Tourism Minster may set up a Tourist Court to make fast reaching of justice to foreign tourist

With crime against tourist a concern in Thailand, Thailand may set up a Tourist Court to make fast reaching of justice to foreign tourists who would otherwise depart from this country before any lawsuits they have filed could be judged by an ordinary court. According to Tourism & Sports Minister Somsak Purisrisak, the so-called Tourist Court will handle varied criminal and civil lawsuits lodged by foreign visitors against any accused persons in Thailand in relatively prompt fashion, compared to the existing courts of justice which may spend a longer period of time than the plaintiff tourists can wait. “There are so many cases in which plaintiff tourists such as those who may have been robbed or physically assaulted have already departed from the country before they are eventually ruled in court. We’ve been concerned that such legal snags might inadvertently fail to serve justice or maintain the confidence of the tourists in the safety of their own lives and property while staying in our country,” Somsak said over the weekend. One expert on tourist safety says: “Although the crime threat in Bangkok remains lower than that in many American cities, crimes of opportunity such as pick-pocketing, purse-snatching, and burglary have become more common in recent years. Travelers should be especially wary when walking in crowded markets, tourist sites and bus or train stations. Many American citizens have reported having passports, wallets, and other valuables stolen in Bangkok’s Chatuchak Weekend Market, usually by thieves who cut into purses or bags with a razor and remove items surreptitiously. Police at the Market usually refuse to issue police reports for foreign victims of theft, requiring them instead to travel several miles to the central Tourist Police office. Violent crimes against foreigners are relatively rare. However, there has been a recent upsurge in violent crime against tourists, including the murder of several independent travelers, on the southern islands of Phuket and Koh Samui. Independent travelers should exercise caution and stay in the vicinity of other travelers, especially in the beach areas of these islands. (Source).

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