Until recently foreign tourists and even farang expats were left alone by local criminals as they knew the police would come down hard on them as the government wished to protect the investment and reputation of the tourist industry which contributes 17% to the national economy.
The expat community also adds a great deal more as many retire in Thailand and settle in the country with a new partner (along with their pensions), and take care of their families.
However there are more and more reports coming through of Thai criminals targeting foreign couples that have gold jewelry which could become a problem in public places, particularly in the main tourist destinations of Thailand
Police last week arrested two Thai men who attacked an elderly Canadian with a machete in Chumphon during a botched mugging. The men identified as Yuthana Chumworathayee, 36, and Sarawut Katerat, 35, had followed the couple in a pickup until they reached a quiet stretch of the street where they stopped and one attempted to snatch a gold necklace from Ms Kulkaew.
Mr Sullivan intervened and was set about by Yuthana who was armed with a machete leaving the elderly Canadian with multiple cuts and slashes to his arms and neck.
The “Buriram Times” reported recently on a similar incident. Police have expressed their concern and say that most of these criminals have a drug problem and need quick cash.
The simple answer is to keep your gold in the safe unless you are going out to a safe environment.