Police scour CCTV footage for evidence of the spitting incident said to involve a number of foreigners in Chanthaburi on Tuesday outside a convenience store. The reports were treated seriously by the President of Khlung City Municipality, Burin Thanudomnan, who ordered city workers to conduct a clean down operation with a water tanker near the store and pavements in the vicinity.

Police officers in Chanthaburi province are investigating what are still unconfirmed reports in the Thai media of several foreigners spitting and ranting outside a local convenience store after having been refused service by staff.

Police in Chanthaburi province are investigating the incident led by Colonel Watcharachai Nukulwon who is Deputy Chief at Khlung Police Station. The incident reportedly happened on Tuesday outside a local convenience store on Municipal 4 road and is being treated seriously by the President of Khlung City Municipality.

Police in Khlung City in Chanthaburi province in the southeast of Thailand have launched an investigation into unconfirmed reports from locals at a convenience store that a number of foreign tourists caused a scene on Tuesday after being refused admission to the outlet by diligent staff enforcing hygiene rules.

These measures insist on customers wearing a face mask.

Following this, the tourists are thought to have ranted loudly and begun spitting on themselves and the pavement in the vicinity of the shop.

Reports of foreigners spitting on a public footpath outside the store after making a scene over service

On Tuesday, in Chanthaburi province, there were reports of an incident involving a group of foreigners who deliberately spat on the ground outside a local convenience store to show their displeasure at not been served because they were not wearing a face mask which is now essential for most public spaces and retail outlets in Thailand still open.

The incident is believed to have happened in the Khlung district of Chanthaburi on the Gulf of Thailand.

Report of the rash actions are unclear

Reports on the incident are unclear but the rash actions by those involved caused locals to flee the scene and prompted Mr Burin Thanudomnan, the President of the Khlung City Municipality to order local officials to begin a clean down process to allay public concern.

Following this, the pavements outside the convenience store and along the street in the area were hosed down with disinfectant.

The store is reportedly located at Municipal 4 road in Khlung City.

Heightened tensions at this time as local Thai people suffer under the economic shutdown nationwide

It is reported the incident involved foreign tourists. 

At this heightened time of fear generated by the virus and tensions caused by the shutdown of economic activity, such actions are intensely provocative and lead to distorted information.

The incident has given rise to feverish online commentary among Thais who during the shutdown have become more active and connected online.

Hence, they are also more susceptible to rumour and exaggeration

Police at Khlung City Station investigating the reports by examining CCTV footage from the area

The incident was reported to Police Lieutenant Colonel Watcharachai Nukulwon who is the Deputy Chief of Khlung Police Station.

He is expediting an investigation which is centred on CCTV footage from the store and surrounding areas in order to identify exactly what transpired and who was responsible.

Local reports suggest that villagers who witnessed the incident reported that it involved several foreign tourists.

They were said to be visibly dissatisfied at not being allowed entry into the convenience store by staff who were implementing company policy and safety measures.

Safety measures at the store involved compulsory face masks and the use of hand gel like everywhere

New safety measures at the store required all customers to wear a face mask and to use hand gel provided for hygiene purposes.

Similar measures have been enforced in government offices throughout Thailand and police stations.

The individuals then began to complain volubly and appeared to exercise themselves by spitting on the ground outside the shop.

It is also reported that those involved were behaving in an insulting and aggressive manner.

Images of the incident being reported online as Thai media reports on the disturbing story

Other reports suggest that there are pictures of the foreigners and the incident being distributed online through private Thai social media networks.

The story was initially reported by Manager, a popular and credible online news source for Thais, which confirmed that a large water truck had been deployed in the cleaning operation mounted by municipal authorities.

‘Low’ behaviour provokes anger and disgust

Many Thai netizens were particularly offended by the act of spitting which is considered highly offensive and the reaction of a ‘low’ individual as it is in all cultures and societies.

To many Thais, it is acutely disappointing that at this time of emergency when the Thai people who can ill afford the economic loss and disruption that has been brought upon them, that some foreign nationals display such an irresponsible and destructive attitude.

To them, this is hurtful and insulting behaviour.

Any irresponsible behaviour by foreigners right now must cease immediately or risk relationship damage

This pattern of behaviour must stop before it destroys the good relationship that exists between foreigners in the kingdom and their Thai neighbours. 

However, it must also be noted that we are still awaiting confirmation and a briefing on the alleged incident from police officials in Chanthaburi who have only confirmed that they are investigating the reports from local residents who witnessed what happened.

Further reading: 

Popular Phuket based Facebook page attacks foreigners and tourists in Thailand as virus tensions mount

Hotel run by foreigners raided in Ko Samui and over 20 arrested as they attempted to flee police at the scene

Virus may be partially airborne and Minister right in face mask fracas according to new US research

Conditions tighten, grow more tense for visitors staying on in Thailand during the to coronavirus emergency

Jail time looms for sick party animals who defied the virus state of emergency in Phuket this week