AIRLINES IN THAILAND

 
 

       

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 of petty crimes from ATM muggings to Bank & gold shop robberies in January 2009 in Bangkok and even ATMS 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 even as its August 2009 & although the Govt plan to have Police staff to oversee this may be prone to corruption yet again.

SUVARNABHUMI AIRPORT BANGKOK  

   AIRPORT UNIFORMED CONMEN:

Sent to us by UK reader 21st August 2009

 I had the misfortune to meet some of these scam artists in December 2008 just before I checked in for my flight to London. I've made around 20 trips to Thailand so pretty much aware of my surroundings - I was just about to check in (only about 20 metres from check in). 2 guys came up to me and said "come with me sir"; they had a police type uniform on. I've been about so even though I'd had a wee drink I asked for ID - they flashed cards at me - My wee brain told me don't go there so I followed them for about 3 feet then I started to protest - I shouted out "are there any real policemen or airport officials nearbye as there are 2 chancers trying to rip me off; can someone help me right now please". No one came to help, one of the guys then made a lunge at my lap top but missed. they then walked away no doubt to rip someone else of. I was just glad to be able to check in after that and it would put me of travelling to this airport in the future.

WHAT TO DO IN THIS INSTANCE:

Report the incident to the Tourist Police. Making a complaint to Thai airways or whoever else will fall on deaf ears as they do not wish to be involved. If you have a camera then get a quick pic?? but be careful. If you are in this situation yes make a hue and cry -- use comman sense & maybe say youre a freelance journalist. If they offer you there ID get your pen out and write there ID number down. The name will be in Thai so you won't be able to write this down. But in all intents and purposes the above UK man did the right thing.

LIST OF THEFTS AND 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. Keep the main ticket & try to remember the taxi number on your rear inside door. However the cost airport to Suk 3 is =300baht meter + 50 baht for the taxi.
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
4/. Left luggage keep no valuables in your suitcases & lock
5/. TAT guides even if they have tags showing be wary. Do not book Tourism trips here

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. Be warned

9/. The old saying --- if they speak good English be on alert. Uniforms and name cards can be bought anywhere???
10/. Watch out also for foreign touts & Chinese pick pockets. Those waiting for friends to arrive touts and pick pockets are also waiting
11/. Please don't leave cameras, laptops etc in your main bags. Carry all on your carry bag.
12/. Carry spare cash and copy of your passport in a separate part of you.

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.

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 Police station ask for the Tourist Police--do not be intimidated. Keep your Embassy number handy as well.

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
6/. The economic crises has seen an upsurge in petty crime, ATM muggings and scams so be careful as at 2009.

WATCH FOR TOUTS AND THOSE OFFERING TAXIS INSIDE THE AIRPORT. The airport authorities turn a blind eye to it all even as we write as no sooner do they eject touts they are back the next day.

Security at airport to be stepped up

SUTHIWIT CHAYUTWORAKAN AMORNRAT MAHITTHIROOK

source 24th June 2008 Bangkok Post

SAMUT PRAKAN : Airports of Thailand will step up security at Suvarnabhumi airport by installing more surveillance cameras and increasing the frequency of patrols by security guards and police. The decision came after a bold hold-up at a bank at the airport on Sunday morning.Airport director Serirat Prasutanont said the hold up at the Bangkok bank branch would not dent passengers' confidence in the airport's security because the crime was not committed close to the passenger terminal.Police patrols would be increased in vulnerable areas of the airport.On Sunday morning, two armed robbers clad in black jackets held up the bank and made off with 3.3 million baht in cash. The robbery lasted 40 minutes.Mr Serirat said the agency generally deploys fewer security guards on weekends.Chaturongkhapol Sodmanee, AoT deputy director, believes the robbery was an inside job.He said the AoT needed financial assistance for purchasing more surveillance cameras as the existing 163 inside the passenger terminal were not enough.''The bank is located on the left side of a bus parking lot in Zone G, which is quite far out and there are no surveillance cameras there,'' Mr Chaturongkhapol said.Their security depended on the rounds made by the guards and police patrols to the area.He said there were also too many advertising stickers on the glass doors of the bank, blocking the view of officers and preventing them from knowing what was happening inside the bank. Some of the stickers would have to go.Assistant national police chief Pol Lt-Gen Chongrak Chuthanon said investigators have made good progress in the case.He refused to reveal any details.

Police seize a massive pile of airport trolley parts Sept 26th 2008

Two held as officials put theft cost at B50m

SUTHIWIT CHAYUTWORAKAN AND AMORNRAT MAHITTHIROOK Bangkok post 26th Sept 2008

The disassembled remains of about 500 baggage trolleys alleged to have been stolen from Suvarnabhumi airport were found in a scrapyard in Bangkok's Nong Chok district yesterday.Police raided the Thai Thamanee Lampakchee scrapyard on Suwinthawong road early yesterday morning after arresting two people in the Suvarnabhumi airport carpark.The arrests followed a tip-off to police from Rachathewa station in Samut Prakan that airport baggage trolleys were being stolen from the carpark.They staked out the carpark and found two men driving around in a white pickup on the third floor with five trolleys in the back. They were identified as Supakorn Klawikit, 29, an airport cleaner, and Apisit Noputtawarangkul, 33, a factory worker.Police claimed the men confessed to stealing the trolleys, and stated they had been taking three or four a night since March.They were alleged to have said the stolen carts were sold for 960 baht each to a scrapyard in Nong Chok district which then sold them on to a metal-working plant.A squad of police officers raided the scrapyard early yesterday morning and found a pile of parts from about 500 trolleys.Police detained the scrapyard owner Thitirat Thongsa, 43.Rachathewa police station chief Pol Col Theeradet Panurak said two other alleged trolley thieves who worked at the airport were arrested last month.He said yesterday's seizure of trolley parts was the largest so far.He believed there were more gangs behind the theft of airport trolleys and police were expanding their investigation.Airport authorities say more than 2,000 baggage carts have gone missing since the airport's opening in September 2006.They said it had cost the airport about 50 million baht.Pol Maj-Gen Withaya Prayongpan, chief of Samut Prakan police, said Airports of Thailand (AoT), the Thai Airport Ground Services Co (Tags), and the Loxley-ICTS consortium, which operate ground and security survices resopectively at Suvarnabhumi airport, had sought police help following frequent passenger complaints about the continued shortage of luggage carts.When the airport opened in September 2006, it had about 9,000 luggage trolleys. But about 2,000 had disappeared.Prateep Wichittho, Suvarnabhumi airport's deputy director of operations, said the baggage carts cost 25,000 baht each.He said the airport had decided to step up security and seek more police cooperation, while the installation of surveillance cameras would act as a further deterrent to trolley theft.AoT corporate communication director Monrudee Ketphan said on Wednesday AoT had suspended two inspectors who were alleged to have been involved with the theft of baggage trolleys.He said it was suspected they were members of a gang that stole the trolleys and then sold them. According to an AoT source, the airport had 9,000 trolleys originally, but only 5,000 were left. The rest had either been stolen or were under repair.

 

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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.

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