CrimeThailandTourism

Thailand VIP packages offered on Chinese e-commerce platform Taobao

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) insists no VIP service packages or fast passes have been made available for purchase in China despite a Thai travel blogger revealing that those services and elite visas are indeed available to buy on the Chinese e-commerce platform Taobao.

Thai police are already under fire over the scandalous video of three police officers escorting a female Chinese tourist and her mother from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport to a hotel in Pattaya.

The Chinese woman stated in the video that she booked an airport transfer service with an agency and that agency urged her to pay more to get a better, more convenient service provided by the Royal Thai Police (RTP).

Many Thai citizens questioned the RTP and relevant departments about whether the VIP package and police transfer service mentioned by the tourist was actually available or not.

Netizens brought it to public attention that various illegal services are being sold on Chinese social media platforms. These services include IVF services, VIP airport transfer services with the assistance of Thai police, elite or long-term visa services, driving license services, bodyguard services, bank account opening services, etc.

According to Thanate Phetsuwan, deputy governor of the TAT, the TAT conducted an investigation and found no Chinese travel agencies offering illegal VIP packages or services such as driving license services, bodyguard services, bank account opening services, etc. to tourists. He stated that the female tourist may have reached out to the officers directly.

A Thai travel blogger opposed the TAT statement. The travel blogger posted on a Facebook account called Let’s Go to China (ลุยจีน) today saying…

“We are going to review how to buy Thailand Fast Pass via the e-commerce platform Taobao. It’s easy and convenient. Many shops already took their packages down after the viral video.”

The Facebook page stated that more than 30 online shops offered police escort services. What Chinese tourists had to do was just search for the keyword 泰国快速通关 (Thailand fast pass) on the platform and buy them.

According to a Facebook post, illegal VIP services were being offered to tourists in Thailand by Chinese travel agencies.

The services, which include fast track lanes at immigration checkpoints, were being advertised at prices ranging from 700 to 1,600 baht and could be booked at any airport in the country.

The most sought-after service, as per the page, was the fast track lane at immigration, where customers would be assisted by Thai police officers and would not have to wait in line for document checks.

The government department has not yet issued a statement regarding the information posted on the Facebook page. In the meantime, three police officers have been temporarily removed from their positions as the investigation continues.

The deputy commissioner of the Tourist Police Thailand, Apichart Suriboonya, stated that the female Chinese tourist who posted the video would not be questioned for now.

Apichart said the issue was sensitive and could affect the relationship between Thailand and China, so the officers had to carefully consider the questioning.

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger focusing on Thai news and what's happening in Thailand. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp.