Thai Police Crackdown on Foreign Workers in Phuket

THAI POLICE CRACKDOWN ON FOREIGN WORKERS IN PHUKET – In the 15 years that I have been living in Phuket, Thailand there is not a year that goes by without some government department announcing a crackdown on foreigners, whether it is to do with work permits, business ownership or property ownership.

The truth of the matter is if the Thais were not so uneducated they would be able to see that foreign capital flowing into the country is a good thing and that foreign workers are able to teach the Thais to perform their jobs to a much higher standard, that would in fact then benefit the tourists that come here.

Unfortunately in true Thai fashion the only avenue appears to be the obligatory annual witch hunt, persecutions and discrimination against foreigners.

A recent and ongoing debacle is that over the number Russians who have set up businesses that are in direct competition with the Thais, which is often Mafia controlled.  Big signs and posters have been made, by the Thais with calls for “GET OUT RUSSIANS” and “RUSSIANS GO HOME”, which is not doubt a very appealing sight for the Russian Tourists.  On top of that the Thai, again in true Thai fashion have closed roads, causing havoc to the traffic flow, all in a bid to make their point heard.

Mob rule, along with Mafia rule works well in Thailand and especially in Phuket.  He who has the most money can employ the most thugs and therefore wins the day.

 Maj Gen Choti Chavalviwat, Commander of Phuket Provincial Police

Maj Gen Choti Chavalviwat, Commander of Phuket Provincial Police was today questioned by the press and what we have done is taken what he has said and provided probably the most honest synopsis of what most likely thinks.

Statement 1

“I understand that foreigners want to work in Phuket, but they have to work correctly,” Gen Choti told The Phuket News.

Possible Interpretation – We would rather foreigners came here and just spent their money and then went home.  We make it difficult to get a work permit in order to dissuade foreigners, but they are a persistent bunch.  If we do have to give work permits then we will highly restrict the nature of work that a foreigner can do, so as not to muscle in on our own scams and rip-offs of foreign tourists.

Statement 2

“Officials are also checking Thai shareholders in foreign-run companies. Thai people listed as shareholders might need to show they genuinely had enough money to have been able to have invested in the company.”

Possible interpretation – We’ve been running a scam for years where foreigners have to put all the money into a Thai company but legally they can only own and control 49%.  We’re now going to do a little digging to make sure our countrymen are benefiting from this scam and if not, we’ll end up taking everything the foreigner has.  This is such a lucrative business and foreigners over the years have lot untold sums of money, which has mostly gone into the pockets of the corrupt official, but that the way we make our money because we’re not smart enough to do anything else – come on you have to feel sorry for us, we’re poor, or that’s what we like to tell those stupid foreigners.

Statement 3

“The Bang Tao mob were very angry, and it is their right to be angry. Russians coming to travel is fine, but if they take Thai people’s careers and livelihoods by working illegally, that is not fair to the Thai people”

Possible interpretation – Mob rules, it’s that simple. Thais don’t have the education to reason and talk, so they hit the streets in numbers.  It’s always been that way when Thais are unhappy about something they want the authorities or the police to tackle.

As for the Russian, Thais are actually frightened of them, as the Russians are well known to be all Mafia that kill.  It’s simply not fair that the Russian Mafia is trying to muscle in on our tourist scams, and provide a much superior and cheaper service to tourist.

It doesn’t matter if Thais can’t speak Russian or any other language, as Thai is the world’s greatest language anyway.

We’re going to investigate and hound the Russians until they go home and leave us to scam and rip off tourist for our own ends.  It just not fair that a foreigner should muscle in on our lucrative scams, and besides if the Taxi and Tuk Tuk Mafia are not allowed to operation, who is going to pay me my cut every month under the table?

Statement 4

“Foreigners who live and work here have to show us their work permit if we do a check. If they have the correct permit, it is not a problem.”

Possible interpretation – We’ll certainly continue giving all foreigners that work here a hard time until they finally pack up and leave. In the meantime we’ll investigate every tiny detail to see if we can’t trip them up in to paying us a nice hefty fine – the wife really does love Prada.

Of course we have to appear to be fair, that’s what we are told by our superiors, but nobody cares and if all appears in order we can always make stuff up and again levy a hefty fine.


Are the possible interpretations more akin to the way Thais think, and especially those in power?  Most foreigners living and working in Thailand would probably agree that the possible interpretations are probably closer to the truth than anyone would like to admit.

On a personal note – Any foreigner coming here with the intent of running a business, investing or purchasing property would be much better off taking a trip to their local hospital and have a frontal lobotomy first.  Think about this carefully – you are the one who is going to plough money in to whatever you intend to do, but you will never truly own it.

The moral of the story here is DO NOT, under any circumstances, apply for a work permit, set up a company or buy a home in Thailand, it is just plain FOOL HARDY!

As for the tourists – well if you like being scammed and ripped off by the Thais, Authorities and of course the Police, then Thailand is just the place for you.

Remember Thailand is known as LOS – that’s Land of Scams, not as the Thai paint it, Land of Smiles.  You have been warned.

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  • mike

    Dear Ed, I see from your report you have lived in Thailand for quite some time, 15 years to quote you. If I may I would like to add my two cents regading the inept police in Thailand or better still in Phuket, most likely you will know only too well the truth in what I say.

    On my visits to phuket I frequent a good bar in Kata, good, because it is ran honestly, cleanly with no ripoffs or overcharging. The owner of the bar, a Thai lady who’s British husband died due to natural causes has kept the bar going for quite some years. I go there because it is honest and fair and because it has two very good pool tables. one night while sat talking to the owner I saw a police truck stopping at various other bars in the area, the cop would get out sit at the bar and write in a book, I asked her what was going on and she said all bars have to pay the police, “why” because if you get busy and keep the bar open after the legal time they leave you alone. “But you always close at the right time and there is never any trouble in your bar”, doesn’t matter was her reply, if I don’t pay them they burn me out or even kill me, how much do you have to pay I asked, every month 10,000 Bt but during high season it could be higher, depends on them. So the people who are supposed to be upholding the law are abusing the law and using the law for corrupt purposes. I also heard about a bar owner in Rawai who went to an anti corruption meeting in Phuket town, she was the owher of a large bar and had working in her bar many hostesses (prostitutes) she complained that she was paying “ten” different gencies every month their corrupt payments and anothre four were now demanding payments too which was making it impossible for her to make any profit even though the hostesses were taking care of many customers off of the premises but having them pay the bar fine for them to entertain the customers still not enough money to pay the existing ten agencies let alone another four.She said she could name the agencies, but she never had the chance as that very night she was burnt out, by guess who. Why is it that foreign police agencies are having to send their own officers to investigate killings of their citizens, are the inept Thai police that busy collecting money from businesses that the have such little time to investigate murders. I agree Ed, do not vacation to a land of thieving lying authoritarian politicians and law enforcement agencies. I look forward to your next report telling it how it really is in Thailand.

  • mike

    Your interpretation is blunt and to the point, while what was said comes from years of denial.

    • meebal

      Hi Mike
      We didn’t write the article, it was a Reader’s Submitted Article via email. The author is unknown and after a lot of investigation their article appeared more than a little true. Thailand is an extremely corrupt and violent country – it really is all about money.

      Again we will publish any article that has merit, it is our policy to have a free and open place in which to express your views. As Editor I am sure that this, along with many other articles, on all areas of interest, will delight and upset people.

      Whatever your views, you have a right to be heard!