In 1989 the actions of a Thai garden working in the Palace of Saudi prince caused the whole nation of Thailand a lot of opportunities for both the government and the people of Thailand as a whole. It is believed that Kriangkrai Techamong was the mastermind behind a theft that killed ties between Thailand and Saudi Arabia.

Per reports from the police, Techamong gained entry into the Palace through a window and stole 100kg of jewellery stuffed them in vacuum cleaner tube and walked out of Palace without being detected. Later on, he shipped his loot back home in Lampang province. His actions led to the Saudis placing a ban on Thai nationals entering their country. Besides just issuing the ban on Thai citizens the ban also set restrictions on its citizens. But now the government is lessening its laws and has just given Saudis some wiggle room to travel to Thailand.

Six Situations in which a Saudi can Travel to Thailand

But before the security committee approval come into the play, Saudis already had restrictions in place and were only allowed to make a trip to Thailand in three instances. First and foremost they were required to get approval from the government and could only be granted the permission only if their travel arrangements needed them to pass through Thailand, needed medical attention only available in Thailand like stem cell transplantation and if one was married to a Thai national. But now more exceptions are coming their way.

Your relatives grant you entry into Thailand.

To a certain degree, if you have relatives in Saudi, for instance, your loved one is employed by the Saudi embassy you can make arrangements to visit them in Bangkok. Further on if you need medical attention and its overall cost is less than what amounts quoted in other countries you can travel to Thailand. In the latter instance, the patient together with persons accompanying them can enter Thailand.

The current exception also covers the Saudi business community.

As a way of promoting trade businesspersons who seek to import goods from Thailand can now make their business trips to Thailand. But all not rosy for the business community. To get the green light one has to produce an endorsement letter from the Saudi chamber of commerce. Moreover following the business community being granted approval health and regulatory workers making follow-ups on the goods on transit from Thailand get approval too.

Government Workers

Consequently as a result of the recommendations public institutions and government parastatal workers can now make their journey to Thailand in certain instances. If they’re participating in sports and cultural competitions, and if they are attending international and regional meetings, seminars and conferences. With that Saudis looking to travel to Thailand can proceed to make arrangements and visit Thailand without going against the blue diamond affair ban. It’s a pity that the new recommendations don’t allow Saudis to travel to Thailand as tourists.

Saudis Going Against the Ban

Contrary to the government ban Thailand receives thousands of visitors from Saudi Arabia annually. To travel to Thailand,  Saudis citizens don’t seek approval from their homeland embassy. They make the maiden trip without putting in their names with the embassy. According to a diplomat in Thailand they only get wind of Saudis in Thailand if they encounter any unfortunate incidences when they are in Thailand. Many of the Saudis resort to the loophole for fear of authorities in Thailand Saudi embassy informing their counterparts in Riyadh when they are in found in Thailand without approval.

While the two nations haven’t been on good terms with each other for the last 30 years, the blue diamond affair led to some people losing people losing their lives. Among those dead is a businessman with strong ties to the Saudi Royal Family while the other three were ambassadors for the Saudi government in Thailand. During the initial investigations, some developments were made by authorities but led to more deaths. A gem dealer suspected to be in possession of the priceless gems was arrested but his family was killed. The case, later on, took a different turn after the lieutenant General tasked with handling the case was found guilty of ordering the death of the gem dealer’s family. Although the Supreme Court sent him to death, his sentence was reduced during the 84th birthday of King Bhumibol. He is now serving 50 years in prison.

On the other hand, Techamong became a monk at 65 years old to repent his sins and also be a sign of hope to others through spreading goodness. Although his actions in 1989 led to the ban, he served his time in jail. From 1989 the number of Thai’s working in Saudi reduced significantly from 200,000 to a mere 10,000 in 2008.