Thailand vows to get tough on frauds against foreign tourists

PHUKET: Thailand’s deputy prime minister in charge of national security has vowed to prevent foreign tourists from being cheated during their visits to the country, including, specifically, Phuket.

Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban said after attending meetings with the Tourist Fraud Prevention Committee that the problem needs to be eliminated.

He said that there are many forms of cheating, starting with Thais cheating foreign tourists, foreign tourists teaming up to cheat other foreigners, and Thais and foreigners working together to cheat foreign tourists.

He added that from the year 2007 to 2010, around 6,000 Thais were arrested for cheating tourists, and 517 groups of foreign gangs were arrested.

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Meanwhile, Suthep said that the recent mob of taxi drivers in Phuket province, who blockaded the Phuket Deep Sea Port to prevent tourists from using pre-booked tour company vans, was done to express their dissatisfaction over “unfair tour agencies”.

The taxi and tuk-tuk drivers claim the tour agencies tend to provide large buses for tourists, leaving taxi drivers with no passengers. For the Phuket Gazette report on that incident, as well as an editorial on Phuket’s transport cartels generally, click here and here.

Suthep has also set up four subcommittees to work on eliminating fraud.

He has assigned the Tourism and Sports Permanent Secretary Sombat Kuruphan the responsibility of preventing Tourist Fraud in Bangkok and at Suvarnabhumi Airport.

At the same time, Interior Permanent Secretary Deputy Pranai Suwannarat will be in charge of towns frequented by tourists, such as Phuket, Pattaya, and Chaing Mai.

— Thai Asean News Network

Phuket News

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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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