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Big Joke - Crackdown on Overstays | Crime

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  • Big Joke - Crackdown on Overstays | Crime

    Political Fan Boy Big Joke’ orders crackdown on foreigners who overstay in Thailand

    Deputy Police Chief and former Chief of Immigration Big Joke is on the prowl for foreigners who overstay their visa time in Thailand. Not only that, but Big Joke will not stand for immigration officers who give out illicit visas in exchange for bribes, either. Pl. Gen. Surachate Hakparn, aka “Big Joke,” made the comments after a Chinese man was tortured by a gang of overstayers on dodgy visas.

    In a press conference held yesterday, Big Joke spoke about the recent case of 41 year old Ren Haibo. A Chinese gang kidnapped and tortured Ren in Chon Buri province. The gang tied black tape around Ren’s eyes and his face. They tied his neck, arms, and legs with rope. Then, they cut off his little finger. The gang sent a video to Ren’s 20 year old Thai girlfriend, requesting a staggering ransom of 150 million baht – or 30 million yuan – in exchange for Ren’s freedom. Her family transferred 150,000 baht and didn’t hear from the gang again. Ren managed to free himself on Tuesday and went to the police.

    The police’s investigation revealed that the Chinese torture gang overstayed their tourist visas in Thailand for more than one year. Some of them had magically acquired “student visas” stamped in Udon Thani in northeast Thailand. But they were criminals, not students.

    The victim had also changed his status to a student in Phrae province in northern Thailand. He too was not a student. Big Joke said it was clear that immigration officers in Phrae and Udon Thani had failed to validate the criminal’s claims they were students. The deputy police chief said it is common for foreign criminals escaping prosecution to come to Thailand on a tourist visa and bribe their way onto a student visa. Then, they commit crimes in the kingdom. In response to Ren’s torture, Big Joke provided a list of names to China to check whether there are any arrest warrants out for any of them in their home country.

    He has instructed immigration officers at the borders and at all offices to clamp down on overstayers. He has demanded the police force to rid Thailand of foreign criminals. Big Joke said…

    “Let good people into the country. Do not let in criminals who create chaos and damage our country. I have sent a list of Chinese names to the Chinese charge d’affaires to be cross-checked for arrest warrants. “From now on, immigration offices and checkpoints all over the country must search for, locate and wipe out and arrest any foreigner who has overstayed. These people could be criminals on the run who have fled into hiding. “They come here to cause violence to our people. These criminals are dangerous and must be seriously quashed.”

    Overstaying foreigners targeted in Pattaya Club Inspections

    Pattaya police are continuing their crackdown on nightlife and entertainment venues, but now with a new target: overstaying tourists. In the wake of the meth-fueled daycare centre massacre, police all over the country have been raiding venues and parties and cracking down on drug use. They have also been checking clubs for illegal operations, such as staying open past curfew. Now police are looking for foreigners who have stayed past the dates of their visa or visa exemption.

    On Friday night, police and immigration descended on Pattaya Walking Street. They searched several clubs and go-go bars in the popular nightlife area. They began their raids around 10pm but this time, instead of searching for drugs or checking that the venues were operating legally, they were doing spot checks on customers for potential overstays.

    Police officers and immigration officials were randomly checking the IDs of tourists and inspecting their visa or visa exemption status. They reminded many tourists that everyone must carry an ID on them at all times. Foreigners are required to have their passports to show their stamps, or at least have a copy of their passport stamps on them at all times.
    Information from the Pattaya News did not specifically confirm if they found any foreigners on overstay, but no arrests were made during the entertainment venue searches on Friday.

    While police were mainly looking for foreigners who may have violated the immigration laws of Thailand by overstaying beyond the date allowed in the stamp on their passports, Thai people were also checked during their bar and club inspections. Local people were checked to make sure that they were old enough to be in the clubs and drinking. The police inspecting the clubs reminded all entertainment venues that they need to be watchful and not allow minors in. They also instructed club staff to be vigilant in preventing illegal activities such as drug use inside their venues.

    The sudden crackdown on overstays was prompted by many high-profile crime cases where overstaying foreigners were involved recently. The Chinese tourist that was kidnapped in Pattaya and held for ransom was the victim of a person who had overstayed by more than 400 days.

  • #2
    Pattaya police ‘thank’ returning tourists with visa, passport shakedown

    Pattaya police were out in force patrolling Walking Street asking to inspect tourists’ passports and visas checking for overstayers and potential troublemakers. Pattaya showed its appreciation to returning tourists by hassling them for copies of their passports and visas to check for overstayers.

