Reverse barter attempt doesn't wash

Two Thai tourists were arrested in Queenstown after refusing to a leave a pharmacy when they tried to hand back $430 worth of soap and handcream they could not fit in their suitcase.

Sergeant Steve Watt said the couple had bought the goods earlier last night, then returned around 9pm to try and reverse barter the goods after realising their purchases would not fit into their luggage.

''Pharmacy staff were quite accommodating, and took back some of the larger items, but things turned quite ugly and abusive when the whole lot wasn't taken back,'' he said.

The couple, a man aged 50, and a woman aged 35, refused to leave the store, and police were called.

''They refused to listen to reason, were pleaded with, and eventually shown handcuffs. They knew enough English to try and negotiate their way out of the (purchase) situation, and for some reason thought they could barter their way out of it.''

Four police officers were needed to transport the couple to the Queenstown police station, where they were charged with trespass.

They will appear in the Queenstown District Court today.

The Southland Times