Viewing cable 07BANGKOK4303
Title: STAFFDEL KOGER - THAILAND COUNTRY CLEARANCE

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
07BANGKOK43032007-08-08 09:38:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Bangkok
VZCZCXYZ0002
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBK #4303/01 2200938
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 080938Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY BANGKOK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8801
INFO RUEHJA/AMEMBASSY JAKARTA 6730
RUEHML/AMEMBASSY MANILA 9265
RUEHPF/AMEMBASSY PHNOM PENH 2363
RUEHGP/AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE 3971
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 9628
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 3919
UNCLAS BANGKOK 004303 
 
SIPDIS 
 
CODEL 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR H 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: OREP AMGT ASECTH AFIN CB ID HK JP TH SN
SUBJECT: STAFFDEL KOGER - THAILAND COUNTRY CLEARANCE 
 
REF: STATE 109694 
 
¶1.  Post warmly welcomes and grants country clearance to 
Staffdel Koger from 23-26 August. 
 
¶2.  Hotel reservations have been made at: 
 
Four Seasons Hotel, 155 Rajadamri Road 
Tel:  66-2-251-6127 
Fax:  66-2-254-5390 
 
Room rate is USD 146 (taxes and American breakfast included) 
and is within per diem (lodging $146, M&IE - $72). 
 
¶3.  Embassy point of contact is: 
 
Name:  David H. Myaard 
Work phone:  (66-2) 205-4963 
Office fax:  (66-2) 252-1687 
Cell phone:  (66-81) 869-2824 
Unclass E-mail Address:  myaarddh@state.gov 
 
SIPDIS 
 
After-hours emergency number for the Embassy is (66-2) 
205-4108. 
 
¶4.  Although visas are not required of holders of U.S. 
passports (whether diplomatic, official or tourist) who plan 
to stay fewer than 30 days, post nonetheless recommends that 
TDY travelers obtain an official visa before coming to 
Thailand.  It is extremely difficult to extend the 30-day 
entry permit granted without a visa at the airport, and fines 
for overstays are costly. 
 
¶5.   SECURITY INFORMATION 
 
----------------------------------------- 
¶A.  MANDATORY PERSONAL SECURITY TRAINING: 
----------------------------------------- 
 
--  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.   CRIME: 
----------- 
 
--  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. 
 
--  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. 
 
--  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 
sporadic 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.   TRAFFIC: 
------------- 
 
--  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.  TERRORISM: 
-------------- 
 
--  The threat from transnational terrorist groups to the 
U.S. Mission in Bangkok is currently ranked medium.  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. 
 
--  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. 
 
--  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.  OTHER SECURITY TIPS: 
------------------------ 
 
--  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. 
 
--  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. 
 
--  Visitors should also review 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. 
 
--  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 US Embassy Bangkok, we hope you have 
a safe and pleasant visit. 
ENTWISTLE