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Hotel Raids continue in South Pattaya


sam neuts

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Good day: Just been all the way up & down Soi Bouakao & Sois with my good buddy Frank. Only seen couple tourist police in Soi Lengkee. All quiet and emptier than ever. Lots of 

remodels and construction going on, seems plenty of suckers last season have bought bars and restaurants. 

Seems a couple new Gogos along Bouakao & LK Metro. Let's see what they offer.......

Time for a late lunch and back in the evening when there is more  action, so we hope. A.Karli

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14 hours ago, sam neuts said:

Raids of Hotels in Soi Buakhao in Pattaya Thailand are going on right now.

 

Will update you with details soon.

Where's the fire ?????????? Heard of crying wolf?

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15 minutes ago, barmatt said:

Is the clamp down to inspect buildings for safety reasons like fire escapes etc?

There is a clamp down on places doing short term rental (under 1 month) without the corresponding hotel license. There is also a lot of wild speculation and exaggeration. Its also low season so lots of little guest houses etc, shut the doors and go and have a holiday for a couple of months. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Foreign Hotel Owner Cuffed and Shackled in Thailand for Incorrect Paperwork

Here is the story of a foreign business owner in Pattaya that has been in operation for a number of years, and a couple of weeks ago things changed dramatically.

Hi, I am Sam and I am building a group of businesses and travellers together to try and help with the effects that the Hotel Act enforcement is causing, to both groups.

Thanks for talking to me as a Hotel owner that was recently inspected in Pattaya, Thailand for a Hotel Licence.

Can you tell me a bit about your business?

With pleasure, I have been running a small boutique hotel in Pattaya for over 8 years.

How many rooms for rent do you have?

I have/had a total of 16 rooms for daily rental.

 So, have you got, or ever had a Hotel Licence to operate?

I was not required to have hotel license as such, only room for rent license. Which I have, along with all other necessary licences, including tax receipts.

Do you have a work permit and employ any staff?

Yes. I have the correct Visa’s, Work Permit, and I employ 4 Thai staff.

What about tax returns, social insurance, rental license, alcohol and cigarette licence, TM30 submissions, building & land tax and all the other required documents/regulations to allow you to trade legally.

Yes. I have had a fully legal business for many years, paid all required tax, licence fees and complied with all the other regulations that a business owner is responsible for. I have work permit, visa, food and alcohol license up to date, everything that I have needed since I started the business.

Ok. Looks like a normal legitimate and  well established business offering short term accommodation. So what was the problem?

Very recently I was sitting at reception of my business in Pattaya and, I believe it was about 8 tourist police officers that rushed in from all sides of the hotel.

They were grabbing and touching everything, asking to see “bayanuyat”.

I pointed to the wall as I have all my licenses displayed and mine was renewed about 2 months ago. I even had signed tax receipts. Police were not interested in how many staff or tax, their only concern was hotel license.

So if you had your licence. That was it?

They did not accept mine as a valid hotel licence. They started collecting company bookings, price list, receipts and everything else they could carry away

The same licence you have had for the last 8 years wasn’t valid?

No. Apparently not, and it was only renewed 2 months ago.

Did they tell you to report at the Police Station sometime in the future, to try and resolve the problem. Or, did they give you a summons to appear anywhere?

No. I was taken to tourist police headquarters immediately, where I was put in a big room along with another 7/8 people. I soon learned, they were other hotel owners and managers that had been picked up in the same raids/inspections.

You were actually taken away from your place of business for not having a piece of paper, that was not required previously?

YES and from about 16:00pm, to 23:00 pm we were held there, while officers were filling out paperwork, taking photo’s etc…..

So you didn’t get released until after 11pm at night for some questionable requirement for paperwork?

I wish it was that easy. In the end, we were told that we are all under arrest for illegally operating a business, and now would be taken down to police station to be charged.

Once we arrived in police station, we were thrown into jail, general population. NOT only the holding room but actually locked up in the cells.

You are shitting me? Over a licence?

Yes, over a licence and NO, I am not “shitting you”. We were actually locked up with general population prisoners.

That must have been dreadful. What was it like for you to be in there?

Will not talk about the cells, unless someone needs to know.

No. That’s fine. I can understand you don’t want to talk about ending up in the cells with whoever else the Police were currently holding, for whatever offences they committed. I can see how terrifying that would be to most businessmen who are just running a legal hotel business.

Were you offered any legal representation or made aware of your situation as far as release goes?

Through some “negotiations” we were given an option to pay 150,000 THB bond, to be released, but still have to go to court.

Luckily, I had some good friends “assist” me and i chose not to pay 150,000 THB and stayed locked up.

My friends, spoke to his friends and with small token of appreciation the head prosecutor agreed to prepare court documents in the middle of the night, so i could be taken to court in the morning, otherwise its 3-5 days wait to front the court, meaning 3-5 days locked up.

