Illegal Chinese guides threaten Thai guides

About a dozen Chinese-speaking Thai tour guides in Bangkok on Wednesday asked police to take action against illegal Chinese guides for allegedly threatening to assault them.

The group led by Paisarn Suathanuwong filed a complaint along with photos and audio clips as evidence with the Crime Suppression Division on behalf of the Thai-Chinese Tourist Guide Club. 

On Sunday, about 100 club members converged outside the Grand Palace, one of Bangkok’s busiest tourist spots, to protest Chinese who were in Thailand disguised as tourists but working as guides and had taken their jobs.

The protest angered the illegal Chinese guides, prompting about 70-80 of them to meet in Ratchadaphisek Soi 18 on Tuesday to discuss their response. An audio clip was later found posted on YouTube encouraging members of the unregistered Chinese guides to contribute money to hire a gang to assault the Thai guides. A group of people had tried to look for Thai Chinese-speaking guides at tourist spots and intimidated some club members via telephone calls. 

“We are concerned about our safety,” Mr Paisarn said. “We want concerned authorities to tackle this problem urgently because it has badly affected the Thai guides. We have no jobs because they have been taken by the illegal guides.”  

The club earlier said the illegal guides had been overcharging Chinese visitors and running the racket for more than 10 years, damaging the country’s tourism. It had filed complaints with several state agencies including the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) but the problem had not yet been solved.

Thai work permit laws prohibit foreigners from working as tour guides.

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