AIRLINES IN THAILAND

2009 & Suvarnabhumi International airport thefts,

baggage stolen,scams and more scams

 
 

       

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Scams and thefts are nothing new at Thailands busy airport but be on the lookout as over the last year there have been many robberies, lost property, thefts and taxi scams and these continue to happen. Following the inside thefts of airport trolleys last year the authorities have beefed up the security at the airport. However there are foreigners and Thais who still ply their trade by trying to take what is not theres so watch out and keep your bags safe. Make sure all your valuables are in a safe place and do not leave cameras, passports, valuables etc in your main bags even in the left luggage-- you risk losing them and theres no comeback. With the world crises & internal headaches biting into Thailands economy there has been an upsurge Bank robberies in Bangkok and even at Suvannabhumbi airport so you are warned to beware. It is up to you to stay safe but we publish items for the unwary traveller as the Airport security can still not get their act together although the Govt have taken steps to evict around 400 taxis which is a good sign as at September 2009.

 

SUVARNABHUMI AIRPORT BANGKOK  

Airport Scam from Bangkok Post Forum

Postby Michael Bukit on Mon Jul 20, 2009 9:42 pm [220.255.7.xx]

I have another story tell share. A friend emailed to me some times ago but not sure how true is it.
My Dept secretary informed on this. Her cousin was detained in Bangkok for stealing a box of cigarettes in a duty-free shop in Bangkok International Airport. He had paid for chocolates and a carton of cigarettes. The cashier put a packet of smokes into his bag and he thought it was a free pack. He was arrested for shop-lifting and the Thai Police extortion price was RM30,000 for his release. He spent two nights in jail and paid RM50 for an air-cond cell, 200-300 baht for each visitor, and RM11,000 for his final release.

The Police shared the money in front of his eyes. On top of that, he was charged in court and fined RM2,000 by the magistrate and handcuffed and escorted to his plane. His passport was stamped "Thief".While there, his relatives requested help from the Malaysian Embassy and was told that they are helpless, as M'sians are victimised similarly daily and letters and phone-calls to the Thai Authorities are ignored. He shared a cell with a Singaporean the 1st night who paid RM60,000 for his release. The 2nd night was an Indian national who paid USD70,000. Mind you this is not in a shack in downtown Bangkok but in a duty free shop in Bangkok's Int'l Airport.

King Power duty free has to be one of the most expensive duty free shops in the world.
Take for example a cheaper bottle of Penfolds which is US$11 dollars without any tax or 374 baht at borders of Laos and Cambodia (It's US$9.0 flying out of Sydney). At the airport they charge 660 baht while in Foodland the same bottle and year costs 1,200 baht or about 300% more (should I assume that the tax is 300%?). So King Power pays no tax so they're marking up their wine sold by 100%--isn't that a bit steep for a duty free?
For a typical bottle of 100ml aftershave you're only saving about 200-300 baht per bottle. The Malaysian duty free you save about another 10%. In fact sometimes promotions at Paragon are sometimes better value than King Power.
I would never bother shopping at King Power. Also, many of their fashion accessories like watches and cloths are very dated. Who bothers to wear polo shirts any more for example...

by mberbae on Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:12 am [112.142.59.xx]

KING POWER & CREDIT CARDS

I shopped at the new airports King Power last year. I used my Visa card for the purchase.
Unbekownst to me, an employee ( or ring of employees ) stole my credit card number , sold it to someone overseas and
within a week, I had a 20,000 dollar balance from purchases made in London. I have never set foot in England.
The fraud department at Bank of America traced the theft of my card information to King Power at the airport.
The lesson is, never use your credit card there. And as for me, I will never shop there again.MWB.

