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Thai border officials in crackdown on Western ‘begpackers’

Thai authorities are demanding tourists show them proof that they have enough money before letting them enter the country, according to reports.

While Thailand has long required tourists to arrive with a minimum of 10,000 Baht (£230) per person and 20,000 (£460) Baht per family, it was a rule rarely enforced until now.

Travellers have been taking to online forums saying that airport officials are demanding to see the sums in cash, with one German traveller claiming he was detained in a cockroach-ridden cell for not carrying any, and denied access to an ATM. 

Thai authorities are demanding tourists show them proof that they have enough money before letting them enter the country, according to reports (stock image)

According to ThaiVisa, the move forms part of a crackdown on the rise of western visitors begging for money or working illegally there.

The trend, casually referred to as ‘begpacking’, sees mainly European and Australian visitors plead or perform for cash on the streets.

Numerous videos recently-uploaded to social media depict young travellers trying to generate money with such tactics. 

According to ThaiVisa’s forum, one British national – who had three previous tourist visa entries in his passport – was asked to show the sum after landing at Bangkok’s Don Mueang airport. 

Travellers have been taking to online forums saying that airport officials are demanding to see the sums in cash

Travellers have been taking to online forums saying that airport officials are demanding to see the sums in cash

One German tourist claims on ThaiVisa that he was detained in a squalid immigration centre at the city's Suvarnabhumi Airport for not having enough cash on him

One German tourist claims on ThaiVisa that he was detained in a squalid immigration centre at the city’s Suvarnabhumi Airport for not having enough cash on him

Fortunately, he was carrying the cash amount and was granted access. 

But not everybody has been so fortunate. 

One German tourist claims he was detained in a squalid immigration centre at the city’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, which processes more than 45 million people each year.

Writing on the forum, he says he was detained despite offering to show his bank statements.

While Thailand has long required tourists to arrive with a minimum of 10,000 Baht (£230) per person and 20,000 (£460) Baht per family, it was a rule rarely enforced until now

While Thailand has long required tourists to arrive with a minimum of 10,000 Baht (£230) per person and 20,000 (£460) Baht per family, it was a rule rarely enforced until now

‘I was asked to show 20k THB and I only had 8k on me, but I told them I could show them my banking account or go to any ATM and withdraw the money,’ he said. 

‘The guy was power-tripping for whatever reason and didn’t let me. Said he doesn’t trust me and that I’ll go home. I’m in the detention cell right now. Already been here for a good eight hours and it sucks. 

‘Cockroaches everywhere, no blankets, no pillows. It’s a good time.’ 

The scrutiny even stretches as far as Padang Besar in Malaysia, which borders Thailand to the south.

A record-breaking 32 million foreign visitors travelled into Thailand in 2016, with even more expected this year. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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