Students ripped-off by tour guide in Thailand

Two of the 13 graduate students file their police complaint against the Trang tour agent they allege cheated them. (Photo by Methee Muangkaew)

A group of graduate students who bought tour packages to Trang have accused their tour agent of leaving them stranded in this southern province.

The 13 graduates on Monday filed a complaint with Muang district police alleging the agent, known as Homestay Ae Koh Mook Trang of tambon Koh Libong in Trang’s Kantang district, had cheated them.

The complainants said they had booked tour packages, three days and two nights with visits to the Trang sea and other attractions, at 3,000 baht per head, or 39,000 baht in total. They had paid the agent 29,000 baht in advance three months ago and were to pay another 10,000 baht when they arrived in Trang.

Ms Bee, one of the complainants, said they arrived in Trang on Saturday morning, and that was as far as the tour went. They were not taken anywhere at all.

Under the tour packages, they were to stay at Koh Mook Siwalai resort for two nights. On the first day, the agent would take them to visit the Trang sea. On the second day, they were to visit Koh Rok, with a tour of downtown Trang on the third day.

Ms Bee said the tour agent’s staff  told them the waves were too big so they could not go out to sea on the first day as scheduled. They asked for a change of itinerary, with the sea trip on day three and a visit downtown on the first day.

Their request was refused for unconvincing reasons, Ms Bee said.

The students were disgruntled and suspicious, and immediately contacted Koh Mook Siwalai resort to ask about their accommodation. They discovered that no rooms had been booked for them.

Pol Lt Paranon Promchek, deputy chief of Trang tourist police, said the tour agent would be asked to return the money to the students. Charges would be filed later.

He said an initial investigation found the tour agent’s operating permit had expired. Police were preparing a case of operating an unlicensed tour business. – Bangkok Post

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