King Power make a lot of money out of the monopoly they have & leased shops at the airport and really should have an office there to help passengers in times of needs so scammers & Duty free staff do not try to play on unwary foreign travellers. Their own security does nothing ( & is in on the scams) & send to the Police outside the aiport (who use a Sri Lankan go between) whereas they should notify the Tourist Police immediately in the airport? Duty Free shops do not sell a lot as the rates are not so good & due to high rents. Some staff are corrupt and will try to take foreigners money but the scams continue--and with the current news stories the airport plagued corruption is not stopping. Airports are easy prey & the reputation of Bangkok airport as a safe entranceway is no longer the norm. Thailand was once such a nice place to visit but now even European holidays in Spain etc are better.



SUVARNABHUMI BAGGAGE THEFTS

An Algerian man was just arrested for stealing bags from unsuspected travellers at Bangkok airport. He was arrested and had cameras, laptops,valuables etc and sold them to African Black foreigners at Nana Soi3-4 on Bangkok's Sukhumvit Rd. This man wasn't young either so there you go. Foreign thieves target travellers Police urge passengers to be careful with baggage. Don't accept food or drink from anyone and if you need help use the proper help desks not people who accost you. Cheap is not cheap and could be your demise so you are warned to be on the lookout. Airports everywhere are targets for conmen and theives and to date Bangkok airport has its share of problems from these people. It continues today as more touts are plying to get business at the airport even as the Government are trying to curb scams.. SOLUTION: Have undercover DSI there and this problem would be easily solved? As at September 2009 the baggage handlers will have uniforms with no pockets and the authorities have more cameras but it is hard tovet ones bags on the caraousel if youre late theu the immigration process. But we understand they are getting better in view of the bad publicity.

AIRPORT TAXIS JULY 29TH 2009 AIRCON SCAM

Now would you belive this scam??? as it was on TV Nation channel 13th August? A Thai man went in a taxi from the airport in the back of the taxi. The driver has doctored the aircondition in the car to make the passenger unconscious. One Thai man felt ill and told the taxi driver to go the hosital. He was lucky as another Thai woman also complained and wanted to stop at a 7/11 but the driver refused. Both reported this situation as they kept the chit of the taxi number. This could happen to you as once you are unconscious then they will rob you. This is a new scam so foeigners be careful. The driver may put his hand in his pocket and then over the aircondition that blows the air to the back. he also may wear a dust mask??? little hints to be careful --they are using chloroform to knock the passenger out. This has happened to Thais now who have just reported this on TV Nation News 13th August 2009 repeat?. Remember you do not need to be a rocket scientist to alter the channels of your aircon in a car.

Airport thieves under spotlight
Bangkok Post Mar 9, 2009

Police believe a number of gangs are operating at Suvarnabhumi, Police don't believe the arrest of three suspects last month will end the scourge of thieves targeting outbound passengers at Suvarnabhumi airport. "I believe there is more than one gang operating at the airport," tourist police chief Adis Ngamchitsuksri said.
Suspects Amorn Wisetya, Suranart Channum and Pairat Saengpong were arrested on Feb 26 after the Tourist Police Division was contacted by Mohammad Umar. Mr Mohammad, a 57-year-old Qatari, left Bangkok on Feb 11 only to discover after picking up his luggage in Doha that a bag had been damaged and the lock broken. A mobile phone and gold ring were among the items missing. Tourist police focused their inquiries on the assumption the bag had been interfered with between the check-in counter and the aircraft. Lady Luck was on their side too, as Mr Mohammad was alerted that someone was using his stolen designer Samsung Giorgio Armani mobile, thanks to a special function on the phone which allows it to be tracked even after the SIM card has been replaced. The investigators used the new phone number to track the suspects. They discovered the phone had been sold to a shop in the Rangsit area of Pathum Thani and the ring was sold to a shop in Don Muang district in Bangkok.
Finding the stolen items not only made Mr Mohammad happy but also proved the police theory correct.
The thieves worked for a baggage handling agent commissioned by Qatar Airways. According to the tourist police commander, they damaged the bag while it was being loaded on to the aircraft. Once the thieves targeted a bag, it took them just a few minutes to break its lock and steal whatever valuables it contained. Nobody suspected what they were up to as they were the only ones inside the plane's hold, stacking luggage. They stole small but valuable items as they were easy to conceal. While such items did not translate into big money for the thieves, stealing them greatly damaged the reputation of Thailand.

