Begging for a solution to city’s street urchins

0
454

Pattaya’s outdoor markets are becoming as well known for professional beggars as they are for fresh fruit and good deals.

At South Pattaya’s Wat Chaimongkol Market, vendors complain that child and disabled beggars operate with impunity, protected by moneyed criminals and unaffected by sporadic city enforcement patrols.

Lek Intarasorn, 54, said she’s been selling fruit at the market for 20 years and that the begging operation is now a permanent fixture. Connected underworld figures bring in a steady stream of kids and disabled people to solicit donations, taking in more than 1,000 baht each a day.

At South Pattaya’s Wat Chaimongkol Market, vendors complain that child and disabled beggars operate with impunity, protected by moneyed criminals. At South Pattaya’s Wat Chaimongkol Market, vendors complain that child and disabled beggars operate with impunity, protected by moneyed criminals.

Operating from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m., the beggars are alerted by lookouts of city inspectors coming their way. And when the beggars begin looking healthy again after too many days of free food – they’re shipped out for more feeble replacements, she said.

There’s little the city can actually do about the problem. There is no law on the books preventing begging. Police can only sweep them off the streets, deport illegal aliens and go after cases in which there is clear evidence of human trafficking.