    In a city so desperate for visitors not so long ago, the Nov. 5 shakedown of tourists on Walking Street was truly shocking. But there was Pattaya’s police chief, plus the local heads of immigration and the tourist police, demanding either original or copies of passports and visas. Visitors must have been left wondering why they bothered to come to Pattaya or go out at night.

    Pattaya business leaders also claim to be desperate for Chinese tourists to return in groups. Yet the police specifically targeted the few mainlanders around, claiming that their compatriots have caused problems by running call centers and gambling rings. Again, thanks for coming to Pattaya.

    Bars also were checked for proper licenses, minors, drugs and guns, none of which were found.

    2 entertainment venues raided in Pattaya amid crackdown

    In their continued effort to crack down on nefarious activities, and hamper tourism according to many, the Pattaya Police raided two more nightclubs last night. The raids came after a pledge by police forces to do nightly sweeps of the area to make sure that all entertainment venues are following all the laws. At the press conference on Friday, Major General Nantawut Suwanlaong laid out the rules that will apply to entertainment venues and restaurants in Pattaya. He announced police would be enforcing them nightly, including a pledge to personally take part in weekend patrols.

    True to his word, Nantawut, the acting Commander in Chief of the Chon Buri Provincial Police, led officers in a thorough inspection early yesterday morning. According to The Pattaya News, two nightlife entertainment venues were searched on Saturday night, in the wee hours of Sunday morning. Only one of the venues was named: Soi Buakhao’s Fin Up.

    Pattaya Police officers reported that Thai people and foreigners were drinking inside the venues. They checked the passports of foreigners and the Thai IDs of locals. Officers also searched both venues for illegal drugs or weapons. None were found and customers were not cited for any violations of the law.

    At least one venue did have an issue with not being able to produce the proper license to operate the entertainment venue. They were instructed to close the venue and remain closed until they were able to present to the police the required licenses. If they fail to comply or reopened without showing the proper paperwork, legal action would be taken.

    The daily raids and the crackdown on nightlife have been widely criticized online and on social media. Tourists are discouraged by the uncomfortable prospect of being searched by police on a night out or having the venue they’re partying in suddenly shut down. And local businesses struggling to re-establish themselves after the pandemic forced closures for years lament the loss of business caused by the crackdown.

    Many had been expecting a huge boom in business as the World Cup gets underway and people flock to entertainment venues to watch the games with friends and booze. But Nuntawut made a specific point that there would be no exception for venues that stayed open late to show the World Cup matches. Police vowed continued nightly raids on entertainment venues and restaurants, particularly searching for anyone breaking these seven rules:
    1. No person under 20 can enter bars and entertainment venues.
    2. Underage people cannot purchase alcohol in any venues, including restaurants.
    3. Though different zones have closing times between midnight and 2am, all entertainment venues must be closed with no customers inside by the legal closing times.
    4. After the legal closing time, selling alcohol is strictly prohibited without exception.
    5. No weapons or illegal drugs are allowed in any entertainment venues.
    6. Human trafficking is strictly prohibited in any entertainment venue.
    7. Gambling is illegal and prohibited in every entertainment venue.


    • #3
      Overstay crackdown uses facial recognition tech

      Immigration offices around the country have been cracking down on foreigners overstaying their stamps or visas. A ten-day campaign from December 1 to December 10 is aggressively seeking out tourists who have remained in the kingdom long past the date stamped in their passports. And some provinces are using some creepy Big Brother technology to do it.

      In Surat Thani, the province that contains the tourism hotspot islands of Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao, the immigration office is employing new technology. Officers have equipped Smart Patrol Cars that is using advanced facial recognition to check foreigners quickly. Immigration officers are patrolling in WiFi-enabled cars, usually a BMW, to crack down on foreigners who have overstayed.

      According to The Phuket Express, the Surat Thani Immigration Office arrested a Chinese woman yesterday on overstay. The 31 year old woman was staying in a house in the Mueang Surat Thani district, in the Makham Tia sub-district. Unlike other recent overstay stories where foreigners were caught staying years past their stamp date, the woman had only overstayed her visa 19 days at the time of her arrest. She was taken into custody and brought to the local police station where she will be charged and will await deportation back to China.

      On the other side of Thailand, in the northern province of Chiang Mai, police announced the arrest of five foreigners who had overstayed their visas. The arrests were made between December 2 and December 4 in the popular tourist province. Three Chinese nationals and three Burmese nationals were taken into custody.

