KRABI: Police are hunting for a former employee of a tour company who escaped after allegedly scamming 23 Malaysian tourists in Krabi.

Yesterday, a team of officers from the Krabi Tourist Police, led by Sub Lt Suwan Tuamsri, helped temporarily accommodate a teacher and 22 university students after their tour agent disappeared upon their arrival in Krabi on Tuesday.

“The group had purchased a tour from Teeradech Saetiao via Facebook. Mr Teeradech used to work at the ‘Mariam Tour Company’, but had been fired a year ago. The tourists said they had paid Mr Teeradech a deposit of 38,100 baht for tickets to Krabi and hotel accommodation from April18-22,” said Sub Lt Suwan.

Unable to locate Mr Teeradech on their arrival, the group proceeded to the ‘Amazon Resort’ in Ao Nang, the hotel named in the tour package.

“They were shocked to learn that no booking had ever been made in their name. On the first night, the hotel staff helped them out by providing accommodation at just 250 baht per night,” added Sub Lt Suwan.

The next day, police ordered the tour company owner to accommodate the tourists for free, until Mr Teeradech was found.

The owner has pressed charges against Mr Teeradech for discrediting the company’s reputation, and the tourists have pressed charges for fraud.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong