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Biometric passports needed to stop foreign pickpockets preying on tourists

Samui Times Editor

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Biometric passports needed to stop foreign pickpockets preying on tourists | Samui Times
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Thai Rath columnist “Plueng Payak” called on the authorities to press for biometric passports to stop foreign pickpockets stealing from tourists. 

Biometric passports needed to stop foreign pickpockets preying on tourists | News by Samui Times

Gangs and individuals preying on tourists in busy areas often return to Thailand under new names and surnames, said the columnist, to just steal again. 

It was a big problem for the police despite the efforts of immigration chief Lt-Gen Surachate Hakparn who was credited with many recent busts. 

The columnist mentioned a recent case of a British tourist who was followed on the BTS by an Algerian thief who stole more than 100,000 in sterling from the tourist at Mo Chit. He then used stolen credit cards to buy goods. 

He admitted to many such thefts.

Suracahate had instructed his senior deputies to solve the problem but was facing a battle as the thieves kept changing their names and modus operandi. 

However, they credited the man known as “Big Joke” as smashing pickpocket gangs from Mongolia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia.

The thieves invariably target tourists who are vulnerable and often don’t report crimes. They might have difficulty in communication in a foreign land. 

But the thefts are problematical for the tourist industry and the image of Thailand. They lead to increased insurance premiums and bad press. 

Biometric passports was the way to go in the future to give the authorities a helping hand in the fight against this kind of crime, he said. 

Source: Thai Rath

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