The Court of the First Instance acquitted all 13 defendants in August last year for insufficient evidence.
The three defendants who were fined are Somkiat Khongcharoen, 59, Thawal Jaemchokechai, 61, and Winit Chantharamanee, 71, who are directors of Fuan Travel Co Ltd.
The Appeal Court found them guilty of luring foreign tourists with cheap fees and later making a profit by bringing them to buy products at inflated prices.
By offering zero-dollar tour service, they took advantage of tourists and tarnished the Thai tourism industry, the court said.
The Appeal Court based the ruling on the testimonies of executives of the Tourism Authority of Thailand and the Department of Tourism.
Meanwhile, the Appeal Court acquitted:
- Nisa Rojrungrangsi, 63, Managing Director of Royal Gems International Co, Thai Herb Co, Bangkok Handicraft Centre Co and Royal Paradise Co;
- her husband Thongchai, 62;
- their son Wasurat, 28, Managing Director of OA Transport;
- and their daughter Saithip, 37, Director of Baan Kanom Thongthip.
Their six companies, which run transport and retail businesses were also defendants in the case.
The Appeal Court ruled that the 10 other defendants did not run tourism businesses but only leased buses to tour firms or sold foods and products. In addition, the tourists never complained the defendants took advantage of them, the court ruled.
Public prosecutors filed the case in October 2016, charging them with illegal association, money laundering, operating tourism services for free which may cause damage to the tourism industry, taking advantage of tourists and operating tourism services without permission.
They said all the defendants colluded with one another in bringing inbound tourists through cheap tour packages so they could buy products at exorbitant prices from shops in their network from March 24 to Aug 31, 2016.
The prosecutors estimated damage from the alleged crime at B98 million.
All of the defendants denied the charges.
It is unclear whether the prosecutors will appeal the ruling.
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