      One 42 year old Burmese woman had only overstayed by five days but was arrested for working during her stay in Thailand without a permit. The other Burmese person – a 50 year old man – had a stamp that expired 122 days before, about four months ago.

      Two of the Chinese nationals, a 35 year old woman and a 40 year old man, had overstayed their visas by 87 days, nearly three months. The last person arrested in Chiang Mai was a 71 year old Chinese man who was 49 days over the limit of his passport stamp.

      British Citizen deported for Drunk Driving - 4 Days Overstaying

      A British man charged by police for drunk driving was effectively deported when it was found he had overstayed his visa. Ian Victor Alexander Duncombe, 61, was stopped by Pattaya traffic police Dec. 15 and found to be driving while intoxicated. He was charged with driving drunk and was also fined 2,000 baht for having overstayed his visa by four days. Told by immigration officials he could be deported, Duncombe voluntarily chose to leave the country immediately after paying the fine.


      • #4
        British man who loves Thailand banned for 5 years for overstaying

        A British man was arrested for overstaying his welcome in the Isaan province of Sisaket yesterday. He admitted to immigration officers that overstaying in the country was wrong but he loved Thailand so much that he did not want to leave. The Sisaket Provincial Immigration Police were doing their rounds and checking on foreigners in the area when their database threw up the name of Michael McLaughlin. The 30 year old Brit had been in the province two months longer than he should have been. McLaughlin should have left the Land of Smiles on September 21, but loved it so much that he remained.

        Immigration officers discovered Mclaughlin walking on the Ramkhamhaeng University-Sisaket Technical College Road in the Nong Phai sub-district.

        He was taken to the Sisaket Immigration Office for questioning. The man acknowledged his crime to officers but said he loved the country, and Sisaket, and did not want to leave. Officers were amused by his confession but the law is the law and they still had to charge him. McLaughlin was charged with violating the Immigration Act by overstaying by 75 days which will result in a five year ban from entering Thailand and a fine from 500 to 20,000 THB.

        The penalties for overstaying in Thailand are divided into two main types below…

        Overstaying foreigners surrender themselves to the officers:
        • Overstaying less than 90 days will result in a fine of 500 THB/day (maximum 20,000 THB)
        • Overstaying more than 90 days will result in a one-year ban from entering the country and a fine of 20,000 THB
        • Overstaying more than one year will result in a three-year ban from entering the country and a fine of 20,000 THB
        • Overstaying more than three years will result in a five-year ban from entering the country and a fine of 20,000 THB
        • Overstaying more than five years will result in a 10-year ban from entering the country and a fine of 20,000 THB
        Overstating foreigners who are caught by the officers:
        • Overstaying from one day to one year will result in a five-year ban from entering the country and a fine from 500 to 20,000 THB
        • Overstaying more than one year will result in a ten-year ban from entering the country and a fine of 20,000 THB


        • #5
          Thailand toughens visa policy to crackdown on illegal foreign businesses

          Thailand is toughening its visa policies in an attempt to crackdown on illegal enterprises by foreign criminals. The move is on the back of police uncovering a number of illegal activities in the kingdom over the past few months. In particular, illicit businesses run by Chinese triads after the activities of Chaiyanat Kornchayanant, dubbed Tuhao, were brought to the attention of the Thai authorities.

          The Immigration Bureau yesterday revealed visa extension rules will be tightened to prevent foreign criminals from establishing businesses in Thailand. The bureau’s chief, Pol Lt Gen Pakpoompipat Sajjapan, told reporters that he was following up on allegations made by former politician Chuwit Kamolvisit that three former senior immigration police officers had solicited bribes to approve longer stays for more than 3,000 Chinese nationals, many of which were involved in illegal business activities.

          Pol Lt Gen Pakpoompipat made known that foreign criminals were using loopholes in existing rules while acknowledging that some immigration officers may have been turning a blind eye to the documentation of some foreigners for cash.

          “So, there will be a working group to revise rules on visa extension applications that cite work for foundations, the need to receive medical treatment, and for studying in both the formal and informal educational systems.”
          Chuwit highlighted criminals were exploiting the Thai visa system by applying for student visas yet a number of those foreigners were as old as 50. The immigration chief accepted there could be a problem and said the bureau would revise its system.

