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Same same but different tourists in Pattaya

Pattaya One

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The recent arrest by Pattaya police of an Algerian ATM scammer, alleged to be behind at least an 80 million baht fraud, was a great result.

I noted the thief had come from to Pattaya from Phuket, yet another export from that crime-riddled island to wash up on Pattaya’s innocent shores.

The Pattaya police also recently collared two Russians wanted in their own country on money-laundering charges totalling US$ 25 million.

These two arrests for serious crimes had me thinking that whatever Thailand and Pattaya do to attract new, high-end tourists from new markets and from different parts of the world, the net result seems to always be the same.

It is no surprise that as the old tourists and longtime residents from Europe, the US and Australia are squeezed out by visa shake-ups,  in come the Indians, Iranians, Arabs, Africans and, in massive numbers, the Russians, to replace them.

There are always some very bad apples in Thailand’s tourist harvest, wherever they come from, and Pattaya usually ends up with more than its fair share of them.

This is exemplified by the steady stream of drug busts at Bangkok airport, where Iranians, Arabs, Indians and Africans are being arrested by the day.

Iranians are generally nicked for smuggling the drug ‘Ice”, whereas Indians prefer smuggling ketamine, with one smuggler recently caught with $2,000,000 worth of the stuff.

We also had the recent case of an Iranian caught in Pattaya, who had a methamphetamine laboratory in his condo in Bangkok, and a Nigerian with drugs stuffed up his bum, also caught in Pattaya.

Add to those numbers the Russians regularly arrested in Bangkok and Pattaya on international warrants for drug crimes in Russia, and you can see that whatever Thailand and Pattaya do to bring in posher tourists, they seem to end up with more than their fair share of criminals.

I wonder if Thailand may be perceived around the world as a soft touch and a place where you can pay to get out of trouble, or to get bail for even heinous crimes, after which you can do a bunk without ever having to face the courts in Thailand.

This might make it an attractive destination for many people bent on committing international crime.

InPattayaNow?d=yIl2AUoC8zA InPattayaNow?d=qj6IDK7rITs

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