PHUKET: Police have admitted they are powerless to prevent motorcycle and car rental operators from holding foreign touristsí passports as collateral against potential damage to rented vehicles.

The news comes as the islandís top police officers try to stymie the fallout from international news reports branding Phuket a key source for stolen passports in the wake of the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 last Saturday (story

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