          “Foreigners who stay in Thailand with student visas must have certificates from educational institutions. So, educational institutions must do this right. The bureau’s regulations are already comprehensive but all other organisations related to foreigners’ visa extensions must cooperate closely.”
          To monitor genuine students and catch fake scholars the Immigration Bureau has asked local schools to submit quarterly reports on the educational results of foreigners who have student visas. In the absence of such reports, their visas would be terminated and the foreigners must leave the country. Pol Lt Gen Pakpoompipat added that schools of learning that had foreign staff must also report the activities of those foreigners on a regular basis.

          “We did this before the issue made the headlines.”
          Chuwit reported that a Chinese law firm was set up in Thailand to help Chinese nationals who arrived in the country on 30-day tourist visas and that a Khon Kaen-based foundation was also involved in the visa-extension racket.


          • #6
            Polish overstayer wanted by Interpol arrested in Koh Samui, Thailand

            Yesterday, Immigration Police arrested aPolish man in Koh Samui, southern Thailand, wanted on an Interpol red notice for assault and illegal possession of firearms. He had overstayed his student visa by 36 days, which was cancelled by immigration on November 3 because he didn’t attend classes. Surat Thani Immigration Police were patrolling the island in their Smart Control Cars, which use facial recognition technology when they spotted a suspicious-looking foreigner in a Big C car park.

            Upon inspection of his passport, police found that 37 year old Michael Karim Wielebinski’s name was included in their list of foreigners whose permission to stay in the kingdom had been revoked. Wielebinski entered Thailand from Malaysia via the Tak Bai Immigration Checkpoint in Narathiwat province on October 10, 2019, with a non-immigrant (NON-90) visa. On January 7, 2020, Chiang Rai Immigration Office granted Wielebinskia a student visa valid until September 24, 2023. However, because Wielebinski stopped attending his language course at Chiang Rai Rajabhat University, Immigration cancelled his visa, effective November 3, 2022.

            In 2017, Wielebinski was accused of assault and illegal possession of firearms in Poland. He did not attend court so Interpol issued a red notice for his arrest on October 15, 2017. Surat Thani Immigration Police arrested Wielebinski under suspicion of, “being an alien whose permission to stay in the kingdom has expired (36 days),” violating the Immigration Act of 1979. Police took Wielebinski to Koh Samui’s Bo Phut Police Station for further interrogation. Immigration is nearing the end of its nationwide crackdown on illegal foreigners and visa overstayers in Thailand, cracking numerous cases…

            On Tuesday, a British man was arrested in Srisaket province in northeast Thailand for overstaying his visa by 75 days. He said he only stayed because he loves Thailand so much, but immigration banned him from entering the kingdom for five years.

            A Chinese man was arrested in Bangkok after overstaying his visa for an impressive seven years. He said he stayed because he feared religious persecution in China.

            A Korean woman who was arrested in Bangkok for stealing a car, bag and watch valued at 5 million baht was found to have overstayed her visa in Thailand by six years.

            Earlier this week, police arrested a Kuwaiti man in Koh Pha Ngan who overstayed his visa by 16 days.

            Police have arrested several visa overstayers illegally living the island life on Koh Samui.


            • #7
              Phuket Immigration crackdown nets 138 total violations

              After spending the first half of the month vigilantly and vocally cracking down on immigration violations, Phuket Immigration announced the results of its efforts. They focused mainly on people overstaying the stamp on their passports and not being registered correctly at the place where they lived. Immigration was working under the slogan of getting “Phuket to be Crime Free” running a campaign that they strangely titled “White Accommodation for Foreigners.” Speaking with the Phuket Express, the Phuket Immigration Chief reported the statistics and explained the goal of the crackdown.

              “For the first half of this month (December 1 to December 15) in total six foreigners were arrested for overstaying and 117 foreigners were fined for not properly registering their accommodation. Eight accommodation/hotel owners were fined for not reporting foreigners living at their premises. We are aiming to control foreigners who are staying and living in Phuket to make sure that they are being registered properly to Immigration for their accommodation and not on overstay.”

              Phuket Immigration also nabbed 11 people in Mueang Phuket, two in Patong, and two in Chalong for misusing their visas. These people may have been legally allowed to stay in Thailand at the time, but were on specific types of visas and not following the terms or purposes of that visa. For example, someone staying long-term in Thailand on a volunteer visa had been found not doing any volunteer work. It is becoming increasingly common for people to get long stays on education visas while not attending any school or classes as well.

