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Two arrested as illegal Phuket tour guides

PHUKET: Two Thai men were arrested for working illegally as tour guides when the tour bus they were travelling on was stopped at a checkpoint on the east side of Phuket Town late yesterday afternoon (Dec 22).

tourism, crime,

Eakkapop Thongtub

Saturday 23 December 2017, 11:06AM

Tawatchai Saelee, 22, and Pee Srimuang, 30, were taken into custody at 5pm at the checkpoint, set up on Sri Suthat Rd in Rassada by officials from the Muang District Office.

Their tour company was also accused of hiring illegal tour guides, breaching the Tourism Business and Guide Act, reported the officials, but did not disclose the tour operator’s name.

Also arrested at the checkpoint while travelling on a tour bus Tawat Jindapon, 47, who was found in possession of 400 millilitres of liquid kratom, the officials reported.

It was not reported whether Tawat was on the same tour bus that Tawatchai and Pee were travelling on, or whether Tawat was working illegally as a tour guide.

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All three men were taken to Phuket City Police Station and charged accordingly, the officials noted.

The arrests follow more than 30 Phuket tour guides, all members of the Professional Tourist Guide Association of Thailand (PGA), staging a protest at Promthep Cape on Thursday afternoon (Dec 21), furious at the rapidly increasing numbers of illegal Chinese tour guides on the island. (See story here).

The Chinese-speaking tour guides, led by Wanchai Taweeapiradeepitak, held signs in Thai, Chinese and English languages complaining about what are, according to them, illegal Chinese-speaking tour guides working across the island.



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Kurt | 23 December 2017 - 13:51:11

Stopping tour busses with tourists as shown on photos is not exactly a tourist promoting happening. 
The tourists sure had not that in mind when they started their paid guided tour that afternoon.
Shocking experience to see your bus sudden surrounded by soldiers during your tour. It feeds 'junta thinking'.
Do authorities on Phuket realize that this is not 'tourist promoting' to ...

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Kurt | 23 December 2017 - 13:26:44

These arrests are just to relax the tour guide situation on Phuket a bit for the eye of the world.
Seen the number of illegal tour guides on Phuket it shows that the authorities/officials don't care about or for certain reasons close their eyes for it.
But protests/demonstrations ( hello, of more than 5 people?) at Phromthep Cape disturb the status quo between illegal tour guides and officia...

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