Illegal Thai tour guides busted in Phuket

PHUKET: Three illegal Thai tour guides were arrested in front of their tour groups in Phuket yesterday.

Thanachai Sae-yang, 29, was the first of the three swept up in the raid as he lead a group of Chinese tourists through the Kathu Temple grounds.

Though Mr Thanachai is a registered tour guide – he was working outside of Chachoengsao Province, which is where he is permitted to work, explained Pensirirat Artthaweekul, head of the Bureau of Tourism Business and Guide Registration.

“He was charged for the improper use of his tour guide licence,” Ms Pensirirat said.

The other two tour guides caught during the random checks were Suphachia Saeyang and Teeruch Monochouw. Both were arrested at Phuket’s iconic Promthep Cape.

“Mr Suphachia was breaking the law in the same way as Mr Thanachai. However, Mr Teeruch attempted to get away with producing a fake tour guide card – he was charged accordingly,” Ms Pensirirat explained.

Santi Pawai, director of the Ministry of Tourism and Sport (MOTS) Phuket office, explained after the raid that he believed that the number of illegal tour guides operating on the island was decreasing.

“We still receive some reports, but not as many as we used to,” Mr Santi said.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

Phuket News

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