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Elodie Triche, her husband and child: all three were detained and mistreated by Immigration officers at Phuket International Airport

Phuket Abuses, Scams, Dishonesty Noted in News Agency's Timely Report

Friday, July 19, 2013
PHUKET: The case of a French couple who were arrested and mistreated by Immigration officers at Phuket airport earlier this year has been raised by the international news agency, AFP.

As well as quoting tourist Elodie Triche as saying ''such treatment is unacceptable,'' the article highlights the lack of fairness and proper law enforcement on Phuket.

''From jet-ski scams to robbery, assault and even police extortion, for the millions of tourists who flock to Thailand each year the kingdom does not always live up to its reputation as the 'Land of Smiles,' the article says, focusing particularly on Phuket.

Although it's noted that most people enjoy their Phuket holidays, a substantial number of people are - as the article says - ripped off, scammed or extorted.

Australian police volunteer Wal Brown, who patrols the west coast nightlife tourist hub of Patong several times a week, tells AFP: "There are a lot of people who get drugged here.

''A couple of years ago we had two Italians walk out of the bush. They couldn't remember anything for three days.

''All their money and clothes were stolen. They only had their jocks (underwear) on,'' he added.

Phuket police say they recognise the problem but insist they are doing the best they can with their stretched resources. Many cases lapse without the perpetrators being found.

David Lipman, European Ambassador to Thailand and host of a meeting between all European Union countries and Phuket's Governor in June, says jet-skis and motorcycle renters add to Phuket's poor reputation.

''People rent out motorbikes. In the middle of the night they're stolen by the people who rented them out in the first place and the next day they say 'let's have our motorbike.'''

Tourists often receive second-rate treatment and police sometimes fail to act when tourists are the victims.

''We expect proper standards of behavior from public officials,'' Mr Lipman told AFP. ''Let's face it, there is a bit of corruption going on and we hope that will be avoided.''

AFP has a large number of contracts with publishers around the world so the article noting Phuket's lack of proper standards will be read by millions.

At the request of Thailand's Government, a team from the Department of Special Investigations - Thailand's equivalent of the FBI - is due on Phuket next week to begin an examination of why Phuket fails to meet international standards of treatment and law enforcement.

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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Lets hope AFP will send some real investigative journalists to actually ask testing questions of the officials who run this island and those people who see it and have used it as their private fiefdoms.I will be checking their web site from now on fingers crossed.

Posted by scunner on July 20, 2013 02:31

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''Let's face it, there is a bit of corruption going on and we hope that will be avoided.''

Understatement of the year perhaps?

Posted by Pete on July 20, 2013 08:11

Editor Comment:

Diplomats are always diplomatic. If an envoy works up the courage to utter the word ''corruption,'' you can bet the place is awash in it. And you'd be right.

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[...] above all, the tourism industry can make a very significant part in making known to the world our traditions, culture and the vrtues of the Thai people which will invite consideration nd esteem for the Thai nation. This archvement will indeed be more precious than banknotes and coins."

Opening Speech of Field Marshal Sarit Thanarat at the Founding Ceremony of the Tourism Organization of Thailand (1960)

Some Thai Officials should remind his words...

Posted by Martin on July 20, 2013 20:46

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Never ever take a jet ski in thailand. Its a must scam.

Posted by zain on October 27, 2013 10:33


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