The sharper edge to traveling in Asia

Thai crime scams: international crooks find a home in Thailand, authorities classify them by ethnicity and crime type

Written By: herbrunbridge - Jan• 14•13

Thailand’s easy atmosphere has made it a home base for millions of tourists, but, according to Thai police, it’s also a haven for groups of international criminals. Amazingly, the police have mapped various ethnicities to certain types of crimes, according to an article appearing in the January 14, 2013 issue of the Bangkok Post. Here are the eleven classifications, as defined by Immigration Bureau chief Panu Kerdlappol: 

1)      Latin American from countries such as Mexico, Colombia, Peru, and Guatemala, who steal from elderly and female hotel guests, and rob homes and jewelry stores
2)      Africans, involved in the drug trade
3)      Iranians and Iraquis, involved n the drug trade, in particular crystal methamphetamine smuggling from Afghanistan
4)      South Asians, particularly active in Bangkok, involved in passport and document forgery, enabling their customers to travel illegally to Japan, Australia, Europe, and the U.S.
5)      Chinese, Taiwanese, and Hong Kong nationals, involved in telephone-based consumers scams
6)      Japanese and South Koreans, who extort protection money from Japanese and Korean businesses operating in Thailand
7)      Russians, who run prostitution rackets in tourist areas such as Pattaya
8)      Malaysian and Singapore nationals who forge credit cards
9)      National from Turkey, Bulgaria, and Romania, also involved in cedit card forgery
10)  Filipino, Vietnamese, and Indonesian nationals involved in crooked businesses and gambling ventures
11)  Europeans and Americans specializing in computer crimes involving advanced technologies (e.g. hacking and phishing scams) 

What’s particularly interesting to us here at WoWasis is how the Thai immigration and police authorities have mapped specific crimes to ethnicities. We know of one shady business operating not far from where we stay in Bangkok, run by a member of one of the above listed groups. If the police or immigration authorities ever investigate that business, the above list provides a pretty good road map for the focus area on which they’ll base their initial assumptions.

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