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Abuse Of Phuket Tourists: 'Bar Mafia’ Crackdown Looms

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Abuse of Phuket tourists: 'Bar mafia’ crackdown looms

PHUKET: -- Foreign “mafiosi” who cheat and even assault foreign tourists sometimes do so with the support of Phuket officials, yesterday’s meeting with a high-ranking Ministry of Interior (MoI) official was told.

Interior Ministry Deputy Permanent Secretary Pranai Suwannarat was in Phuket to hear directly from tourism industry operators and analysts about problems facing the industry.

His findings during the four-hour gathering will be compiled into a report to be submitted to the MoI.

Bhuritt Maswongsa, Vice President for Marketing of the Phuket Tourism Association, told the meeting he received “almost daily” complaints about foreign bar owners overcharging patrons.

“Foreign mafia are mostly Russian and German. They open bars and charge much higher prices than their competitors.

“For example, they might charge 200 baht for [a small] bottle of beer that usually sells for around 80 baht to100 baht a bottle at other bars. They exploit consumers,” he said.

Such operators typically set up in west coast beach areas popular with foreign tourists, such as Patong, Kata, Karon and Surin, he said.

In some cases tourists are assaulted if they refuse offers to enter certain establishments, he said.

Sarayuth Mallam, another PTA vice president, said that “Even though the mafia people are locally very powerful, they are afraid of the people in uniform.”

“Tourists come in their bars and get cheated. For example, a tourist bought two bottles of beer but was charged for four bottles.

“Then they had a fight, which was reported to the police who recorded it in their daily log.

“But later the police received a call from a high-ranking government official asking the police to ‘take care of’ [ignore] the case,” he said.

Government officials must clean up their own acts before they can be effective in addressing the problems plaguing the Phuket tourism industry, the lawyer said.

Mr Bhuritt suggested that the Revenue Department audit such bars in order to find a way to prevent customers from being cheated.

Deputy Pranai promised to report the problem – and several others heard at the meeting – to the ministry next week.

This is the second of two Phuket Gazette reports on the recent increase in cheating of foreign tourists in Phuket. For yesterday's report, click here.


-- Phuket Gazette 2011-05-21

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There is one bar in Patong that may fit this profile, in Patong, it has Russian girls pole dancing in it. There are a few go-go bars that do the big bill at the end scam just like Pattaya, Bangkok, Vegas, Soho etc etc, buyer beware.

A 'crackdown' is hardly required.

Edited by TrevorFisher
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Nothing will be done. He's compiling and submitting a report which will gather dust. The only reason this is reported is to feed the xenophobic Thai media.

Edited by ChoakMyDee
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I didn't realize that the TukTuk and Jet Ski mafia were farang. :whistling:

quite right ! and everything else, from haircuts to condo's !

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“For example, they might charge 200 baht for [a small] bottle of beer that usually sells for around 80 baht to100 baht a bottle at other bars. They exploit consumers,” he said.

Every bar usually has a privce list somewhere in the open. I was in Patong a number of times and if I see the price of my drink double than other bar, I get up and walk away to other place. I don't see the problem when they charge 200 for a beer if it costs 80-100 elsewhere. Nobody forces touris to stay in any particular bar - get up and leave! End of problem.

If they try to charge you more than you actually ordered - that is a scam but don't get shit-face drunk and chances are it won't happen to you.

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I've known bars like this in Eastern Europe. Sometimes, the price for a beer my increase many times if you require "table service" (someone bring it to your table). Or sometimes they have something that is universally cheap so few ever check the price (like the local beer) but on their menu the price is really high. Anyone who complains just gets shown the menu. These bars would also emply girls to find guys in other bars of on the street using the old "I know of a great place not far from here".

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I have been a teacher here for 6 years and the government makes it harder every year for foreign teachers to work here and yet they let this scum open businesses and extort money from people.

It all comes down to money. MOST ( not all ) Thais do not have principles they can be easily bought.

Of course they are charging high prices because they have to pay off the police to stay in business.

If the government paid police a decent wage and got rid of most of it's existing police force we may actually have some law and order here, and the Thai people may even start to respect the police. Then the foreign mafia ( with Thai interests ) would have to move to another country. jap.gif

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Of course , farang create the most problems in all the country , they cheat other farang ,they bit farang , they steal them etc ..... I just had the impression this was Thailand no ?

Soon the heavy flood with the rainy season will also be the fault of farang. The bad weather , the education , the traffic jam ,the corruption , all this is because of the farang. :jap:

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Yes the mafias on Phuket are all farang ones.. Theres no domestic issues.. And the mafias are afraid of those in uniform for their just and even handed way of enforcing the law.

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