About tourist safety
Vendor sells tourist flowers, sticks something else in tourist's hand, later vendor demands more money, threatens, surrounds tourist, until they pay....
Sellers warned, don't menace tourists
People selling goods and services at tourist destinations should not intimidate people into buying their goods or paying extra, or they could end up in jail, a senior official of the Office of the Attorney General warned on Tuesday.
Prayuth P. Sattayarak, executive director of the Office of Criminal Litigation, said the Supreme Court recently imprisoned four vendors who ganged up to intimidate a woman who bought their garlands, to pay respect to the King Rama V Statue at Royal Plaza in Bangkok, into buying other items too.
Keng Santhanabool and three companions sold three garlands to a woman at 90 baht each, or 270 baht in total. The four men followed the woman when she went to light the candles and handed her 18 cigars. She took them and offered them to the statue. As she was about the leave, the four men demanded she pay another 360 baht for the cigars.
She at first refused, as she thought that the cigars were included in the price paid at the beginning. The four men surrounded and heckled her, so she finally decided to pay the money -- and then called the police to arrest them.
At the police station, the men offered to pay 10,000 baht compensation, but the woman declined to accept the money and took the case to court.
Mr Prayuth said the Office of the Attorney General indicted the four men for extortion of money. They were convicted and the Supreme Court finally gave them reduced prison terms of one year and four months.
He advised garland vendors at such locations to be aware of the sentencing and watch their behaviour.
Mr Prayuth said operators of services such as jet-ski or motorcycle rentals at beach resorts should also take heed, watch their behaviour and refrain from threatening or extorting their customers.
He said a lot of complaints circulated on the social media about jet-ski or motorcycle rental shops in Pattaya, Phuket, Samui and Cha-am causing trouble and intimidating tourists into paying extra.
“Such behaviour is considered to be extortion, and offenders will be imprisoned without parole,” Mr Prayuth said.
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