And while airlines were informed about the problem, they preferred to keep it quiet by paying damages to the passengers so the issue would not hurt their reputation. The next step for police was to try and get undercover officers to work with baggage handling firms. The hard part of this, said Pol Maj-Gen Adis, was to get his agents involved in the scam. Suvarnabhumi is not the only airport in Thailand facing this problem. A similar complaint had been sent from a budget airline flying out of Phuket airport. Tourist police investigators are now investigating.
After seeing so many such cases, Pol Maj-Gen Adis can offer a word of advice on baggage security. "Passengers should put all valuables in hardcover baggage because it is more difficult for criminals to break. Do not use soft baggage," he said. But Thailand's main airport has more problems than thieving baggage handlers.
Passengers have filed complaints about luggage being snatched or pick-pocketing in the departures area.

On Jan 15, Tahar Boutrigue, an Algerian, was arrested after police followed him when a passenger reported his luggage stolen two days earlier. Tourist police say when they raided his apartment they found him with a stolen notebook computer, camera and bag. He had targeted people who left their luggage unattended, Pol Maj-Gen Adis said.
On Feb 27, two Mongolians, Tsedendorj Tserendash and Chinbold Darisuren, were arrested on charges of pick-pocketing a purse from Japanese tourists on the departures floor. In addition to the Algerians and Mongolians, Laotians, Chinese and South Americans have been arrested, according to the Tourist Police Division. Their prime operating time is from 7pm to 9pm, said Pol Maj-Gen Adis. That is when Suvarnabhumi's departures hall is busiest with travellers checking-in for their night flights. "Japanese travellers are the favourite target for Asian pickpockets, especially those from China," Pol Maj-Gen Adis said.

Govt Minister Sohpon acts to prevent airport scams?

Writer: BangkokPost.com
Published: 22/07/2009 at 05:09 PM Transport Minister Sohpon Zarun on Wednesday ordered Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT) to step up measures at Suvarnabhumi and other airports to prevent extortion scams.Mr Sohpon gave the order during his inspection trip to Suvarnabhumi airport after a British couple clamed they were the victims of an extortion scam after being accused of shoplifting from a duty free shop.  The couple's claim was reported by the BBC.The transport minister was also said to have been criticised by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva for failing to keep the airport to international standards

LIST OF SCAMS AT SUVARNABHUMI AIRPORT

1/. Taxi touts. Thais in yellow shirts saying they have taxis by the doors and outside. They inflate the price from 400 to 800baht+. Only use the meter cabs and you will find a desk to book outside the terminal doors. Keep the main ticket & try to remember the taxi number on your rear inside door. The drive to Bangkok is approx 1/2 hour.
2/. People pretending to be security guards who pat your body down while another searches your carry-on luggage? An excuse to take your bags?
3/. Luggage being stolen on the carousels & staff pilfering. This is an ongoing problem but more cameras have been installed after a case last year.
4/. Left luggage keep no valuables in your suitcases & lock your bags properly. You have no comeback on anything stolen.
5/. TAT guides even if they have tags showing be wary. Do not book Tourism trips here or cheap bus rides etc or tours. Cheap is no such thing in Airports.

6/. If accosted and the person does not go away then head for the nearest Police or Tourist Police office

7/. Many taxis heading to the airport will not use their meters. This is because they cannot pick up a returning fare! They will ask for 400-450 baht. Tell them OK if they pay tollways?

