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A Thai mug shot of the 17 foreigners arrested in Thailand for teaching English without a work permit - (Screen shot of The Embassy (Australia) TV series)


Engaged couple arrested in Thailand for teaching English without a work permit - (Screen shot of The Embassy (Australia) TV series)


An Australian caught lying to his Embassy that he lost his passport. It cost him money - (Screen shot of The Embassy (Australia) TV series)







James Loving - National Radio Text Service



The Embassy follows the behind the scenes of one of the world's busiest Australian Embassies, in Bangkok, Thailand. Watch as diplomat staff help expats and tourists in trouble with their misadventures and ill fortunes


Sunday June 25, 2023

Couple Arrested For Teaching English in Thailand Without A WORK Permit

Occasionally the Australian Channel offers some interesting programming. Due to regime changes the quality varies due to budget restraints. In the past we have reviewed some interesting shows that since have disappeared from the channel. A saving grace is where the You Tube channel demonstrates its value.

Over the years the channel also known as ABC presented some interesting documentaries. Our most memorable is the series that unveiled how Israel's Mossad agency jailed and allegedly one of their own who happened to be a Jew from Australia. We haven't found that show but our other most memorable series is The Embassy Australia.

This series shows several separates incidents where Australian citizens get into trouble with the law of the various countries they visit abroad. As they proudly project their Embassy is there to help their citizens in need whenever they are necessary. Obviously it must be true since they made a TV series from their adventures and cases.

The Embassy Australia is one of our all-time favorite shows that disappeared from the channel. You Tube came to the rescue with episodes of the show.

In one of the episodes we viewed was a case in Thailand where a couple is arrested for teaching English without a proper work permit. When their Thai lawyer demanded cash in a bag, the Embassy advised them on how to proceed.

It was a dodgy where the couple was arrested in a nighttime raid in the northern city of Chiang Mai. When accepting the job they were told that the company would arrange all of the legal paperwork that was necessary. They then accepted the position that paid each 30,000 baht a month = $1,000 (Australian?) a month. They trusted the Thais only later to find they were deceived.

The Embassy advised them not to use the company's lawyer because HE WORKED FOR THE COMPANY. They also recommended that they get their own lawyer.

The engaged couple and the other 16 foreigners that were arrested were facing a five year jail term, a fine and be deported.

They contacted the Australian Embassy. One problem arose when it was revealed that the female was a German citizen. That meant that if deported they would be sent to their respective countries and their two years of being engaged would be disrupted.

After the 17 foreigners pooled their money together and paid a Thai lawyer they hired $8,000 the lawyer failed to produce. When they were contacted by their dodgy lawyer he informed them to meet him at a restaurant with a maximum penalty fee amounting to 400,000 baht = $15,000 Australian. The Embassy said it sounded fishy and advised not to hand money over to anyone.

When the lawyer turned up he had several statements for everyone to sign. The problem was all of the documents were written in Thai. It sums up to lawyer, after lawyer after several dodgy Thai lawyers taking advantage of uninformed foreigners is their business.

The Embassy then contacted an Australian man that spoke Thai to assist. They all had a meeting with the police at the station. The foreigners apologized for their mistake which in Thailand goes a long way.

The meeting and apology resulted that they would not go to jail or deported but would receive a fine equating to $300 Australian. The apology with the help of a Thai speaking Australian via the Embassy resulted in savings of $14,700 Australian and smiles all around.

Another case involved a young man that went to Koh Samui to attend the Full Moon Party. He told the Embassy that his passport was stolen and that he needed an emergency one since he was flying home in a few days.

The Embassy later found that it was not stolen and he LIED, therefore committing a criminal offense by lying to an Australian government agency. Basically he was lying to the Australian government. They discovered that his passport was not stolen and was in Koh Samui with a motorbike rental business.

The rental business said the bike was stolen and wanted 56,000 baht = $2,500 Australian for payment. The foreigner believed that the rental business stole the bike in the first place which is believed to be a tourist scam.

The Embassy recommends their citizens not to leave their passports with anyone since it is the property of the Australian government. He was informed by the Thai tourist police that in his situation his best bet was to go to Bangkok and his Embassy and get another passport. The Embassy's position was they didn't know who was telling the truth and who was lying. It was just one persons word against the other. They advised him return to the rental business and sort his problem out. The Embassy believes that leaving ones passport leaves a foreigner open to all kinds of things.

He returned to the motorbike rental business filming it with his phone. He met the owner at the police station where filming was not allowed. His passport was returned after he paid $1,500 - 38,000 baht.

A personal aside from this is in my 35 years of traveling through East Asia and renting motorbikes they will not rent without holding your passport. Their concern is the foreigner would sell or damage the bike and leave the country. This is a case of there are two sides to every story. But the advice must be heeded since there are a number of businesses in ASEAN nations that make money taking advantage of tourists. The problem and concern works both ways. It all boils down to BUYERS BEWARE.

What's interesting about this series is the manner which it is edited. They take several minutes of excerpts from one subject to another, move on and return. This keeps the viewer involved and the show lively. It holds the viewer in place throughout the 42-45 minutes of segments. In our view… IT'S A WORTH WATCH!

There are two more subjects in this episode. We will continue to review them. The reason why is… these problems occur far too often in the Land of Smiles.




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