Phuket criminals enjoy official protection, says consul
Larry Cunningham, Australia's honorary consul in Phuket, has told The Age newspaper that Thai police deserved praise for quickly bringing the killers of Perth travel agent Michelle Smith to justice.
But he said many of the criminals targeting tourists are never brought to justice and some have official protection.
"The major problem has always been the application of the law in Phuket where assaults continue unabated virtually every night and there are little or no arrests of the guilty parties, mainly because they have patronage protection," Australia's consul told The Age.
The death of 60-year-old Mrs Smith during a bag snatch attempt on June 20 prompted intervention from Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and Thailand's top police, who ordered a crackdown on violence against tourists on Thailand's biggest resort island.
Justice, in Mrs Smith's case, was swift after the killers were sentenced to life imprisonment.