Massive fraud in tourism scheme
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has lodged a complaint with the Crime Suppression Division against almost 1,000 business operators for alleged fraud relating to the government's co-payment tourism scheme.
CSD deputy chief Pol Col Anek Taosuphap said on Friday the complaint involved fraudulent practices in the campaign known as the "Rao Tiew Duay Kan" (We Travel Together).
The complaint was against 934 business operators -- 448 hotels and 486 vendors -- across the country, mostly in the southern provinces.
Pol Col Anek said the fraud amounted to 1.7 billion baht and that the tricks used by the business operators were similar to those already charged in Chaiyaphum. These included people being paid to sign up for the scheme so cheats could profit.
The CSD has been working with Krungthai Bank to come up with measures to prevent people and businesses from exploiting the scheme.
About 3.5 million people registered with the scheme when it was launched in July last year. It allows participants to pay only 60% of normal hotel room rates, with the government responsible for the rest.
Tourists also receive an e-voucher for other spending valued at 600 baht from Friday to Sunday and 900 baht from Monday to Thursday. The government also helps pay 40% of the price of air tickets, up to 3,000 baht per person.