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Now, 'Open Hunting Season' on Tourists in Thailand - Part 2 of 2


brutox

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[This post is twinned with "Now, 'Open Hunting Season' on Tourists in Phuket - Part 1 of 2", published in this section.]

 

This is a bold editorial published today by the Bangkok Post Editorial Board.  It warns the Thai government of the rising tide of concern and increasing actions by international diplomatic delegations to the problems of offical Thai corruption and crimes perpetrated with increasing impunity against foreigners in Thailand, and especially unsuspecting foreign tourists.

 

This disturbing Thai trend makes me think of Jamaica, and to what it has been reduced.  Formerly an attractive tourist destination, Jamaica is now a travel-at-your-own-risk destination ... official corruption and a lack of civil society.

 

We all expect scammers in holiday destinations, especially preying on unsuspecting tourists ... but ... when the police and courts are in on the scam, they become tghe Thai Mafia and we become their targets ... we've no where to go ... embassies cannot help, and they admit that.

 

Knowing that foreigners are totally vulnerable here, Thai crooks now collude with corrupt Royal Thai Police in the tourist destinations and have an 'open hunting season' on foreigners.

 

Victimizing foreigners has gotten bad enough that 18 EU and the Australian diplomatic delegations are now jointly and publicly chastising the Thai government for their failure to protect foreigners and enforce rule of law in Thailand ... a decidedly undiplomatic public display, but probably indicative of how serious the diplomatic missions now see the risks to their citizens.

 

I believe this situation is unlikely to improve, or materially change ... this is who Thais are, culturally ... the values influencing Thai behaviors are external (as in a culture of shame, where behavior is influenced only if they are seen by someone doing something wrong), rather than internal (as in a culture of guilt, where behavior is influenced by an internal moral compass requiring no external discipline to compel behavior).

 

I see nothing but government force to correct Thai behaviors, and Thai officialdom are themselves corrupted from top to bottom ... partnered with criminals, the Royal Thai Police are the Thai Mafia ... a foreign occupying force would be necessary to enforce any civilized rule of law here.

 

I've lived here for 13+ years, and did business here for years before that.  Thai crimes against innocent foreigners are worse now than ever.  But, more alarming is the impunity with which crimes against innocent foreigners by Thais are perpetrated is now frightening ... I now commonly witness Royal Thai Policemen pulling foreign tourist pedestrians aside on the sidewalks of Bangkok to shake them down.

 

I never used to avoid walking past a Thai policeman on the street ... but, I've been threatened with extortion by these Royal Thai Police crooks and now ... I do.

 

Tourists coming here should know that they are visiting a 3rd world civilization ... little different from Sub-Saharan Africa.

 

 ___________________________________________________________________________________________

 

http://www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opinion/356919/time-to-tame-tourist-scams

 

 

 

EDITORIAL

 

 

Time to tame tourist scams

 

Published Bangkok Post 26 June, 2013

 

It is a certainty, proved many times over, that where tourists gather, con artists show up. Holidaymakers have more money to dispose of, in a shorter time, than almost any group. They are out for enjoyment, and forget their own security. And there is a good chance they will leave quickly, providing a reason _ or excuse _ for authorities to overlook crimes against them.

 

As Phuket found out last week, such classic examples of fiddling while Rome burns bring consequences. Senior diplomats from 18 European countries descended on Phuket with the single aim of criticising and shaming the government and every official and policeman in the island province for allowing tourist scams and robberies to get so out of hand. Australia joined the critical chorus, and it seems Pattaya is about to get the same, understandable disapproval. Bangkok might be next on the list.

 

Authorities deserve every word of it. In some tourist centres, visitors are treated more like prey than guests. Infamous scams make a long list. The temple jewellery flim-flam, the damaged jet-ski shakedown and the songthaew strong arm are the most obnoxious stories going around the world.

 

Authorities have become dangerously close to the crimes. YouTube videos show Pattaya police colluding with jet-ski operators in the process of intimidating and robbing foreigners. In Phuket, police openly refuse to enforce the law against swindlers. Taxis and jet-skis are obvious centres of cheating, but fraud and violent bullying exist in a wide range of businesses, from real estate sales to the jewellery business.

 

At the top of the political chain, new Tourism and Sports Minister Somsak Pureesrisak was informed of a blatant scam targeting Chinese tourists, called "zero-dollar tours". It offers the mythical "free lunch", after which tourists by the bus load are put into the hands of high-pressure salesmen of junk and overpriced goods. Incredibly, instead of meeting this deceptive cheating head-on, Mr Somsak flew to Beijing to try to placate angry Chinese officials and tourist operators. While he was away, and after he returned, the confidence game continued to flourish.

 

Mr Somsak, then, bears a particular responsibility in this shady, shameful business. Not only is he the minister responsible, but he is fully aware of one of the worst anti-tourist confidence games being run in the country. He must be held accountable for any further lack of action, and complaints by Chinese tourists and authorities alike.

