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Phuket scam artists ‘targeting Similans tour operators’

PHUKET: The Similans National Park Office has issued a warning to tour operators that con artists have been posing as parks officials and trying to sell them fake entry passes to the park.

By Naraporn Tuarob

Monday 30 September 2013, 12:02PM

The Similans – an increasingly popular place for tourists to visit.

The Similans – an increasingly popular place for tourists to visit.

Normally, tour companies are charged a set fee for each tourist they bring into the park, with another charge each time they bring a boat into the park, but the con artist is offering a flat fee for the season, based on the size of engine in the boats they use.

Nut Kongkesorn, Chief of the Similans National Park told The Phuket News today (September 30) that details of the scam were a little vague, and that he did not now the prices being quoted, or how many people are involved in the scam.

“I was told by a source that there are people claiming to be National Park officers telling tour operators that if they want to get into the Similans and get the discount, they can pay a flat rate instead of paying the boat fee and for tickets according to the number of tourists on board.

“I am afraid that tour operators will fall for this scam, so I sent a letter around to warn them. Also, I would like to let them know that I am not ignoring this problem.

Laguna Golf Phuket

“I still don’t know whether the person or people involved are real Park officers or not, so if you are contacted by them, please call me at 081-3109306 or call the Similans National Park Office at 076-453-272 and tell me who the person is.

“I would like to stress again: Don’t believe them. We have never had such a policy for collecting National Park fees.”

The Similans National Park is due to open to tourists on October 15, after being closed for the monsoon season.



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