Foreigners, particularly Russians, accused of working illegally in Phuket

The Phuket Information Centre (ศูนย์ข้อมูลภูเก็ต) Facebook page accused foreigners, particularly Russians, of operating illegal businesses and working illegally in Phuket.

Phuket Information Centre Facebook page shared with its followers last Sunday, February 5, that…

“A lot of foreigners stay and work in Phuket, both legally and illegally. Recently, a group of foreigners started a car rental business. They offered both cars and minibuses and also served tourists as chauffeurs. They steal jobs from Thai people!”

The page added in the comment…

“If anyone has more information on this, please send it to the page’s admin. We together with the Phuket Tourist Police will get rid of this issue.”

The Facebook post gained widespread attention on Thai social media, particularly among Phuket residents. Many shared their personal experiences of encountering illegal foreign-run businesses and claimed that these foreigners took their job opportunities. People said…

“I saw Russian people working as chauffeurs for a Phuket city tour. They also offered an airport drop-off service and a car rental service in the province.”

“I saw a Russian guide in Pha Ngan yesterday. They also offered a touring car.”

“I saw a lot of Russian taxi drivers picking up customers from my restaurant.”

“They are singers and musicians at restaurants and bars too. Do they have work permits?”

“They did it for a long time already. I have a construction contractor company and have lost so many projects to Russian civil engineers. I used to deal directly with Thai employers, but right now I have to be their supplier.”

An advisor to the Public Health Commission, Ariyatach Chatariyapongm commented on the post urging the page to report the issue to the Government Complaint Centre under the Office of the Prime Minister.

Many netizens agreed that the official might ignore the case even though the page reported it.

The issue is similar to the conflict over several new restaurants and food shops on Yaowarat Road that are owned by Chinese citizens.

Thai people questioned officials about the permits and rights to operate the business, which led to the investigation and arrest of some Chinese restaurant owners and workers.

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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.