Koh Larn vendor questioned after Chinese tourists’ complaint

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A Koh Larn beach vendor was questioned by police after two Chinese tourists filed a complaint alleging they were threatened and forced to buy 12,400 baht in leather goods.

Aphicha Yenphukhao, 45, was picked up by officers on Tawaen Beach Jan. 14 following the complaint by Chen Lei, 43, Xu Guangming, 45, and a tour guide that the two tourists were physically threatened if they did not buy four leather bags and a belt.

Since the Chinese tourists who filed a complaint with police had already returned home, Aphicha Yenphukhao (pictured) was not charged.Since the Chinese tourists who filed a complaint with police had already returned home, Aphicha Yenphukhao (pictured) was not charged.

Aphicha told officers he has been a vendor on Koh Larn for more ten years and insisted he never threatened anyone. He said he merely approached the two men, who were part of a tour group of 10 Chinese tourists, and they agreed to purchase the items with a mix of Chinese and Thai currency equaling about 12,400 baht.

Police went back to question the tourists further, but found they had already checked out of their hotel and could not be reached. Since the tourists were not pursuing the claims, the vendor was released without charge.

Police then defended the beach vendor, speculating to the media that the Chinese tourists probably were just trying to stir up trouble and filed a fake police report in order to cheat their insurance company with a false claim.