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Phuket tour company has licence suspended, faces substantial fine after attacking Chinese tourist

PHOTO: www.isranews.org

A Phuket tour company has had its licence suspended for 6 months and could be fined up to 500,000 baht after one of its employees attacked a Chinese tourist with a knife. The attack was the result of a row over a deposit payment for a trip to the Similan Islands.

It’s understood a Chinese family had booked a 9,000 baht day trip to the Similan Islands through the company, which included a pick-up at their hotel. When making the booking, the family paid a deposit of 5,000 baht.

On the morning of the trip, the tour guide failed to show at the hotel at 5.50am, as agreed. The family spent an hour trying to contact the tour operator. Eventually, it emerged that the guide had gone to the wrong hotel and at this stage, the family decided to cancel the trip and asked for their deposit back.

It was at this point that things got ugly, with the tour company refusing to refund the deposit. The family filed a report with Karon Police, with officers accompanying them to the tour company’s office.

The company subsequently refunded 3,000 baht but refused to return the full deposit amount. When the family insisted they wanted all their money back, an employee with the tour company, identified only as 44 year old Ms Wiree, slashed one of them with a knife.

Cue another report filed with Karon Police, who questioned Wiree and confiscated a knife found under a motorbike seat. Wiree has admitted to the attack but claims it was in self-defence and that she feared the Chinese tourist would hurt her.

The Bureau of Tourism Business and Guide Registration has suspended the company’s licence for 6 months and spokesman Napadol Arwutthakamprecha has warned worse may be to come.

“The tour company registration licence will be suspended for 6 months starting from Tuesday February 7. In addition, a tour operator must not do anything that damages the tourism industry, tourism places, and tourists or they could be fined up to 500,000 baht. It is being considered with this tour company for how much they could be fined in this case.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post | The Phuket Express

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