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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Russians lead in crime in Phuket

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Russian nationals top the list of crimes committed by foreign tourists on the popular resort island of Phuket in Thailand

Since the beginning of the year, 181 foreigners have been prosecuted in the southern resort province of Phuket, with citizens of Russia, France and Britain in the top three for the number of crimes, the Bangkok Post reported.

Phuket Governor Narong Woonqeev held a meeting with government agencies and consuls general of 23 countries to brief diplomats on cases involving foreigners on the island.

The 23 countries included Russia, China, Australia, Austria, Britain, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Mexico, Nepal, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Spain and Hungary.

The combined efforts of the relevant agencies in the fight against crime in Phuket have resulted in the arrest of wanted foreign criminals. Cases such as thefts committed by Russian and Mongolian nationals have also resulted in the arrest of a French motorbike gang troubling locals, said Phuket provincial police chief Major General Sermphan Sirikong.

The police chief cited a case of human trafficking that occurred this month in a bar in Patong, where minors were recruited to provide sexual services to customers. Two people have been arrested and police have requested arrest warrants for three more suspects.

The island is now home to 32,000 foreigners, mostly tourists and expats from Russia, followed by citizens of Britain, France, China and Germany, said Phuket immigration chief Colonel Thanet Sukchai.

Most foreigners come to Phuket for the purpose of tourism, doing business, studying or planning their lives after retirement, the immigration chief added.

An average of 14,000 tourists arrive at Phuket International Airport every day this month, according to reports. Since the beginning of the year, police have filed criminal cases against 181 foreigners. Myanmar and Cambodian migrant workers have also been caught committing offences.

Most foreigners in Phuket have broken the law in the Patong area, with offences including driving under the influence of alcohol, overstaying a visa, entering the country illegally and working illegally.

So far, more than 800 hotel business owners have joined the island’s anti-crime measure to help local authorities monitor illegal activities and inappropriate behaviour by their tenants. The number is expected to rise soon to 2,000 hotels, covering the entire island.

Under the measure, the police will issue a yellow warning for the first offence and then impose penalties ranging from informing the consulate to banning them from the kingdom.

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