Phuket court opens special section for tourists

Phuket court

Due to the increased number of court cases involving tourists in Phuket, the Phuket Provincial Court has reopened a special section for tourists.

The Bangkok Post reported that the Phuket Provincial Court had reopened a tourist section to help visitors to the province settle court cases following an increase in tourist traffic and a recent spike in lawsuits involving tourists.

Acting Phuket Provincial Court Chief Judge Kriangsak Rodpunshu, who led the meeting to reopen the tourism section, said the increased number of Thai and foreign tourists in Phuket has caused a spike in criminal and civil cases involving tourists.

Kriangsak said the increase in cases affects tourists’ confidence in personal safety and potential risk to property and has a spillover effect on tourism in the country as a whole.

    ‘The tourism court will boost the confidence of tourists and improve the image of Phuket province and tourism in Thailand as a whole,’ he said

‘Proceedings at the Tourist Court Section will help provide justice for tourists in case of criminal or civil disputes, as well as disputes with government agencies so that tourists receive legal protection,’ Kriangsak said.

The Tourist Court branch first opened on 24 September 2017 but ceased operations due to the pandemic. Its functions include helping tourists file complaints in consumer protection cases, organising negotiations, finding tourist witnesses, and issuing summonses to businessmen who receive a lawsuit.

The opening of the section follows the recent case in Phuket of two New Zealand tourists who were banned from visiting the country after being assaulted by a traffic police officer on 16 March. The New Zealanders face charges of robbery, obstructing an officer in the line of duty, assaulting a law officer, driving without a licence and bribery.

Tourists crowd Phuket’s Old Town, a favourite of foreign tourists from Europe and Russia who come to the resort island for the warm weather

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