(12 February) Police in Chonburi province have arrested 7 Russians accused of running an unauthorised tour business with Thai proxies.
According to Mr. Pravit Chaibua, director of the Second Region Special Operations Centre, the police have previously received complaints of tour companies owned by Russian business and operated by Thai proxies in Pattaya district.
Such action is illegal, Mr. Pravit said, as tour business is an occupation exclusively reserved for Thai nationals under the laws. Furthermore, Mr. Pravit claimed, the Russian-run tour companies often cheat tourists and intimidate legitimate tour operations in the area, leading to "an increase in violent confrontation".
Following the investigation in Pattaya and Banglamung districts, the police apprehended 7 Russians identified as owners of illicit tour companies. The suspects have been charged with violating Thai alien laws, and using Thai nationals to run the business on their half.
Maximum penalty for the offence could be as high as 1,000,000 baht in fine and 3 years in prison, Mr. Pravit said.
The Russians suspects are detained at 3 police stations across Pattaya.
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