Operators frustrated by police scams
Tourism operators have expressed frustration over repeated scandals involving Thai police after they were accused of extorting a Taiwanese actress during her trip to the country.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) urged an investigation into the issue to evaluate its impact on the country.
Taiwanese actress Charlene An talked with media about her experience, claiming she was extorted of 27,000 baht by Thai police on Jan 4. The incident was widely reported by Taiwanese media this week.
The actress told reporters her group was stopped by police at a checkpoint, with the cops claiming her visa-on-arrival (VOA) was invalid.
After two hours, her group was asked to pay 27,000 baht to be released.
The president of the Tourism Council of Chonburi said related organisations and the Royal Thai Police must investigate the issue, punishing anyone involved if they committed a crime.
"As Chinese and Taiwanese tourists return to Thailand, this will affect the country's image," he said.
He said roughly 2,000 Taiwanese tourists per day apply for a visa to Thailand.
Taiwan citizens are eligible for a 30-day VOA in Thailand.
He said scams or tourist extortion, such as taxi drivers who charge high prices without using the meter, are persistent problems in all major tourist destinations.
Learn from listening
- crime: an illegal activity or action - อาชญากรรม
- extort: to try to illegally obtain something by force or threat - รีดไถ
- extortion: the crime of trying to obtain something by force or threat - การขู่กรรโชก รีดไถ
- image: an opinion that people have about someone or something - ภาพลักษณ์
- impact (noun): an effect or influence - ผลกระทบ
- invalid: not able to be used legally - เป็นโมฆะ
- persistent: continuing - อย่างต่อเนื่อง
- punish: to make somebody suffer because they have broken the law or done something wrong - ทำโทษ
- scam: a dishonest plan, especially for getting money - กลโกง, แผนร้าย
- urge: to advise someone very strongly about what action or attitude they should take - ผลักดัน, กระตุ้น