Integrity Legal

1st July 2010

In a recent posting on the website ThaiVisa.com the following was announced:

CHON BURI:– Immigration police here have arrested a Belgian man for having allegedly extorted money from his fellow Belgians by deceiving them that he is a police officer and advisor to the Belgian ambassador. Pol Col Athiswis Kamolrat, commander of the Chon Buri Immigration Police, held a press conference Thursday to announce the arrest of Jacobs Marc R.

Athiswis said the immigration police were asked by the Belgian Embassy in Bangkok to help make the arrest after several Belgian tourists filed complaints with the embassy that they were extorted out of money by Marc. Athiwis said Marc was arrested at his rented room in Bang Lamung district.

It is interesting to note the “tough” stance being taken by Thai Immigration authorities with regard to foreign criminals. It would appear as though Thai authorities are increasingly concerned with eradication of the foreign criminal element in the Kingdom. In a recent blog posting this author noted that the Royal Thai Immigration Police are taking measures to integrate their systems with those of the US and the international law enforcement community. It remains to be seen how effective this initiative will be in ascertaining the criminal history of foreign nationals in Thailand, but one can easily assume that Thai authorities will be placed on better notice of foreign criminals in the Kingdom.

In another story on the Pattaya One News website the following was reported:

Political unrest hit the tourism industry hard in May, causing arrivals and hotel occupancy to plummet in the central and northern provinces, says the Bank of Thailand.

Unfortunately, the recent political turmoil caused many setbacks for both businesses in and around Bangkok as well as the Thai tourism industry as a whole. Although the Thai government has been taking steps to assist businesses impacted by the recent unrest many feel that recovery will likely be slow and incremental. The problem is probably exacerbated by the worldwide economic crisis which has been particularly acute in countries such as the United States as well as parts of the European Union.

Thailand remains a strong economic player in Southeast Asia, but the confluence of recent events, both local and global, have caused a great deal of strain on the Thai business community. However, many feel that Thailand’s economy and tourism sectors are resilient and can overcome these recent obstacles.

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