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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05BANGKOK6336
2005-10-04 09:10:00
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Bangkok
Cable title:  

STAFFDEL MCCORMICK OCTOBER 10-17, 2005

Tags:  AFIN AMGT ASEC OREP BM TH 
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						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BANGKOK 006336 

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

FOR KELVIN DICKENS H/EX

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AFIN AMGT ASEC OREP BM TH
SUBJECT: STAFFDEL MCCORMICK OCTOBER 10-17, 2005

REF: STATE 182923



1. (SBU) Post warmly welcomes the October 11-12 and 16
visit to Thailand of Mr. James McCormick and delegation to
Thailand. Control Officer for the Bangkok portion of the
visit will be Political Officer James F. Cole. (Office-
66-02-205-4816; Home-66-02-287-4652; Cell-01-868-0498;
e-mail Colejf@state.gov). Additional scheduling information
will be sent as it becomes available.



2. (SBU) Per schedule in reftel. reservations for three
single rooms have been made for staff delegation at the Amari
Airport Hotel for evening of October 11. Reservation Code
no. 2866248. Nightly rate is USD 112 net for room (this rate
includes tax and service charge.) The Amari Airport Hotel
can be accessed via an enclosed walkway from the airport
terminal building.



3. (SBU) Hotel information: Amari Airport Hotel. 333
Chert Wudthakas Road. Bangkok, 10210. Tel. 66-02-566-1020;
Fax. 66 02-566-1941; e-mail www.amari.com/airport.



4. (U) Perdiem in Bangkok is USD 125 and MI&E is USD 57.
The hotel reservations can be canceled up to 24 hours in
advance and every cancellation will be given a cancellation
code. Not fulfilling a confirmed booking or canceling less
than 24 hours before arrival will result in a charge of one
night being charged to the credit card used to guarantee the
booking.



5. (U) Thailand has an airport departure tax of 500 baht
which must be paid in local currency upon departure.



6. (SBU) Security Information:



A. (U) CRIME:


--------------------------



- (U) Crime is generally non-confrontational in nature.
Criminal acts are usually crimes of opportunity such as
purse-snatchings, thefts of unattended property, and pick
pocketing. Visitors should be especially alert in crowded
buses, streets, and markets or while on "tuk-tuks." Visitors
should lock valuables in hotel safe deposit boxes not in
their hotel rooms.

- (U) Be aware of common scams and frauds (including credit
cards, in particular). Visitors should only use credit cards
at well-established and reputable businesses. Visitors
should be careful when purchasing branded or copyrighted
goods. There are many pirated counterfeit products in the
marketplace; their purchase is against post regulations and
it is illegal to import these products into the U.S. Be wary
of common scams for jewelry, suits, silks, gems, or
antiquities. There are no Thai government-owned or sponsored
gem stores. If victimized, seek assistance from Tourist
Police by dialing 1155.

- (U) Visitors are cautioned from visiting bars involved in
the sex trade. Many of these operate illegally and clients
can be subject to RTG law; they often charge exorbitant drink
prices and cover charges. There are also many incidents of
crime against patrons in these establishments. Drugging and
robbing of unwary individuals is not uncommon. There are
frequent reports of victims being drugged and robbed or
beaten when visiting these bars. The drugs used can cause
serious temporary memory impairment, unconsciousness, and if
overdosed, death.



B. (U) TRAFFIC:


--------------------------



- (U) The traffic situation in Bangkok can be difficult and
dangerous for both pedestrians and vehicle occupants. All
visitors should be alert to traffic patterns and unexpected
motorcycle drivers. Traffic drives on the left-hand side,
opposite from the U.S., although there may be a bus lane that
flows in the opposite direction. Pedestrians should use the
overhead walkways for crossing busy streets.



C. (SBU) TERRORISM:


--------------------------



- (SBU) The threat from transnational terrorist groups to
the U.S. Mission in Bangkok is currently ranked high. Despite
stepped up RTG efforts to monitor its borders, they remain
relatively porous and allow easy illegal access.
Transnational terrorist groups, including Al-Qa-ida and
Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), have utilized Thailand as a transit
point.

- (SBU) The threat from indigenous terrorist groups is
currently rated as low. There is no evidence to indicate
that indigenous terrorist groups are planning acts against
U.S. personnel or facilities. The far south of Thailand has
experienced incidents of criminally and politically motivated
violence, including incidents attributed to armed local
Muslim separatist groups. Although Americans have not been
specifically targeted in the past, the indiscriminate nature
of past attacks by these groups - including bombings of
public places - indicates a potential threat to American
citizens.

- (U) The State Department is concerned that there is an
increased risk of terrorism in Southeast Asia, including
Thailand. Travelers to Thailand should therefore exercise
caution, especially in locations where Westerners congregate,
such as clubs, discos, bars, restaurants, hotels, tourist
areas, and other places frequented by foreigners.



D. (U) OTHER SECURITY TIPS:


--------------------------



- (U) Visitors should avoid making any pejorative comments
about any members of the Thai Royal Family or engaging in
disrespectful conduct within temples or toward religious
objects. Such behavior can result in arrest and/or expulsion
from Thailand.

- (U) Precautions should also be taken not to discuss
sensitive or classified matters outside secure environments
or over unsecured and/or cellular telephones, and to securely
safeguard classified or sensitive materials at the Chancery
and not at hotels or residences.

- (U) Visitors should also be aware of the State
Department's Consular Information Sheet for Thailand and the
most recent Worldwide Caution Public Announcements, which are
available via the Internet at http://travel.state.gov. DOD
personnel must review the PACOM Force Protection Levels for
Thailand found at http://131.84.1.218/staff/at/athome.shtml.

- (U) In essence, visitors to Bangkok must exercise
appropriate caution and be alert to their surroundings with
regard to their personal security. Suspicious
incidents/activities should be reported to RSO Bangkok (Tel.
02-205-4000, 24 hrs/day). On behalf of U.S. Embassy Bangkok,
we hope you have a safe and pleasant visit.
BOYCE