Monday, August 31, 2009

Bangkok Airport Scam, Thailand

Are you aware of the terrible Bangkok airport scams highlighted in the media recently?

It's so terrible that I feel obliged to describe it here. Briefly this is how it works.

You browse in the duty-free shop, pick up a few things and here and there, and without realising it you've wandered out of the shop.

Suddenly, Security people pounce on you, accusing you of shoplifting. You can't speak Thai and they don't speak English so your protests are useless.

They take you to an office for interrogation. During questioning a guy enters, and offers to help since he speaks Thai (for a fee).

You are given a choice. Either settle the case with US$10,000 or go to a notorious Thai jail while you wait for your case to be heard in court.

Many western travellers have fallen prey to this scam. Thailand might be the Land of the Smiles, but there are corrupt Thai people and officials waiting to fleece tourists.

The Thai Prime Minister has promised to take action. Meanwhile, be very very careful when you shop at Bangkok international airport.


  1. Hey Roger,
    We don't get to all really. Reading your blog is like taking short little trips. Keep up the good work.

  2. Thank you Sir. Your blog's name WMTDS always cracks me up (is that the right expression?). WMTDS= who made that dirty sound. LOL

  3. What can we do in that situation? Call Singapore embassy? lol

  4. Singapore Embassy will probably say"Fill up all these forms please but first pay up first. Fees you know." LOL

  5. Yeah.. I often go Thailand and have witnessed western tourists being arrested shortly after leaving shops. The simple answer is not to go into the airport shops.