Ask almost any traveller or business person about their recent trip to Thailand the response is almost always the same; Thai people are so friendly, the food was amazing, the beaches were stunning, the culture so vibrant, however, there always remains a risk for anyone when traveling regardless of the safety of the country.
Risks vary from country to country, kidnap and ransom is more prevalent in South America but almost unheard of here in Thailand. For business trips and families visiting Thailand, risks are more commonly centred around scams, medical emergencies and theft of valuables. As a result, there is an increase in the demand of the services of close protection teams for high net worth individuals and multi nationals sending their teams to Thailand.
A close protection officer (CPO) in the eyes of the layman is of a muscular young man with a black t-shirt and an ear piece looking somewhat menacing and intimidating. The reality is that the skill set needed to operate in Thailand and mitigate risk for a client are far from brawn and intimidating looks. The first skill set would be to know the quickest route from any given point of a client’s trip to the nearest hospital and have a full detailed summary of the client’s medical history on hand. The chances of being involved in a significant car crash whilst visiting Thailand is the most likely scenario someone will face and having a CPO to immediately assist with injury management on the scene and transport to nearest hospital, whilst dealing with police officers, other drivers and the insurance company is essential.
Aside from traffic accidents, some high net worth individuals place a premium on time and efficiency of movement through the countries capital, Bangkok. This is where another skill set of the CPO comes in. A thorough knowledge of the sky trains, use of local transport options, specific traffic choke points at specific times and an overall map of the city’s best tailors, restaurants and bars is an essential tool in the CPO’s tool box.
Although rare, there does exist a risk of kidnap and ransom for high net worth individuals in Thailand, a risk the could increase if children are involved. Planning routes for pick-ups and drops off become vital, and a driver with defensive and evasive driving skills is preferred. It is not uncommon for training to be given from the CPO to the high net worth individual and family on how to both negate and deal with a kidnap and ransom situation. If a client knows what the CPO requires to keep them safe it can contribute to the overall security of everyone.
Here are some security tips that could help any person traveling to Thailand improve their security platform
1. Keep Your Traveling Documents / International Passport Secured
2. Don’t Discuss Your Private Life with a Stranger that you meet on the Plane
3. Ensure That Your Traveling Bags and Luggage are Locked and Secured
4. Don’t Disclose Your Traveling Itinerary to a Stranger
5. Minimize the Cash You Carry Along While Traveling
6. Pick a Secure Hotel
7. Ensure That You Have Someone to Pick You from the Airport on Arrival
8. Keep Your Camera and Mobile Device Safe
9. Don’t Walk Alone in a Strange Land
10. Get Security Updates on the Country and City You Intend Traveling to Before Embarking on the Journey
11. Be Cautious When Using Taxis in a Country you are visiting for the First Time
12. If You are Traveling as a Tourist, Ensure That You Move with a Team
13. Move around Town with Valid ID Preferably Your International Passport
14. Be Careful of the Info You Post On Social Media
15. Respect the Culture and the Laws of the Country You Are Visiting
Aaron Le Boutilier
LBG Le Boutiller Group Co.,ltd
Aaron is security expert with over 20 years-experience of running security details in Thailand and S.E. Asia. His company has a wide range of close protection officers and security consultants that can assist in the planning of any trips in the region
Please contact Aaron for a quote or further information