Pol Lt Gen Prawut Thawornsiri, spokesman for the Royal Thai Police, has said tourists DO NOT need to carry passports at all times.
His comment came when he was responding to the recent tourist shakedown reports in various media outlets over the past month. He stated that if asked to show their passports, tourists can produce their documents at a later time if necessary.
With his clarification, Mr Thawornsiri brings an end to an expat point of argument spanning years relating to the need to carry a copy, the original or nothing at all.
Pol Lt Gen Prawut also told ASTV Manager that the RTP would be conducting a probe into allegations in an article published by The Sydney Morning Herald last week that police officers had stopped, searched, harassed and extorted bribes from foreigners along Sukhumvit Road.
This now brings the number of investigations into the reported stop and searches to three. Pol Maj Gen Apichai Thi-amart, chief of the Tourist Police Division, said he has also ordered an investigation into the matter as have the Ministry of Tourism and Sports following discussions with the British Ambassador to Thailand.
More fuel will be added to the fire in the coming days when Al Jazeera publish an article that covers the street side drug tests that have allegedly taken place during some stop and searches of foreigners around Sukhumvit / Asoke that quotes a ranking policeman from Thonglor Police District saying there was no wrong doing by officers working out of that police district and pointed the finger at his fellow officers from a neighbouring district.
Image via police.go.th