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Australian travel warning about jet-skis: next comes insurance fraud

Phuket Travel Warning: Don't Try Insurance Fraud

Tuesday, November 23, 2010
AUSTRALIA'S travel alerts are likely to soon warn visitors to Thailand about the dangers involved in attempting insurance fraud, the ''Phuket Parliament'' involving honorary consuls and leading Phuket officials heard yesterday.

Phuket's honorary consul for Australia, Larry Cunningham, told the gathering at Provincial Hall in Phuket City that larger numbers of travellers were going to police on Phuket, especially in Patong, saying: ''Somebody stole my bag, somebody stole my camera.''

''Police go to the tourist's room and find the camera, or the other allegedly stolen items,'' Mr Cunningham said.

Those caught in attempting insurance fraud on Phuket found themselves in a cell, and often incurred large extra costs that could include delays in flying home, the cost of a lawyer and a fine or even a jail term, he said.

Australia may well soon upgrade its warning to travellers to ''expect repercussions'' if they are caught attempting insurance fraud, he said.

At least two young women have been among the Australians caught on Phuket attempting insurance fraud this year. Visitors from other countries have also been accused of the crime with greater frequency.
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