will be a warning for the next hotel stimulus.

        The rules are obviously not good enough to prevent fraud so Thailand might be investing into crypto AI blockchain projects to prevent fraud. This should also help smaller tourism businesses financially, without the fear of being falsely prosecuted.

  2. Avatar

    Mike

    Wednesday, December 16, 2020 at 6:43 pm

    What a surprise! I’m totally shocked a Thai would do such a thing !

  3. Avatar

    Mikael Tonning Chokprod

    Wednesday, December 16, 2020 at 7:34 pm

    555 BIG surprise

  4. Avatar

    Issan John

    Wednesday, December 16, 2020 at 9:37 pm

    What does ANY government expect?!

    Look at the “Eat Out to Help Out” schemes in the UK and elsewhere.

    All doomed to failure and inviting fraud – how could it be otherwise, anywhere?

    The only difference appears to be that other countries realised it was going to happen and did it anyway, hoping it would be a boost to the economy even if it wasn’t across the board, and the Thai authorities somehow expected everyone to be honest.

    Naive is hardly the right word.

  5. Avatar

    Larry

    Wednesday, December 16, 2020 at 10:53 pm

    Amazing Thailand:((

  6. Avatar

    Paulnou

    Wednesday, December 16, 2020 at 11:12 pm

    They had a budget to spend for helping hotels & restaurants, budget being used up so it worked, benefiaries are hotels + restaurants or not ?
    Guess they should only procecute obviously closed ones in looking at where they also sent the subsidies

  7. Avatar

    ThomasW

    Thursday, December 17, 2020 at 1:32 am

    This can’t be made up. Thailand cheats Thailand. Awesome. Thai greed has no limits, it had to expected. They not only destroyed the foreign market, they now sunk the domestic market as well.

  8. Avatar

    albert zweistein

    Thursday, December 17, 2020 at 4:07 am

    TIT, explains everything.

  9. Avatar

    MasterOfDisaster

    Thursday, December 17, 2020 at 7:40 am

    Land of SCAM!!

  10. Avatar

    Geoff

    Thursday, December 17, 2020 at 12:02 pm

    A lot of “misunderstandings”? Thainess – love it!

  11. Avatar

    Preesy Chepuce

    Thursday, December 17, 2020 at 2:24 pm

    Sounds almost like a honey trap.

  12. Avatar

    Andy

    Thursday, December 17, 2020 at 2:33 pm

    LoS but….NOT Smiles!

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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.

Thailand

16 Thai Navy officials investigated for alleged involvement in drug trafficking

Caitlin Ashworth

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16 Thai Navy officials investigated for alleged involvement in drug trafficking | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

The Royal Thai Navy is investigating 16 of its officials for alleged involvement in a drug trafficking operation earlier this month in the Isaan province Nong Khai which borders Laos. If the officials are found guilty, the Navy will immediately take both disciplinary and legal action, according to a spokesperson.

Local officials reportedly seized 2 million amphetamine tablets and 116 kilograms of methamphetamine from a suspect who allegedly smuggled the drugs across the Mekong River, which borders the province. The suspect allegedly fled the scene.

2 Navy officers took the drugs from local officials, saying they would secure the evidence and hold a press conference, which never happened, according to a complaint filed with the Anti-Corruption Police by the Crime Victims Assistance Club chairperson.

“About 20 minutes after the drug seizure, two men who claimed that they were officials from Navy’s Mekong Patrol Operation Command took the drugs from Nong Khai officials, saying that they would secure the evidence and later hold a press conference on the drug seizure… However, the press event was later cancelled.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Bangkok

Police arrest man suspected of producing ketamine drug cocktail linked to 11 deaths

Caitlin Ashworth

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Police arrest man suspected of producing ketamine drug cocktail linked to 11 deaths | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thairath

In the ongoing investigation into the ketamine-based drug cocktail linked to 11 deaths in Bangkok, police arrested a man who allegedly mixed large amounts of narcotics to make the drug cocktail known as “K powdered milk.” Police say the cocktail is ketamine mixed with methamphetamine, heroin and pharmaceutical pills for anxiety and sleeping.

38 year old Taiwan national Chou Yi Sen, aka “Lupin Taiwan,” was arrested yesterday after police raided his condominium in Bangkok’s Ratchathewi district. Chou allegedly admitted to mixing the drugs to make “K powdered milk” and police say the formulas for the drug mixture were found on his cell phone.

Earlier this month, 11 people died after taking the drug cocktail. The Bangkok Post says dozens more people are still in the hospital after taking the “K powdered milk.” Police have arrested numerous suspected drug dealers who ran small scale and large scale operations.

Chou allegedly ran the drug operation from various locations in Bangkok, selling the drugs overseas using the cryptocurrency Bitcoin as well as to buyers in Thailand. Police also searched Chou’s rooms at other condominium the Huai Khawang, Wang Thong Lang and Klong Toey districts, seizing a variety of illicit drugs and equipment as well as a pistol with 8 bullets.

Altogether, police seized 4 kilograms of ketamine, 376 ecstasy pills, 4 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, 8 kilograms of heroin, 48 LSD tabs, 11.6 grams of cocaine, 2 bottles of Dormicum sleeping pills and 265 Five Five sleeping pills. Police say they also seized 2 plastic sealing machines, 2 mixers that appeared to have drug-like residue and 2 digital scales.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Bangkok

Police in Bangkok arrest 3 people for allegedly selling cannabis cookies

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Police in Bangkok arrest 3 people for allegedly selling cannabis cookies | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Tidhoo

Police in Bangkok arrested 3 people for allegedly making cannabis cookies and selling them through the messaging application LINE under a chat group called “The Hippy Cookie.” Police raided a condominium room in the Bang Na district and seized 13 “foreign types” of cannabis, 46 food products made with cannabis and 3 types of hallucinogenic mushrooms.

Using the LINE messaging app, the suspects allegedly sold cannabis and cannabis food products. The suspects allegedly sent the cannabis to buyers using a food delivery service.

An investigator joined the chat group and posed as a buyer, ordering 5 grams of cannabis for 3,500 baht. When the cannabis was sent through the food delivery service, police asked the driver to return the package to the suspects. Police say a suspect came down to receive the returned package. Investigators then searched the suspect’s condominium room.

One of the female suspects allegedly told the police that she used to sell cookies (regular cookies), adding that she has an interest in cannabis. She then studied how to make cannabis cookies and contact cannabis suppliers in Thailand before starting the illegal business with her boyfriend and a friend. She allegedly told police she started the business a year ago and has more than 100 regular customers.

The suspects were charged with illegally processing and distributing narcotic drugs. Parts of the cannabis plant with high amounts of the psychoactive component tetrahydrocannabinol, such as the buds, are still classified in Thailand as a Category 5 narcotic.

SOURCE: Pattaya News

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