tengoku
The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search


‘Zero-dollar’ Chinese tour firms acquitted of defrauding tourists

‘Zero-dollar’ Chinese tour firms acquitted of defrauding tourists

BANGKOK: The Supreme Court has acquitted seven people and six companies of charges relating to “zero-dollar” tours organised allegedly to defraud Chinese visitors.

tourismChinese
By Bangkok Post

Friday 4 March 2022, 03:12PM


Pol Lt Gen Surachate Hakparn, Commander of the Tourist Police at the time, leads the seizure of more than 2,500 buses as police seized more than B4.7 billion in assets of OA Transport and its 381 affiliated firms in 2026. Photo: Tourist Police / file

Pol Lt Gen Surachate Hakparn, Commander of the Tourist Police at the time, leads the seizure of more than 2,500 buses as police seized more than B4.7 billion in assets of OA Transport and its 381 affiliated firms in 2026. Photo: Tourist Police / file

The Criminal Court read the Supreme Court’s ruling on Thursday (Mar 3) dismissing charges against seven Thai nationals accused of running the country’s biggest zero-dollar tour network.

The charges included running unauthorised tours and laundering money. The court found they were not warranted.

Among the companies acquitted was Fuan Travel, which had been accused of enticing Chinese visitors in 2016 to visit Thailand on the promise of a free-of-charge arrangement whereby, in cooperation with OA Transport and its fleet of 2,500 tour buses, the company would take tourists to allied souvenir shops which would sell overpriced and inauthentic goods.

OA Transport allegedly shared 40% of its income with tour companies and 5% with tour guides. The collaboration was alleged to have been responsible for B98 million in losses to tourists.

In finding the defendants not guilty, the court said the companies were engaged in a normal practice within the industry in which transport companies hire out their vehicles to business partners for tourism-related activities.

PaintFX

The court said the programme took in jewellery and leather shops, bird’s nest sellers and other types of businesses offering products that are in fact popular with Chinese visitors.

It also said that because these shops were operated by many sellers, not just by those within the defendants’ alliance, competition was not undermined.

The court also deemed the products were not overpriced or of poor quality. Further, a commission fee going to tour operators was conventional practice, the court said.

Since the tourists were not overcharged, the zero-dollar programme did not cause damage to the tourism industry. Nor were the defendants involved in money laundering.

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

CAPTCHA

skip | 09 March 2022 - 02:08:17

This was not within the parameters of the tourist police. The lt general should be jailed and stripped of his assets as a warning to the TPD that they are tourist ASSistants as set out in thier govt mandate. They are not RTP and the TPD must report legal issues to the RTP for investigation. This lt gen BROKE THE LAW and his subordinates should be demoted as a warning not to obey illegal orders.

Kurt | 05 March 2022 - 14:22:24

@Pooliekev.  Really? Why you not told the RTP earlier there was no zero dollar scheme? Anyway the Thai Court rules about it, so there was a a scheme, that not hurt anyone, except in RTP pocket thinking minds. They overstept the laws. Can you explain your thinking about westerners jealousy, people who have nothing to do with all this?

Kurt | 05 March 2022 - 09:33:44

After Court ruling the RTP must have a real 'hang over'. Financial claims will come doen on RTP for seizure 2500 busses and B4.7 billion ++ assets. A expensive lesson to learn about laws.

Pooliekev | 04 March 2022 - 21:38:22

There never was a zero dollar scheme. It was all dreamed up by jealous westerners

Capricornball | 04 March 2022 - 21:33:00

Perfect finding..."the companies were engaged in normal practice within the industry"...that being ripping off unsuspecting tourists and dragging them wherever the tour operators wanted them to go...not where they might have preferred. Their sole objective was to siphon as much Chinese money as possible.  This had to be a hefty payday in these corrupt courts.

Kurt | 04 March 2022 - 20:58:34

Of course the whole thing was dismissed. It is just not chinese. All over the world potential tourists buy with their travel agent in their country a Thailand holiday package. Right? It's the first move to tackle Thai dual and more pricing corruption. Nothing wrong with that, although Thai not like it. Dare to forbid it.! Than no more international tourism to Thailand. Well,...? 

Fascinated | 04 March 2022 - 15:48:05

I wonder how much that cost!! 'Conventional practices' does not exactly indicate lawful practice.

 

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Working group aiming to tackle Phuket’s drug problem

Kurt, they don't need sniffer dogs on Bangla Road. The drug sellers can be seen openly to custom...(Read More)


Pubs, bars and karaokes to reopen June 1

Cue the 'scion' bleating on again about the need to be open until 4am!...(Read More)


Foreign woman attacked in Chon Buri

@JohnC Dodgy ? You should really stop your hasty assumptions, as not for the first time those ...(Read More)


Foreign woman attacked in Chon Buri

It's quite often that someone who has sustained a head injury has short term memory loss. Seeing...(Read More)


Pandemic, or Endemic Epidemic? It’s all Academic!

It should never have even been declared a "pandemic" in the first place smh...(Read More)


Prayut defends performance

Oh goody- another hub. ...(Read More)


Foreign woman attacked in Chon Buri

Gosh, somene commenting here has never been dosed in a bar, or been attacked on a walk sustaining ...(Read More)


Working group aiming to tackle Phuket’s drug problem

It is with drugs and counterfeit goods the same. Once in a while a raid for publicity to satisfy pub...(Read More)


Make online casinos legal, parties urge

We live in a different era now, that of international electronic/internet use. It is without borders...(Read More)


Foreign woman attacked in Chon Buri

Very dodgy indeed. How can she honestly say with a straight face she doesn't remember what happe...(Read More)