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Pol Lt Gen Saksira Phuek-am Leads Pattaya Safety Initiative Against Tourist Scams

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Imagine yourself lounging on the golden sands of Pattaya beach, surrounded by the serene sound of waves crashing gently against the shore. Tourists from all corners of the world gather here, their worries melting away with the tropical sun. (Photo: Chaiyot Pupattanapong)

In an effort to maintain this idyllic setting, the Tourist Police Bureau (TPB) of Chon Buri is collaborating with embassies from five countries to stamp out scams and nab 10 notorious criminal groups operating in the area. Pol Lt Gen Saksira Phuek-am, the stalwart TPB commissioner, led a crucial meeting on Thursday to set firm guidelines aimed at bolstering tourist safety in the bustling resort city.

The meeting, held at the Tourist Police Division in Chon Buri, witnessed the participation of representatives from South Korea, Ukraine, Russia, India, and Switzerland. This gathering was part of Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin’s broader tourism strategy for the fourth quarter, where initiatives like free-visa measures are being discussed to enhance the tourism potential of 55 provinces while ensuring robust safety mechanisms for tourists.

On Friday, Pol Lt Gen Saksira disclosed that a concerted crackdown on tourist scams, including unscrupulous tour guides and unjust sales of goods and services, has been launched and will continue through June 19-25. He assured the public of the TPB’s readiness to safeguard tourists’ well-being as part of the government’s overarching policies.

The commissioner highlighted that the agency is working hand-in-glove with several organizations across sectors to instill confidence in potential visitors to Pattaya. During his recent rounds on Pattaya’s electrifying Walking Street, he personally checked in with on-duty security personnel and tasked officers with dismantling the 10 criminal syndicates plaguing the city.

Meanwhile, PM Srettha’s weekend itinerary is packed with visits to multiple locations in Chon Buri and Rayong. This Saturday, his focus will be on Chon Buri, where he aims to get a firsthand account of the province’s thriving tourism landscape.

On Sunday, his attention will shift to Rayong’s U-Tapao airport, where discussions will center around development plans to stimulate investments under the Eastern Economic Corridor initiative. Following his airport visit, Mr. Srettha is set to explore the proposed route for an exhilarating Formula 1 race track near Khao Phra Tamnak in Bang Lamung district, Chon Buri.

The prime minister, a visionary keen on bringing a slice of Italy’s Formula One magic to Thailand, has recently engaged with top organizers to woo them into staging an event here. His relentless field visits have, however, sparked some public ire. Mr. Srettha, not one to shy away from candid acknowledgment, admitted being irked by the criticism but pledged to streamline his visits. He aims to make them more qualitative, shortening his lengthy list of stops to focus on uncovering deeper insights into the challenges faced by each location.

As the warm Thai sun sets, casting a golden hue over the crystal-clear waters, efforts continue unabated to make Pattaya a haven for tourists—a place teeming with enjoyment, splendor, and most importantly, safety.


  1. Anna M. June 21, 2024

    It’s about time Pattaya got serious about tourist safety! I’ve been to the city several times and the scams are rampant.

    • Johnny-Boy June 21, 2024

      Totally agree! I once got ripped off by a so-called ‘tour guide’ who charged triple the price. It ruined my experience.

      • TravelEnthusiast123 June 21, 2024

        Same here! I think the involvement of multiple embassies is a good step. Shows they mean business.

      • Anna M. June 21, 2024

        True, it’s great to see international cooperation. Hopefully, it leads to real changes.

    • Kendra Davis June 21, 2024

      I think scams are inevitable in touristic cities. We just need to be more vigilant.

      • Helena June 21, 2024

        While that’s true, the authorities have a responsibility to protect tourists. It’s good to see proactive measures being taken.

  2. Rick June 21, 2024

    All these measures won’t work if local corruption isn’t addressed. It’s Thailand we’re talking about here.

    • Maria J June 21, 2024

      Agreed, corruption undermines everything. But small steps can lead to bigger changes.

      • Rick June 21, 2024

        I hope so, but I’m skeptical. Corruption runs deep.

      • Jazz Lover June 21, 2024

        Baby steps are better than no steps, Rick. At least they’re trying.

    • AdventureSeeker June 21, 2024

      Corruption is a global issue, not just Thailand. At least efforts are being made.

  3. Linda June 21, 2024

    Isn’t it interesting that PM Srettha is so involved in tourism? Seems he has big plans for the region.

    • Paul T. June 21, 2024

      Big plans indeed! From safety measures to Formula 1 race tracks, he’s all over the place.

    • Linda June 21, 2024

      I wonder if it’s a viable plan or just trying to make headlines.

  4. Gregory H. June 21, 2024

    Formula 1 race track near a tourist haven is a terrible idea. It’ll just attract more scams and high prices.

    • SpeedDemon June 21, 2024

      Disagree! An F1 track would boost tourism and economy. Plus, it’s awesome!

      • Gregory H. June 21, 2024

        It might, but the negatives could outweigh the positives. Plus, traffic will be a nightmare.

  5. Steven June 21, 2024

    Finally some action against those unethical tour guides! Can’t wait to visit a safer Pattaya.

    • NomadNina June 21, 2024

      I think it’s ambitious but necessary. Pattaya has so much potential beyond the scams.

      • Steven June 21, 2024

        Absolutely. Hope these new measures will help long term.

  6. Lori-Anne June 21, 2024

    I visited last year and the scams were everywhere. Good to see the police taking action finally.

    • Skeptical Sam June 21, 2024

      Let’s see how long this ‘crackdown’ actually lasts. They’ve made promises before.

      • Lori-Anne June 21, 2024

        True, but at least there’s some movement. Better than doing nothing.

  7. Alexander K June 21, 2024

    It’s such a shame that these gorgeous places have become synonymous with scams.

    • Elena June 21, 2024

      Yes, places like Pattaya have so much to offer. Safety measures are very welcome.

      • Alexander K June 21, 2024

        Exactly. Let’s hope for genuine improvement.

  8. FrequentFlyer42 June 21, 2024

    Interesting that the crackdown lasts just a week. Sounds more like a PR stunt than real action.

    • Julia W. June 21, 2024

      Agreed. If they were serious, there would be longer, continuous efforts.

      • FrequentFlyer42 June 21, 2024

        Exactly. I hope they prove us wrong and keep it up.

  9. Derek June 21, 2024

    Five countries involved in this? That’s a lot of international pressure. Good sign!

    • WanderlustWendy June 21, 2024

      Absolutely, pressure from multiple nations could make a real difference.

  10. Rick June 21, 2024

    Don’t forget that local businesses will have to cooperate too, or it won’t work.

  11. SafariSarah June 21, 2024

    PM Srettha seems like he’s trying to overcompensate with all these visits. Just stay focused!

  12. Hannah June 21, 2024

    I’m optimistic! Anything that makes travel safer is a win in my book.

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