American could face prison after posting negative TripAdvisor review

AN American traveller could face up to two years in prison after posting a negative TripAdvisor review.

An island resort in Thailand has sued Wesley Barnes over his unflattering comments about a recent visit to the Sea View Resort.

Domestic tourism is still taking place in Thailand, which has recorded relatively low coronavirus infections.

And expats and locals, such as Barnes who works in Thailand, have been vacating in pratically deserted resorts, such as Koh Chang island.

However, for this particular disgruntled holidaymaker, sharing his views on the resort has landed him in hot water.

Colonel Thanapon Taemsara of Koh Chang police told AFP new agency, that “the Sea View Resort owner filed a complaint that the defendant had posted unfair reviews on his hotel on the TripAdvisor website”.

He said the American is accused of causing “damage to the reputation of the hotel”, and of arguing with staff over not paying a corkage fee for alcohol brought to the hotel.

Barnes was arrested by immigration police and returned to Koh Chang where he was held briefly before being released on bail.

The TripAdvison review, posted in July, claimed the staff were “unfriendly” and behaved as though they didn’t want guests.

AFP contacted both parties for comment.

Human rights and press freedom group have heavily criticsed Thailand’s anti-defemation laws, claiming they are used by people in positions of power to stifle free expression.

If found giulty, Barnes could face up to two years in prison together with a maximum fine of 200,000 baht (€5,440).

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Tara Rippin

Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.

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