So you had to stay in jail overnight?

Yes. Not the best of nights.

Did you get taken to court the following morning?

We did yes. Off to court in handcuffs and chains. I will also add i was fingerprinted head to toe so i am now feeling like a hardcore criminal. The Head prosecutor, suggested i do not request translator and speak to court directly (my Thai was good enough according to him, and again according to him, Thai judges do like foreigners who speak Thai and tend to be a bit more lenient.

Now you are having me on. They took you to court in handcuffs and leg chains, like a murderer would be transported?

I tell you the truth. It was a bad feeling. I am just a hotel owner who had the wrong piece of paper, but my business was totally legal until they changed the law. Or, why would they have given me my licence, for the last 8 years?

I am truly amazed. In most countries you would be asked to appear at some authority office to try and sort out a paperwork problem, maybe a summons. Not locked up with criminals, fingerprinted, chained and dragged through court within hours.How did the court proceedings go?

Believe it, or not. This is exactly what happened.

Judge was about 1/3 more lenient towards me than towards Thai owners/managers.

In court i fronted the judge alone, no lawyers or translators. I was ordered to pay 40,000 THB and check in with court every 6 days?

After that the 40,000 THB will be refunded. So I am guessing the payment is something like good behaviour bond.

How about your business. Can you still operate?

I was not given any court order and I was not given charge papers, or anything at all.

Can I operate or not is up in the air, legally I should not be accepting daily bookings, but then I was not given any paperwork saying anything.

So, through some Thai friends, we did look into an expedited way to get hotel license but it is simply impossible, even if we could “create” green zones and parking.

My Hotel is located too close to the road and surrounded by other buildings. I could not possibly modify the building, even if I wanted. Adding second staircase not only costly, but physically impossible.

Basically, no chance on this planet to comply with the regulations.

Final result, I can stay open but ONLY 30 day rentals

Sorry to ask because I know how angry and frustrated you must feel. But, Will your business survive?

Well Sam, monthly rentals will just break even if the place is full.

So at this stage I do not want to fold the business and lay off my staff, and I do not want to turn to monthly apartment style at this time.

I will try to wait it out for 1-2 months, because I really do not see how Thailand will cope with high season, when no rooms are available. Cooler heads have to prevail.

I know readers around the world will be amazed by your story which although you are not prepared to be named, or have your business named will ring true with the many other businessmen that are being dragged down the same shocking path by Thai authority.

Thanks for talking to me.


I know many businesses that have been affected, and most do not want to say anything. Walking on eggshells.

Everyone who does get inspected, arrested and charged for this “CRIME” is now just hoping for changes and they certainly don’t want to bring more attention to their individual case as the punishments and fines can be shocking.

We wish you the best of luck and hope by bringing some awareness to not only the thousands of businesses affected in Thailand, but to the millions of visitors to the country every month.

To the readers of this article. You are welcome to take this as FACT or FICTION. Unfortunately we will not reveal the hotel owners name, business or location, except that it was in Pattaya, Thailand and it took place within the last few weeks. YOU decide if it is TRUE.

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Can only hope this is another flash in the pan crackdown...if they follow through and close all those small business (and some large ones too who dont have hotel licence) there simply won't be enough rooms and the prices will sky rocket...those big hotel chains must be "overjoyed"

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1 minute ago, johng said:

Can only hope this is another flash in the pan crackdown...if they follow through and close all those small business (and some large ones too who dont have hotel licence) there simply won't be enough rooms and the prices will sky rocket...those big hotel chains must be "overjoyed"

I know many people don't believe it yet. But, the raids are not just in Pattaya and the THA + other authorities are continuing to push for enforcement.

 

Not a flash in the pan unfortunately as it has been going on for a couple of years at least.

 

The enforcement is part of a many sided subject of tax collection, TM30 submissions, Building & land tax, safety, licences, corruption, staff registration, pressure from licence paying hotels, THA, immigration and many more. Planned full compliance by 2021.

 

The problem with the enforcement is that they are dealing with some powerful players on both sides. Hotel owners with fake licences, businesses that have been in established for many many years, both foreign and Thai, authority from all sides. Thailand is not Europe.

 

They also have the BIG problem of over 37 million tourists, and not enough hotels with a licence.

 

I am sure you will gradually notice that the availability of daily rental rooms, and the signs outside will disappear, or the DAILY part of the text will be covered and show MONTHLY at many places.

 

I could quite easily give you all a list of "Hotels" to email throughout different regions of Thailand, and request to book daily (places you have stayed before). But, it really isn't fair to the owners, who are currently trying to plan their futures.

 

Better you see for yourselves and then you will decide how big a problem (or small) this is.

