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OPINION: Rising crime by foreigners a cause for concern
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  1. #1
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    Rising crime by foreigners a cause for concern

    Rising crime by foreigners a cause for concern
    By The Nation
    Published on September 27, 2009

    Has it become too easy for criminals from outside to enter and leave the country?

    In recent months there has been a spate of crimes involving foreign suspects - bank robberies, jewellery thefts, house break-ins, purse-cutting and even kidnapping. The foreign criminals are only adding salt to the wounds of the locals already suffering from the crimes committed by their compatriots.

    Many cases have been reported in tourist cities like Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket.

    These are in addition to drug trafficking and Mafia-type acts committed by foreigners that target their compatriots as well as Thais, such as extortion rings and gangs of beggars.

    Also, criminals who escape the hand of the law in their countries - bank robbers, fraudsters, murderers, swindlers and paedophiles - find a new haven somewhere in Thailand. Fortunately, many of them have been arrested, in most cases at the intervention of authorities in their country or Interpol, because Thai police do not have their criminal records.

    Police inevitably become the first target of blame for the frequent crimes by foreigners, although arrests of suspects have been made recently.

    Some critics accuse the police of getting into neutral gear, hinting at intentional inaction, and they link the surge in crimes by foreigners to decreased spirits within the police force as a result of "political intervention" over the appointment of a new national police chief.

    However, it is intriguing that more and more foreigners are committing criminal acts, particularly larceny, here.

    Do they see more affluent Thais as easy targets? Do they see flaws in the country's justice system? Do they find it easy to enter the country and leave after committing crimes? Is it because of the government's policy of welcoming as many visitors as possible into the country to boost tourism revenue? Or is it a combination of all those reasons?

    Recent larcenies involving foreigners targeted victims who operate jewellery shops. They carried away a large amount of gold ornaments. The value of the stolen jewels in each case ranged from less than Bt1 million to more than Bt50 million. In most cases the perpetrators did not use weapons and, working as teams, simply confused or deflected the attention of their victims before taking away the valuables.

    There appears to be a perception among many arrested foreign suspects that they can bribe their way to freedom. There were many cases in which Thai authorities rejected such offers and instead added the charge of bribery against the suspects. But critics say many successful cases of bribery go unreported.

    It is perhaps a matter of national pride. Police are unlikely to accept bribes from foreign suspects, especially if the offers are done too obviously, such as in front of other officers at a police station. That was exactly what two Vietnamese pickpockets did after their arrests near Bangkok's Victory Monument.

    Judging from accounts given by many of the arrested suspects of larceny from neighbouring countries, it is easy for them to travel from the border areas to Bangkok. Suspects from neighbouring countries in the East said they simply sneaked across the porous borders and took a train to the capital, where they could find plenty of possible victims. After they got their money, they just left the country. Criminals from faraway countries often rushed to the nearest airport and flew away. It would be days, if not weeks, before the police could find out about their identities.

    Many foreign criminals find the policy of promoting tourism favourable to them. They can apply for visas on arrival to stay in the country for at least 15 days, in addition to tourist visas that allow visitors a maximum 60-day stay.

    The government policy of promoting tourism has been so successful that visitor arrivals topped 14 million last year. And despite an economic downturn, the number of arrivals is 9.8 million in the first half of this year, according to records from the Immigration Police Bureau.

  2. #2
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    Re: Rising crime by foreigners a cause for concern

    In my opinion there are far too many Farang here desperate to stay who simply don't have the finances to do so. Many of them will resort to any means to stay in LoS even if it means getting involved in crime, minor and major. Cheating their countrymen and committing fraud against all and sundry is common.

    Unfortunately this gives ammunition to the very influential group of Thais who say that Thailand is being over run by low class Farang. I see further tightening of the visa provision screws to appease this group. When you see some of the headlines, who can blame them?

  3. #3
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    Re: Rising crime by foreigners a cause for concern

    As more crimes by foreigners occur, people will begin to think that all foreigners are up to no good.

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    Re: Rising crime by foreigners a cause for concern

    Look on the bright side, they are now seeing that foreigners in Thailand need to steal to get cash and so then maybe not all of them are walking ATM machines.

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    Re: Rising crime by foreigners a cause for concern

    maybe the media is jumping on reporting these crimes more readily as well, now that anti-farang sentiments are markedly on the rise?

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    Re: Rising crime by foreigners a cause for concern

    criminals see opporunitites and take them . no matter were they are forign criminals just dont understand how tough jail time is in thailand. they are by nature risk takers. many fail to realise the risks of getting involved in crime in los.

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    Re: Rising crime by foreigners a cause for concern

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Barrow View Post
    Look on the bright side, they are now seeing that foreigners in Thailand need to steal to get cash and so then maybe not all of them are walking ATM machines.
    i like that quote Richard,but the quote about 2 many low class falang here i believe is pushed towards the westerners nightlife activities,rather than the massive numbers of non visa Africans here in bangkok on soi 4 sukumvit area getting up to no good! been cleaned up once now back to same as before, if you dont know what im talking about take a walk around that area you wont believe your still in thailand.
    Back to the walking ATM'S, take them and there business out of thailand and then watch tourism in thailand take a free fall, ah if it's not doing it already in phuket cause of overcharging the walking atm falang,,, just my thought on the real foreigners causing crime in thailand,,rather than the comment on to many low class falang here who cant afford to stay here?

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    Re: Rising crime by foreigners a cause for concern

    The seedy nightlife industry will attract an unproportionate number of seedy foreign tourists, both Western and Asian.

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    Re: Rising crime by foreigners a cause for concern

    It's an unfortunate fact of life, Criminals go on holidays to.

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    Re: Rising crime by foreigners a cause for concern

    I wonder if criminals crimes where to be stamped into passports might be the answer? Just serious ones, not the likes of parking offences etc. At least the customs can see what type of person is attempting to enter there country. They could then turn away the so called career criminals and also would be able to see and refuse those with sex related crimes if they so wished. Just a thought!

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