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05BANGKOK2189 THAILAND COUNTRY CLEARANCE REQUEST FOR: NEJDAT R. MULLA

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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BANGKOK 002189

 

SIPDIS

 

SENSITIVE

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: OTRA TH

SUBJECT: THAILAND COUNTRY CLEARANCE REQUEST FOR: NEJDAT R.

MULLA

 

REF: STATE 051428

 

¶1. (U) Post welcomes and grants country clearance to Nejdat

¶R. Mulla from April 2 – 7, 2005.

 

¶2. (U) Reservations have not been made per reftel.

 

¶3. (U) Embassy point of contact is: David Distefano. Work

phone: (66-2) 205-4715, Home: (66-2) 253-3039, cell phone:

(66-7) 089-1597. After-hours emergency number for the

embassy is (66-2) 205-4108.

 

¶4. (U) Due to limited resources and easy availability of

airport transportation, post policy does not allow for

airport meet and assist. Thai Airways Limousine Service and

American Express Airport Taxi are recommended for persons

unfamiliar with Bangkok. These services are located inside

the arrival hall, which you enter after clearing customs. The

cost of a one-way trip varies form 700 to 1,500 Baht,

depending on the type of vehicle, figure in another 70 Baht

for expressway tolls. Regular taxis are also available and

cost approximately 225 Baht, not including tolls, and a taxi

airport surcharge of 50 Baht. Currently, the Thai Baht is

approximately 38/dollar.

 

¶5. (U) Although visas are not required of holders of U.S.

tourist passports who plan to stay fewer than 30 days,

holders of diplomatic or official passports MUST OBTAIN visas

prior to arrival. If a traveler is not a U.S. passport

holder; please call your local Thai Embassy for visa

information.

 

¶6. (U) Thailand has an airport departure tax of 500 Baht

that must be paid in local currency upon departure.

 

¶7. (SBU) SECURITY INFORMATION

——————————-

 

¶A. (U) MANDATORY PERSONAL SECURITY TRAINING:

———————————————

 

– (U) All U.S. citizen personnel serving under Chief of

Mission authority in a temporary duty status of 30 days or

more must complete appropriate overseas personal security

training prior to travel (04 State 66580). Employees who

have completed the Security Overseas Seminar Course at

State’s Foreign Service Institute (FSI) after June 1, 2000

meet this requirement. All other TDYers must either 1)

complete the approved four-day seminar at FSI entitled

“Serving Abroad for Families & Employees (SAFE)” or 2) have

their agency certify to the State Department Bureau of

Diplomatic Security that the employee has undergone

equivalent security training. The contact for this

certification is Assistant Director of training, DS/T, at

telephone (703) 205-2617. Country clearance will not be

granted for any traveler with planned TDY in excess of 30

days if this information is not stated/certified. POC for

additional information is DS RSOBangkok@state.gov.

 

¶B. (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.

 

¶C. (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.

 

¶D. (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.

 

¶E. (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

Written by thaicables

August 28, 2011 at 5:51 am

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