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And what are the requirements to obtain this unicon of a hotel licence?

 

You need a pool,a elevator,green space, the sidewalks have to be so so wide,the hallways have to be so so wide,you need a fire escape,you need to pass a enviromental review,and the list goes on and on and on......

Virtualy No hostel,guest house,or hotel that was not built from the ground up to meet the reguirements can ever have any hope of complying..

So if regulations are passed that almost no one can comply with and enforced against all common sense,I would say that would be a strong indicator of insanity...

 

So why was this guy who was taken to jail for not complying with a regulation that almost no one can comply with not charged with a crime??

Because there are people who understand this whole crackdown is a compleat pile of rubish that makes no sense...

And what was he told to do to comply? Absolutely nothing because you can not comply with some thing that can not be complyed with...

 

I predict in time this will pass like crackdowns always pass.....The dumber the crackdown the faster it passes...

Does any one remember the selling beer near schools crackdown? The failed crackdown list could fill pages.

 

So are they planning to shut down every Hostel and Guesthouse in Thailand and 90% of the Hotels...

No they certainly are not planning to shut them down....Because if they did Thailands Tourist industry would be destroyed...

 

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Planned full compliance by 2021...

 

My friend 2018,19,20, and 2021 will come and go without compliance and that is guaranteed 100% .......There will never be compliance because compliance is impossible for all but a few......

 

When Thailand starts telling tourist to sleep in the streets......Then I will say compliance IS possible...lol.

 

Guesthouses will be around for a long time.....

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Nonsense , I predict business as usual when high season is back. And I rent short term during my weekend trips to Bangkok, and AirBNB. Still working fine.

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The story that will never go away is the way the government treats it's own people in all it's glorious disfunction. This hotel witch hunt is just another chain of lies from the government. The first lie is allowing hundreds of businesses large and small to believe they are properly licensed, collecting fees, taxes for both the business and the land, taxes from the income on both. This lie went on for decades. The second lie is when they amended the law basically diagnosing likely over a hundred thousand businesses terminal with only 5 years to live but telling them there was a cure if you applied by 8/2018. There is no cure per the law, it's another lie. Third lie is they jump the gun raiding and arresting owners before the law even takes effect. 

 

Seems the government has only one tool in the toolbox, a sledge hammer. Instead of throwing out a law that was never adhered to and impossible to comply with and starting over based on reality on the ground they chose to nuke the industry looking no farther than the hand in front of them. Instead of calling the government out on these lies and other issues concerning traffic safety, environmental and corruption the public treats this the same way one would deal with an old senile grandfather and just hopes he forgets and stops his bad behavior. To those who would say it's been that way for many years. Will in that case just because I have been having sex with your wife for many years does that make it right? I am having a hard time figuring out what all these people are smiling about in LOS. Maybe just another lie?

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6 hours ago, fforest1 said:

So why was this guy who was taken to jail for not complying with a regulation that almost no one can comply with not charged with a crime??

 

10 hours ago, sam neuts said:

I wish it was that easy. In the end, we were told that we are all under arrest for illegally operating a business, and now would be taken down to police station to be charged

 

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I know many people don't believe it yet. But, the raids are not just in Pattaya and the THA + other authorities are continuing to push for enforcement.
 
Not a flash in the pan unfortunately as it has been going on for a couple of years at least.
 
The enforcement is part of a many sided subject of tax collection, TM30 submissions, Building & land tax, safety, licences, corruption, staff registration, pressure from licence paying hotels, THA, immigration and many more. Planned full compliance by 2021.
 
The problem with the enforcement is that they are dealing with some powerful players on both sides. Hotel owners with fake licences, businesses that have been in established for many many years, both foreign and Thai, authority from all sides. Thailand is not Europe.
 
They also have the BIG problem of over 37 million tourists, and not enough hotels with a licence.
 
I am sure you will gradually notice that the availability of daily rental rooms, and the signs outside will disappear, or the DAILY part of the text will be covered and show MONTHLY at many places.
 
I could quite easily give you all a list of "Hotels" to email throughout different regions of Thailand, and request to book daily (places you have stayed before). But, it really isn't fair to the owners, who are currently trying to plan their futures.
 
Better you see for yourselves and then you will decide how big a problem (or small) this is.
I appreciate your concern samneuts but you are also trying to make some money out of the situation by setting up a booking site. I know there are examples of hotel raids on your facebook page but most of them are old and it just seems to be confusing the situation by you putting up out of date articles. The gentleman in the article has already featured on your page several times and been discussing the situation on Thai visa (not knocking him- he seems like a nice guy who was treated very badly by the authorities.) Are you trying to help the situation or gather contacts to advertise your booking agency to?

Sent from my SM-G900I using Thailand Forum - Thaivisa mobile app

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