 

That is because cheating tourists has, indeed, become a business. It is a dirty, mostly illegal, always unethical, and inarguably harmful business. But it has become a subsidiary of the tourist industry. Like other filthy businesses such as drug trafficking, cheating tourists is without redeeming value. Arguing that cheating visitors gives employment and income is no different from supporting the dirty profits of human trafficking or drug smuggling.

 

Beating the cheats and re-establishing security is not just desirable _ it is mandatory. A reputation lost can never be regained. More is at stake than just the huge tourist industry and its millions of jobs. Cheating tourists is bad business for the entire country, and it needs to stop quickly.

 

Hunter S. Thompson Insert.jpg

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And they really thnk showing up with a lot of 'VIPS' is gonna make any difference .

Like always , for a few weeks there will be some extra attention but it will fade away

very quick and all will be like it always was .

 

The only way to get their attention or hurt the Thais is boycotting the country and/or

the products they export or in other words financially .   

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And they really thnk showing up with a lot of 'VIPS' is gonna make any difference .

Like always , for a few weeks there will be some extra attention but it will fade away

very quick and all will be like it always was .

 

The only way to get their attention or hurt the Thais is boycotting the country and/or

the products they export or in other words financially .   

 .

... I see that you live here, jerry, so you get it ... absolutely ... the Buddhist Analects on the evils of materialism is to the Thai's own brand of Theravada Buddhism a notion only, and practiced by so few Thais, no foreign observer would even suspect Thailand is a Buddhist nation based on their behaviors ... sadly, money is more powerful to Thais than their Buddha.

 

... but ... I believe warning tourists of the risks of visiting Thailand is exactly what the diplomats of these 19 nations are threatening ... perhaps it is a veiled threat, but their ability to significantly influence their citizens choice of holiday destination is not lost on Thai officials.

 

.... were you here to see the Thai government's squealing when half the civilized world's embassies released travel warnings for Thailand before the Iranian bombers were apprehended here a few years ago ... the government strenuously claimed there was no threat, Thailand was safe, tourists should come back, and that foreigners were unfairly damaging their reputations and economy.

 

... then ... Iranian terrorists were caught red-handed in BKK with bombs ready to go, and their targets in Thailand identified.

 

... while complaining about their unfair treatment, the Thai government presumably had all the same intel the other nations had ... the Thai government understands the leverage travel warnings issued by diplomats have ... so ... what did they demonstrate was more important to them? ... the money!

 

... as you, I think Thailand is incapable of changing their behavior of unbriddled corruption, even if they wished (I truely think they do not) ... Thai behavior is all about Thai cultural values ... and their cultural values are corrupted through and through ... the world is starting see beneath the thin veneer of insincere wais and smiles ... and the corrupt Thai government is a reflection of the Thai people who elect them ... representative democracy really does work!

 

... I believe changing cultural behavior can only be achieved: (i) externally, by enforcing civilized behavior through rule of law (which would require an occupying foreign force here); or, (ii) internally, by changing the cultural values themselves (and there are no Aung San Suu Kyi's, or Nelson Mandela's on the Thai horizon, or anyone presently here with the moral authority or interest to motivate Thais to rise above their tribal, feudal society).

 

... that's why I think of Thailand as a Jamaica in the making.

 

... anything that comes of the diplomatic public chastising of the Thais by 19 nations will be lip service only ... I hope the diplomats will maintain their nerve ... foreign tourism could be hurt ... and foreigners who do come will increasingly have to prepare to defend themselves against being shaken down by corrupt Thais and their corrupt Royal Thai Police partners.

 

... it just sucks to be a defenseless target in a country like this.

.

 

Hunter S. Thompson Insert.jpg

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If they think it's bad here they should try going to Tijuana for some mongering.

Retired

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Impunity also extends to foreigners - providing they have the baht.

 

I agree that corruption poisons everything -  though you get BMs who encourage it.

 

I can't debate Brutox on whether this is an inherent characteristic of Thais - but that view is contrary to my observations of human nature.

 

Plenty of other countries give Thailand a run for its money in the corruption stakes:

 

http://cpi.transparency.org/cpi2012/results/

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Impunity also extends to foreigners - providing they have the baht.

 

I agree that corruption poisons everything -  though you get BMs who encourage it.

 

I can't debate Brutox on whether this is an inherent characteristic of Thais - but that view is contrary to my observations of human nature.

 

Plenty of other countries give Thailand a run for its money in the corruption stakes:

 

http://cpi.transparency.org/cpi2012/results/

 

 

China would give them a run for their money.

 

Thais are just students, the Chinese are the teachers.

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I wonder why the British, US and Canadian embassies (which also account for a large number of tourists) didn't join in to significantly add pressure?

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