8/. DO NOT ACCEPT rides from people offering you cheap fares. Some years ago at Don Muang an Egyptian so called taxi driver mugged & killed tourists who accepted rides into town and dropped body parts in drains. You have been warned

9/. The old saying --- if they speak good English be on alert. Don't take shortcuts as it may lead to costing you a lot more than you thought. Men in uniform can buys these easy--ask for ID and get them to write their name and sight their ID number. Yell to get attention but don't give in?
10/. Watch out also for foreign touts & Chinese pick pockets. Those waiting for friends to arrive touts and pick pockets are also waiting for you. Japanese are always prone to this scam.
11/. Please don't leave cameras, laptops etc in your main bags. Carry all on your carry bag. If a Thai supposed worker tell you to put your cigs & duity free in your bag say Ok. Once his back it turned take them out as bet your life its a setup with Customs to go thru your bag & say those items are undeclared?
12/. Carry spare cash and copy of your passport in a separate part of you. Have your Embassy tel & tourist Police number handy. Plan your journey well ahead as well as your hotel and study Bangkok before you get here.

13/. When buying duty FREE goods check receipt for what you buy--check your buys before you leave the counter -- if not sure DON'T buy. King Power monopolize the shops leases say they have no control on frauds (so they say??) where purchasers have been conned out of many $$$$ when shops say they never paid for the goods so even credit cards & gifts given by staff are suspect--double check after you buy at the counter. People, whether guilty or not, are being shaken down for large sums of money after being arrested by King Power security at Bangkok airport. The security notify noone at the airport let alone the Tourist Police and take them to an outside Police station--where extortion prevails. A clear accusation says statements are changed in the police station to suite the result yet theres a Tourist Police office in the airport. The crazy thing about this is these shops still operate and King Power do nothing about it--its their staff too??? Surely with the money they make they could help would be foreigners but no and the TAT (Tourism Dept) is not much help either. Ok some do shoplift but there are genuine cases to consider & the TAT & Govt & King Power could put in place what to do once someone is accused of shoplifting??? It is also easy to doctor a video after the fact, like 2 months later------ read on??.

Here is a link issued by King Power that alledgedly shows the lady pocketing a wallet but was not produced until 2 months after. Careful examination one may see how a video may have been changed as its very easy to do to suit the situation after the fact? http://www.kingpower.com/2009/index.php

Burundanga is a type of chloroform and is widely used by kratoys and scammers to make one sleep then they rob you. Such a drug can be placed in a drink, an aircon of a taxi car (using a napkin) or on the breasts of a Thai girl or boy or even on a Personal Greeting card given to an unwary forerigner or Thai as has happened. Once you feel symtoms of dizziness or fainting then chances are something has been doctored. It has happened in Thailand and still being used as at Sept 2009 so if you get faint make someone aware of your condition & get away from where you are if the person has befriended you may have administered it to you.

After reading the above is Thailand safe anymore--the crises, the opposition rallys, the scams increasing, "the I dont care" from Thai youth-- scenarios abound and the Thai authorities turning a blind eye even more. Foreigners need to be wary not only in Thailand but every country They sayCuba??????. is the place to go to now as harsh penalties for scams there

WHO TO MAKE A REPORT TO

 

 

 

1/. Tourist Police office -- Make sure you sign statement and get copy for your insurance. Ask for Thai Police & if taken to an outside Poilice station ask for the Tourist Police--do not be intimidated.

2/. AOT = http://www2.airportthai.co.th/airportnew/main/directors2.asp

File a complaint here

3/. Write to the Bangkok Post Postbag & The Nation to warn others http://www.nationmultimedia.com/

http://www.bangkokpost.com/

4/. File a complaint to your Embassy. The more you tell the more something will be done about the situation
5/. Use common sense all the time: if caught for something you never di call the tourist police and say no to any interpreters. Never sign anything in Thai or any statements unless a Tourist Police is there.
6/. The economic crises has seen an upsurge in petty crime, ATM muggings and scams so be careful as at 2009 and it seems the government cannot ddo its part to intervene.

WATCH FOR TOUTS AND THOSE OFFERING TAXIS INSIDE THE AIRPORT & loitering around the entrance doors.The airport authorities turn a blind eye to it all as no sooner do they eject these touts they are back the next day--its is an ongoing saga.

IF YOU HAVE A STORY SEND IT TO US

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