              Among the immigration busts that got media attention: a Filipino man had stayed in Kathu 252 days after his passport stamp date had passed. A South African man had moved from Chiang Rai to Phang Nga and then to Phuket in an attempt to evade immigration while he said he was too poor to travel back home after 196 days of overstay. And a 63 year old American man was allegedly so worried about being grabbed by immigration that he hid out in his room for eight days overstay, subsisting on protein capsules.

              As a reminder, if you have overstayed your visa, rectifying it by turning yourself into immigration carries much more lenient penalties than if immigration officers catch you themselves.

              The penalties for overstaying foreigners who surrender themselves to immigration officers:
              • Overstaying less than 90 days will result in a fine of 500 THB per day (maximum 20,000 THB.
              • Overstaying more than 90 days will result in a one-year ban from entering the country and a fine of 20,000 THB
              • Overstaying for more than one year will result in a three-year ban from entering the country and a fine of 20,000 THB
              • Overstaying more than three years will result in a five-year ban from entering the country and a fine of 20,000THB
              • Overstaying more than five years will result in a 10-year ban from entering the country and a fine of 20,000 THB
              If an overstaying foreigner is caught by immigration officers:
              • Overstaying from one day to one year will result in a five-year ban from entering the country and a fine from 500 to 20,000 THB
              • Overstaying more than one year will result in a ten-year ban from entering the country and a fine of 20,000 THB


              • #8
                Indian, Pakistani men latest busts in overstay crackdown

                Police are continuing their crackdowns on overstays and have arrested an Indian and a Pakistani man in Patong, both with entry stamps that expired over a thousand days ago. Both were arrested on Phra Baramee Road in the popular Patong area of Phuket on Monday. The 35 year old Pakistani man has overstayed his legal visa by 3,270 days according to the Phuket Immigration Office. That’s just under nine years the man has been living in Thailand illegally. The Phuket Express reports that there was no clear reason given why he had not attempted to renew his visa over all those years.

                The Indian man also had a significant overstay, though not quite as alarming as the Pakistani man. The 44 year old Indian man arrested at the same time, had overstayed his visa by 1,322 days. That’s just over three and a half years since his immigration stamp expired. Similarly, there was no clear explanation given for why he didn’t extend his visa through any legal means.

                Both violators were taken to the Patong Police Station for processing interface legal ramifications for their years of overstaying. They will likely face deportation and a ban on re-entering Thailand.

                The two busts were the latest in a string of people being arrested, fined, or deported as part of the government’s crackdown on illegal overstaying. In the past few weeks several high-profile stories have made the news:
                • On November 29 , A South Korean woman was arrested in Bangkok for stealing a car, bag, and watch valued at over 5 million baht from a South Korean friend. Both the Korean man and Korean woman were also on overstay. When police caught up with her, they discovered that her passport stamp had expired 2,116 days ago. The South Korean woman had illegally overstayed her permitted time in Thailand by nearly six years.
                • On December 8, Immigration Police arrested a Polish man in Koh Samui, wanted on an Interpol red notice for assault and illegal possession of firearms. He had overstayed his student visa by 36 days, which was cancelled by immigration on November 3 because he didn’t attend classes.
                • On December 10, A South African man was busted for an overstay of about six and a half months. The man was arrested in the Thalang district of Phuket and was found to have finished the stamp on his passport 196 days ago. When captured, he gave the excuse that he did not have enough money to get back home.
                • On December 12, a Norwegian man was arrested by Surat Thani immigration officers at a house in Koh Samui’s Mae Nam sub-district. He had overstayed his visa by 15 days and was taken to the Koh Samui Police Station to face overstaying charges.
                • On December 18, Immigration police arrested a woman from Uganda in Pathum Thani province for overstaying her visa by 90 days. She is banned from entering Thailand for the next five years.
                • On December 21, Surat Thani immigration officers busted yet another overstayer on Thailand’s island paradise of Koh Samui. The 74 year old British man had overstayed his visa by 38 days.


                • #9
                  Thai police arrest gang of Chinese visa overstayers in Bangkok

                  Thailand’s Immigration Police arrested a gang ofChinese visa overstayers in the Chatuchak district of Bangkok yesterday. On Monday, North Bangkok District Court issued a search warrant for a property in Soi Sermsuk to investigate a group of “suspicious aliens.”Officers from the Immigration Bureau searched the property yesterday and found that seven Chinese nationals were staying there. All seven had visas, but five were out of date. Police didn’t say how long they had the five had overstayed in the kingdom.

