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Accusations involving tourists and locals are likely to be aired swiftly

Phuket Crime: Tourist Court Aims to Double Penalties, Says Vice Governor

Tuesday, August 6, 2013
EXCLUSIVE: Brave Enough to Change Phuket

PHUKET: A tourist court on Phuket is likely impose double penalties for crimes committed against tourists, a meeting heard yesterday.

Vice Governor Jamleran Tipayapongtada, who attended a key planning meeting in Bangkok on Friday, told Phuket council leaders that the court was likely to be ''a very special 100 percent promotion.''

''If you beat a tourist it would normally cost you 500 baht,'' he said. ''But if you beat a tourist and go to the tourist court, the price will be double,'' he said.

The vice governor and Phuket Governor Maitree Intrusud attended Friday's strategy meeting with Department of Special Investigation leaders and Ministry of Tourism and Sport officials.

From this coming Friday, the first Crime Crisis Centre will open on Phuket at the airport with a second coming soon, probably in Phuket City. Both will be open 24 hours.

Police from Bangkok will be on Phuket to carry out several campaigns, including one against illegal ''black'' taxis.

No time limit has been set and the action that begins on Friday is a campaign, not a short, sharp crackdown.

Vice Governor Jamleran told the meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall in Phuket City yesterday that the ''100 percent extra'' penalty for a crime against a tourist has yet to be confirmed but it was greeted enthusiastically by people at the meeting.

Tourist courts are likely to speed the process of justice for visitors who need to return home on schedule.

It's also hoped that local police and Tourist Police, who sometimes try to dissuade tourists from filing complaints, will be made more aware of the need for justice to be fully applied.

Earlier this year, a Chinese tourist who said she was kidnapped by a taxi driver at Phuket International Airport got little help from Tourist Police in Phuket City.

Two local Phuket women helped the tourist to pursue the case.

Phuket is likely to be the place where the tourist court is first introduced, then the ''Phuket model'' will be transported to Pattaya, Chiang Mai other destinations in Thailand.

It wasn't made clear at yesterday's meeting whether tourists convicted of crimes would also face double penalties, and whether expat residents would be categorised as tourists or treated the same as Thai citizens.

Phuketwan was the only Phuket news outlet with a reporter at yesterday's meeting.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


There's a few people I'd like to sort out - even at B1000 a pop it seems a bargain!

Posted by Mister Ree on August 6, 2013 12:57

Editor Comment:

That's what a jet-ski operator once told us, that a smack in the face was a bargain at 500 baht, or two for 1000 baht. An increase in penalty is long overdue.


I really do like to read this positive news. I do hope the authorities can pull this bunny out of the party hat. Well done and I pray that this action and court works for the benefit of all, except the wrongdoers.

Posted by Robin on August 6, 2013 13:37


only 500 baht for beating up some 1, why not jail time.or make them do comminity service picking up buts in the mains street for a month

Posted by Gt on August 6, 2013 13:41


Rent out a jet-ski one our and you can beat two tourists up, think it is affordable.

Posted by Sherlock on August 6, 2013 14:18


I fully support a speedier handling of cases involving people who are on Phuket just for a limited period of time.

Far too often cases are dropped because pursuing them would require months of stay on the island.

However to impose harsher penalties if the victim is of a certain group of people is against my principle of everyone being equal in front of the law.

I find it only acceptable when crimes are committed against law enforcement officers on duty but tourists ?


I don't think they are any more valuable than Thais, which is what this proposal spells to me.

Problem is not in the penalties applied (harsher penalties across the board would be needed) but in the unwillingness and biased approach and haphazard investigation methods of the Thai police force when a foreigner becomes the victim of a crime where the suspect is a Thai.

I don't see this proposal doing anything to change that.

Posted by ThaiMike on August 6, 2013 14:30

Editor Comment:

It's not possible to generalise, ThaiMike. Some cases proceed as normal, others do not. Thais also complain about some police investigations. It's a universal issue.


"Phuketwan was the only Phuket news outlet with a reporter at yesterdays meeting".
The Thai news media should be publicising this drive to eradicate violence against tourists too.
Well, i just wish jail sentences and/or property confiscation (e.g. tuk-tuks) would be introduced. Show them you really mean business. 1,000 Baht isn't much of a deterrent to a jetski operator beating 40,000 baht out of an unfortunate rider after having an "accident".

Posted by jimbo on August 6, 2013 14:42

Editor Comment:

There haven't been many cases of jet-ski hirers beating anyone, but certainly plenty of intimidation, for which the penalty is 000 baht.


Any improvements are of course welcome to protect everyone,not just tourists.

That said, it must also be equal punishment for both Thai and Foreigner as regardless of nationality any crime should be dealt with in accordance with the law.

Posted by Richard on August 6, 2013 14:49


The law is the same for everybody so of course this is not going to happen unless the laws are changed by lawmakers ... keep it as it is or increase the punishment for all.

Posted by Sailor on August 6, 2013 17:15


Great concept but the money is way too small. Think it should be a mandatory 7 days in jail (loss of earnings) plus a minimum 5000Baht fine plus paying for any hospital bills for the victim.

Posted by Fiesty Farang on August 7, 2013 12:16


Look at the low crime rate in Singapore, there you get lashed for certain crimes plus jail.

Posted by Fiesty Farang on August 7, 2013 12:41


It is almost comical that a penalty such as an "extremely low 500 baht" is imposed upon the attacker.
That is certainly not a deterent at all.
Like FiestyFerang says at least 5000baht and 7 days jail time increasing twofold if the same offence occurs again and threefold.....ect ect.

Posted by Kangaloo on August 7, 2013 13:03


''If you beat a tourist it would normally cost you 500 baht,'' he said. ''But if you beat a tourist and go to the tourist court, the price will be double,'' he said. Wow.. Wasn't sure about prices, but thanx for info that we have a fixed price for beating up Tourists... awesome. beat a TOURIST and pay for his lunch..

Posted by Frog on August 7, 2013 14:32


Justice must doubled all penalties and be compulsory for all civil servants in case of breach of duty, laxism or corruption and without royal pardon.

Posted by Whistle-Blower on August 7, 2013 19:05


double the fine, double the beating?

Posted by mikey on August 7, 2013 22:01

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