Abandoned Chinese tourists cry foul in Phuket

CHALONG, PHUKET: A Chinese tour guide is being held in Chalong Police Station after bringing 11 of his countrymen on vacation to Phuket and then abandoning them.

The tourists reportedly paid Bo Yang, 31, a total of almost a quarter of a million baht to accompany them from Shanghai on a week-long trip to Bangkok and Phuket.

When they awoke on Thursday at the Kata Sea Breeze Resort, Mr Bo Yang was gone – and they want their money back.

The group arrived in Bangkok on Sunday. They quickly sensed something was wrong.

“We felt strange with our guide,” said 27-year-old Ye Ying, one of the tourists. “He was always lying to us and we stopped trusting him.”

Despite their misgivings, when Mr Yang reportedly asked the tourists for a loan, they consented, keeping his passport as collateral.

When they discovered Mr Yang had yet to pay for flights to Phuket or even rooms on the island, they began to suspect he intended to flee.

“The hotel was booked at the airport just before we came to Phuket,” Ms Ying said.

On Thursday they discovered Mr Yang had fled.

They called Chalong Police, who contacted the errant guide and told him to come to Chalong Police Station to refund the tourists’ money at noon Thursday.

He failed to show.

At 6pm, he finally arrived, telling the tourists he didn’t have the money to refund them. Chalong Police took him into custody.

The tourists returned to the station yesterday evening but Mr Yang was still unable to come up with the money he borrowed from them.

The tourists are set to return to China today where they will pursue the case with Chinese police.

Mr Yang is to be released from custody in Phuket today and will not face any charges in Thailand.

It is unknown whether Mr Yang will be accompanying the tour group on their return to China.

— Atchaa Khamlo

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