                  Police arrested four of the Chinese nationals under suspicion of, “being a foreigner staying in the kingdom without permission,” and revoked the permission of the fifth suspect, also a Chinese national, to stay in the kingdom. All five suspects were detained and deported. Immigration police revealed the nationality of the suspects despite orders to no longer reveal the nationalities of foreign suspects to the media. On Saturday, the Royal Thai Police (RTP) issued an urgent order via police radio calling on all provincial police bureaus in the country to ensure that the nationality of suspects was no longer revealed to the media, “for fear that sensationalist reports will hurt international ties, ” reports The Nation.

                  The nationality of foreign criminals found guilty by a court could be released publicly, according to the RTP spokesperson. Thai police have never previously had a problem with identifying suspects by nationality. It’s almost as if the Thai government has faced pressure to stop embarrassing a nation whose nationals keep getting caught committing crimes in Thailand. On Sunday, Immigration Police in Phuket arrested a 35 year old Pakistani man who overstayed his visa in Thailand for almost nine years (3,270 days). On the same day, Phuket Immigration arrested a 44 year old man of Indian nationality who overstayed his visa in Thailand by 1,322 days. Both overstayers were taken to Patong Police Station to be charged before deportation. Perhaps the Immigration Bureau did not listen to the RTP’s radio announcement on Saturday.

                  Pattaya Police raid nightclub in late night crackdown on illegal activities

                  The Hollywood Pub in Pattaya

                  Late last night, at around 10.30pm, a nightclub in Pattaya was raided by local police in search of overstayers and those partaking in illegal activities. The venue, known as “Hollywood,” is located on Petchtrakul Road and was filled with approximately 300 patrons, both Thai and foreign, when the police arrived. This raid comes as part of an ongoing campaign spearheaded by Deputy National Police Chief Pol. Gen. Surachet “Big Joke” Hakparn, who is focused on clamping down on foreigners living in Thailand illegally or involved in criminal enterprises. A team of 50 police officers and immigration agents searched, making sure to scour every corner of the nightclub.

                  Upon entering the nightclub, officers ordered the venue operators to turn off the music and dim the lights before proceeding to separate Thais from foreigners. This allowed them to thoroughly check passports and conduct drug tests on both groups to determine if any individuals were overstaying their welcome or participating in illegal activities, Bangkok Post reported. Among the clientele were 81 Chinese tourists, 28 from Hong Kong, 27 Koreans, three Taiwanese, and two Laotians. The remaining patrons and staff were Thai nationals. Much to the authorities’ relief, all individuals present in the nightclub were cleared from drug use and had valid passports, according to police reports.

                  Despite the positive outcome of this particular raid, Pattaya Police have made it clear that they will continue to conduct similar operations to crack down on all forms of illegal activities in the city. Nightclubs in Pattaya have become a focal point for these inspections, as they are popular hotspots for both locals and tourists, making them prime targets for individuals seeking to indulge in unlawful pursuits. This is not the first time that Pattaya Police have been carrying out raids on nightclubs to check passports and identify those partaking in illegal activities. As a favourite destination for holidaymakers and expats alike, Pattaya has acquired a somewhat seedy reputation over the years, with local authorities striving to clean up its image and maintain its status as a popular tourist destination.

                  It remains to be seen whether this ongoing crackdown will have a lasting impact on illegal activities in Pattaya, but for now, it seems that local police are committed to maintaining law and order throughout the city. In light of these recent raids, both tourists and residents in Pattaya would be wise to ensure they comply with local laws and regulations. Failure to do so could result in severe penalties or even deportation for those caught in the wrong.


                  • #10
                    4 Guides arrested leading Chinese Tour Group without ID

                    Police have been cracking down onillegal tour groups and guides, recently arresting a Russian man mid-tour. Now four Thai female tour guides have been arrested around Bangkok while leading Chinese tour groups. The guides turned out to be licensed, but they did not have the proper documentation. The arrests took place in the tourist area of Tha Rua, Tha Chang and Ratchadamri in Bangkok. The suspects have been identified by their first names only and were aged between 30 to 46 years old. They were found leading a group of Chinese tourists in the area when they were stopped by Tourist Police officers. When asked for their guide card, none of them had it visible.

                    While they were later able to prove that they are registered tour guides, the suspects are accused of not having a tour guide card while on duty, which is in violation of the Tourism and Guide Business Act BE 2008. The act sets standards for tour guides’ performance of duties, dress, etiquette, and conduct. It even requires proof of a health examination for all tour guides. Despite the suspects being registered guides, the police charged them with an offence related to being improperly attired while doing their job. A tour guide license card must be visible at all times while conducting a tour. The suspects have allegedly confessed to the offence and have been taken into custody for further legal action.

