ENDANGERED ANIMALS BEING EXPLOITED IN THAI TOURISM – The Authorities in Thailand have begun a severe crackdown on Foreign Owned Businesses in the Tourism markets across the holiday island of Phuket as it states that foreigners have no right to take the jobs of Thais.
While many investors think the crackdowns are draconian and discriminatory it is perfectly clear, in Thai Law, what a foreigner may or may not engage in for business purposes and these are designed to help the Thai people to earn a living.
The problems that most foreigners face is that the fact that Thais continuously flout the laws for their own means, often at the detriment of the tourists; for example the extortionate fares charged by Thai Taxis.
It was only a last year that the Thai Authorities set about trying to eradicate foreign ‘Time Share Touts’ and indeed went to extreme measures by putting extra police on the streets and going to the expense of putting up massive billboards warning tourists of the illegal trade. While all this may seem admirable, many foreigners believe that the Thais only initiated this practice because it was stepping on the toes of Thais being able to get in on the scam.
One of the most illicit and despicable trades in Phuket has to be the use of endangered species, such as the Lori, which is protected under Thai law.
The Thai authorities and the local police have repeatedly said that they would arrest anyone in possession of any endangered animal that was protected under Thai law. The one thing you learn very quickly, after spending any amount of time living in Thailand is that the words of the Thais are empty and can be quickly filled if enough money is involved.
It was reported just a few weeks ago that the police arrested a Thai Tout with two Lori’s. He was taken to the police station and released 30 minutes later. The law states that anyone in possession of an endangered animal is liable to a fine of up to 20,000 Thai Baht (US$600), 5 years imprisonment or both. It would also include the confiscation of the animals that would be rehabilitated and released back into the wild.
The result of this particular incident was a 2,000 Baht ($60) under the table and the Thai was allowed on his merry way, with the Lori’s, to continue his despicable trade.
It just appears, to many foreigners, that Thailand has two sets of rules, one for Thais and one for Foreigners.
I actually know a Thai guy who deals in exotic animals. He posted, on this Facebook page, a number of photos of him handling a Lori. I asked him if he knew it was illegal to do so; and this is the response:
“Yes I know, but I pay the Police under the table for a special licence. This is Thailand and if you don’t like how the Thais do things then F*** Off back home. We need to make big money and this is an animal not a human.”
That was the end of the conversation. It was pointless for me to pursue it any further as you cannot reason with those who are either ignorant, corrupt and have no moral fortitude.
At any given night you can walk down Soi Bangla, Phuket and witness 20 or more Thai Touts all vying to get tourists to take photographs with the helpless animals, and all to fuel their incessant greed. The police merely walk by trying to look all official and important but the raw truth here is that they are looking, not to protect the public or police the community, but rather to seek out opportunities in which to extract illegal payments. The Thai Authorities and Police are nothing more than Mafia who control a country that is corrupt to the core and where anything can be sold, including endangered animals or even children for sex.
Is Thailand a place where you really want to spend your tourist dollar, pound, yen or euro? Think carefully about what your money is supporting the next time you take a holiday.