Phuket authorities to tackle illegal Russian, Korean tour agents

PHUKET: Vice Governor Nivit Aroonrat yesterday ordered that a multi-agency provincial task force be set up to tackle the rising number of Russian and Korean tour agents operating illegally in Phuket.

V/Gov Nivit revealed the news at a joint meeting at the Tourist Police headquarters in Phuket Town.

“There are more than 100 Korean and about 20 to 30 Russian illegal tour operators in Phuket. They have been set up in Thailand with the use of Thai nominees,” said V/Gov Nivit.

“These companies are expanding to include restaurants, souvenir shops, karaoke businesses, massage parlors, internet cafes, real estate, hotels and tour counters,” he added.

V/Gov Niwit assigned the Phuket Tourist Police, the Tourism Business and Guide Registration Office, Phuket’s Tourism and Sports office, the Department of Business Development, the Phuket Guide Association and the Phuket Tourist Association to form a task force to tackle the issue.

“This is a serious problem. [First] We will setup a meeting and hold discussions with these foreign companies to try for resolution. If we are forced to play rough, we will not have much choice other than to arrest them,” V/Gov Nivit said.

“I do not want to take action against anyone unless they are breaking the law. Another meeting will be held next month to discuss the results,” he added.

Capt Siramate Thanapansiri of the Phuket Tourist Police said the task force would begin work on the issue as soon as it is authorized to do so.

— Chutharat Plerin

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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