Bangkok airport scam

Bangkok duty freeThe BBC is reporting in this story that foreign tourists are being targeted for a scam in the Bangkok airport. In short, tourists are accused of shoplifting and then taken away by security to meet with police. An interpreter is eventually provided who tells the tourist that to be released there are fees and bail money. Once the cash is paid over (they even help take you to an ATM or wire office) the tourist is released. I’ve got to imagine that with the publicity the Thai government or even the duty free shop owner will step in to try and curb this. Although corruption occurs in many countries and Thailand is no stranger to it, the authorities also recognize the importance of foreign tourism. Letting shopkeepers or the infamous Thai sex workers fleece some money from tourists in unfair transactions is caveat emptor, but developing a reputation for allowing organized extortion is completely different. King Power, the duty free owner, likely will also step in to stop this since this will severely impact their business and their business is well into the hundreds of millions of dollars per year. In the meantime, be forewarned and remember that if you get arrested in a foreign country for any reason, you should always try and contact your embassy for advice.