November 14, 2023
BANGKOK – A senior police officer ruled out the possibility of Chinese police patrolling key tourist cities in Thailand to boost the confidence of Chinese travellers.
The officer, who asked not to be named, told The Nation on Monday that the proposal raised by Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) governor Thapanee Kiatphaibool could not be implemented due to the restrictions of Thai security law.
“I believe this project cannot be done because Thai law does not permit foreign officials to join the operations of Thai police. It will clearly break the law,” the source added.
The TAT governor had raised the idea at a meeting with Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin on Sunday. The premier had summoned her, along with representatives of the Tourist Police Bureau and the Central Investigation Bureau to discuss ways of boosting Chinese arrivals and counter fake news doing the rounds.
The unnamed source said the premier was concerned that false reports like human traffickers kidnapping Chinese tourists to sell their organs would hurt Thailand’s tourism industry.
Thapanee suggested that the government consider having Chinese police officers patrol areas frequented by Chinese tourists to boost their confidence. She noted that this measure had been implemented by some nations in the West.
This proposal, however, drew much criticism on Thai social media, with most netizens saying it would be inappropriate to give foreigners authority over Thai territory.
The police source, meanwhile, said police representatives at the meeting had clarified to the premier that this action could not be taken as the law would not permit it.
Instead, they proposed that Thai authorities exchange information with their Chinese counterparts to boost confidence among Chinese tourists.
The senior officer added that the premier had asked all relevant agencies to review the situation and present their opinions on Wednesday.