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On Monday a special courtroom opened at Suvarnabhumi airport to hear complaints from tourists, a move that will enable courts to deal with legal issues involving visitors to Thailand quickly and efficiently.
Spokesman for the judiciary Mr Sittisak Wannanchakij said “This is to provide convenience for tourist who are involved in minor cases because they have a limited period to stay in the kingdom”.
The aim is to reduce the number of crimes at the airport and improve the county’s image. Cases will be heard via video link at the nearby Samut Prakan provincial court.
The new courtroom is on the third floor of Suvarnbhumi airport in CIP room 4. Pongsak Semsan, Airports of Thailand PLC interim president said that 1,980, mostly petty crimes were reported at the airport from January to August.
The airport receives approximately 150,000 passengers every day and receives endless complaints over taxi prices and duty free scams where tourists have been falsely accused of shoplifting.
Thailand is planning on opening eight tourist courts across the country and expects about twenty six million tourists to visit its shores. A tourist court in Pattaya was opened on September 5th to handle minor cases that involve tourist. A second court is expected to open in Phuket today.
The courts have been welcomed by some in the travel industry. Luzi Matzig, director of the Asian Trails travel agency said “I think it’s a good thing. I would say congratulations to the minister of tourism for making it happen,” “It seems the Pattaya court is working, now we have Bangkok and pretty soon Phuket. I welcome the idea. The courts can issue fines or arrest warrants if the people are found to be crooks, and then the tourists can leave.”
He said the main scams targeting tourists in Thailand involve the hire of jet skis in Pattaya and Phuket, overcharging by taxis, and sales of fake jewellery.