                    Last month a 29 year old Russian man, was arrested in Phuket when he was caught serving as a tour guide. After witnessing the illegal guide in action in Phuket’s Old Town, the Tourist Police officers stepped in. They approached Maslennikov and took him into custody, abruptly ending the tour for the 11 Russian travellers. The Phuket Information Centre Facebook page called out the growing scourge of illegal foreign workers in the tourism industry. Last month they posted urging people to report illegal guides, car and bike rentals, and tour and taxi services.

                    “A lot of foreigners stay and work in Phuket, both legally and illegally. Recently, a group of foreigners started a car rental business. They offered both cars and minibuses and also served tourists as chauffeurs. They steal jobs from Thai people! If anyone has more information on this, please send it to the page’s admin. We together with the Phuket Tourist Police will get rid of this issue.”


                    • #11
                      The Witch Hunt Continuous..... Thai officials arrest overstaying French woman in Koh Pha Ngan

                      Thai officials arrested an overstaying French woman in Koh Pha Ngan this week. Sura Thani Immigration officers said in a Facebook post that they arrested the woman on Monday in front of the Bounty Resort on 85/1 Moo 8. The woman, 36 year old Myriam Naima Bakhoury, overstayed her visa by six days, the officers said. She was taken to Koh Pha Ngan Police Station to face overstaying charges, and is waiting to be deported, The Phuket Expressreported. It was not clear how Bakhoury was caught. This news comes after reports that another overstayer was also busted in Koh Pha Ngan earlier this week.

                      A Russian man was arrested for overstaying his visa by a staggering 188 days. Surat Thani Immigration officers confirmed the arrest of 50 year old Leonid Toisloi. Toisloi was apprehended in front of a convenience store in the northern town of Chalok Lam earlier this week. As with Bakhoury, authorities charged Toisloi for overstaying his visa. He is also being held at Koh Pha Ngan Police Station, awaiting deportation. It is not known how Toisloi came to the attention of the immigration authorities.

                      Thailand takes immigration laws very seriously and overstaying a visa, even by a few days, can result in detention, hefty fines, and deportation. In Surat Thani, the province that contains Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao, the immigration office is employing new technology. Officers have equipped Smart Patrol Cars with advanced facial recognition to check foreigners quickly. Immigration officers are patrolling in WiFi-enabled cars, usually a BMW, to crack down on foreigners who have overstayed.

                      Surat Thani Immigration Police, and Koh Pha Ngan Provincial Police went on a tour of Thailand’s fifth-biggest island in November on the hunt for visa overstayers in the kingdom. Three foreigners were arrested and detained at Koh Pha Ngan Police Station. Russian Alexander Makevich was nabbed for overstaying his visa by 29 days. Police also arrested a French woman, Ophelia Marie Miriam Jacque, for overstaying her visa by 93 days. Both were charged under suspicion of, “being an alien whose permitted entry into the kingdom has run out.”


                      • #12
                        Elderly British man overstays visa in Thailand by 11 years

                        Immigration Police arrested a 76 year old British man in Bangkok who overstayed his visa in Thailand by a total of 4,142 days (11.3 years), reports KhaoSod. Thailand’s immigration authorities are taking their latest crackdown on foreign overstayers in the kingdom seriously – catching a British national who managed to slip through their net for more than a decade. He might be the longest overstayer to hit the headlines yet. According to his passport, 76 year old Joseph Taylor’s permission to stay in Thailand expired on November 26, 2011. Police said that they were tipped off by a “spy” (whose name they did not disclose) that a British national was living illegally in Soi 42/1, Phra Kanong subdistrict, Klong Tan district, Bangkok.

                        Immigration officers arrested Taylor outside of his residence in Bangkok and took him to Khong Tan Police Station to face interrogation. The spy also informed the police that there was another foreign overstayer, a Singaporean national, living illegally in Soi Pracha Uthit 37, Bang Mod subdistrict, Tung Khru district, Bangkok. The spy’s information led immigration officers to arrest 62 year old Ng Wing Oon, from Singapore, on charges of being a foreigner residing in the kingdom illegally. The Singaporean overstayed his permission to stay in Thailand by 1,373 days (3.76 years).

                        Immigration’s latest hunt for illegal foreigners comes under orders from the Chief of Police Pol. Gen. Damrogsak Kittiprapas to eradicate the kingdom of foreigners who behave inappropriately and break the law, “causing danger to the peace and safety of life or property of the population, damaging the image of the country.”

