(Yicai Global) May 15 -- News that 10 Chinese tourists in Thailand fell in with illegal tour guides who terrorized them and coerced them into buying goods until they escaped from the gang late at night and returned home to China has aroused widespread concern and touched off a joint investigation by the two countries.
A Chinese national surnamed Li suspected of involvement, has been taken into custody, as have two Thai nationals who are principals in the travel agency implicated in the affair in the western seaside resort town of Ban Phatthaya.
China’s culture and tourism ministry, which takes a very serious view of the matter, notified the Thai authorities of its understanding of the situation, immediately activated the cooperative Chinese-Thai tourism supervision mechanism and urged local authorities to investigate, ascertain the truth as quickly as possible, and severely punish those firms and individuals who had harmed the Chinese tourists’ rights and interests.
The two countries signed a memorandum of understanding on strengthening supervision of the tourism market in September 2016 to safeguard tourists’ legal protections and have since twice convened the China-Thailand tourism market supervisory coordination group meeting to build up the oversight mechanism.
China has become Thailand’s largest source of tourists in recent years, with 9.8 million traveling there last year. The country is also becoming a favored destination for Chinese criminals to export their illegal acts.
News emerged on May 11 that a group of Chinese working from a home in eastern Thailand were manipulating Chinese stock prices, though local police were impotent to act since these malefactors had violated no Thai laws.
Editor: Ben Armour