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Police investigate Phuket temple after Russian tour guide allegations

PHOTO: Flickr/Elaine Williams

Police in Phuket have visited Chalong Temple after complaints that Russian tour guides are working there illegally. The profession of tour guide is one of several occupations reserved for Thai nationals only.

The Phuket Express reports that Phuket Tourist Police visited the temple in the south of the island after “many” complaints that illegal Russian tour guides were employed there.

According to the report, officers visited the temple yesterday, October 26, led by Sakkarin Anusamansakun, but failed to find any Russian tour guides.

Earlier this year, there was a big furore in some quarters that Russians were “taking over” Phuket and “stealing” Thai jobs, with the then caretaker PM Prayut Chan-o-cha ordering strict action to be taken against any foreign nationals working in roles protected for Thais.

The story was even picked up internationally, with Al Jazeera reporting on concerns from local residents that they were losing out on jobs in real estate, tour guiding and even transportation. Reports of Russian taxi drivers have been received by tourist police as well.

A subsequent investigation by officials found no evidence to support the claims, with Phuket Immigration saying there was no data to suggest a “takeover” of the island.

SOURCE: The Phuket Express

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