                        Cops arrest Iraqi in Pattaya who overstayed visa by 8 years

                        Cops arrested an Iraqi man in Pattaya who overstayed his visa for more than eight years. Chon Buri Immigration and Pattaya Police arrested the man at his house in Pattaya’s Map Yai Lia community on Tuesday. The man was sitting in front of his house when the cops showed up. The man turned pale and fainted when he saw the police team. Police identified the man as 52 year old Khalid Majeed Ali. They found that Ali had arrived at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport on November 17, 2014 on a 60-day tourist visa valid until January 15, 2015. But instead of going home once his visa expired, Ali overstayed his visa by over eight years or 2,993 days. Ali had hidden in the Map Yai Lia community for a long time. He did not have a job or socialise with anyone, and it was reportedly feared that he might turn to crime.

                        Deputy National Police Chief Pol. Gen. Surachate Hakparn, also known as “Big Joke,” ordered all units to quickly round up foreigners who have either entered the country illegally, overstayed their visas, or have not stuck to their visa’s purpose. This is part of an effort to prevent crime from damaging Thailand’s tourism image. The offence of overstaying in the country carries a maximum penalty of two years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of 20,000 baht. Offenders will be blacklisted and forbidden from entering the country for ten years. Pol. Col. Prinya warned that foreign nationals who have overstayed their visas should report to the nearest immigration office as soon as possible to avoid arrest and legal action.

                        Last week, Big Joke said that expats in Pattaya would be scrutinised closely as part of Operation X-Ray. The operation involves scrutinising Immigration and Police records to identify wanted individuals in the Pattaya area and targeting them for removal. Sophisticated technology such as Immigration vehicles equipped with smart cameras will be used to identify certain wanted individuals who may be walking on a street or area.

                        Last edited by Virus; 03-31-2023, 01:31 PM.


                        • #13
                          Pattaya authorities on the prowl for foreign overstayers and criminals

                          Pattaya authorities are on the prowl for foreign overstayers and criminals. Pattaya Police say that they will continue to perform regular inspections checking tourists’ passports, following a city-wide inspection on Wednesday night. During the inspection, Pattaya Police and immigration officials targeted foreigners overstaying, and those involved in illegal activities. The operation involved about 50 law enforcement officers who inspected nightclubs across the city at 10.30 pm on April 06.2023 to deter illegal activities.

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                          The officials mostly targeted foreigners who were working illegally in Pattaya, overstayers, and illegal migrant workers. The police and immigration were separated into three groups, and they visited nightclubs and several venues around crowded tourist spots such as Walking Street and Soi 6 to check tourists’ passports for overstayers. They also inspected the venues’ employees to see if they carried any weapons or illicit drugs. Pattaya Police said the inspection was successful as no illegal activities were found, The Pattaya News reported. However, the police will continue to perform this operation on a regular basis in order to maintain this standard. Overstaying in Thailand is considered a serious offence and can result in hefty fines, detention, or deportation.

                          Pattaya, a popular tourist destination known for its nightlife, attracts many foreigners. The inspection on Wednesday night comes after Assistant Commissioner of Police Surachate Hakparn, also known as “Big Joke,” said last month that expats in Pattaya will be scrutinised closely as part of Operation X-Ray. The operation was prompted by the abduction of a Chinese woman in Pattaya for 1 million yuan (4.7 million baht) in ransom. Operation X-Ray also involves much closer scrutiny of visa renewals for foreigners of concern, including questioning sources of income and their backgrounds. This is especially true for those of working age without work permits and an uncertain line of income.

                          In recent months, there has been heavy scrutiny on education and volunteer visas in particular. Big Joke previously stated that many Chinese criminals in partnership with corrupt Immigration officers were using visas to stay longer in Thailand, but not volunteering or going to school. Many were working illegally or running illegal businesses. The scrutiny was expected to become even tighter, as Thai authorities seek to crack down on criminal activity among foreign expats.

                          TIPP: the search may be combined with the "Operation Dirty Cops" ....
                          Last edited by Tripadvisor; 04-07-2023, 04:56 PM.


                          • #14
                            Early morning raid captures illegal foreign workers at a Pattaya market

                            Migrant workers are taken into police custody at Amon Nakhon market in Pattaya on Wednesday morning. Picture courtesy of Chaiyot Pupattanapong. An early morning raid at Amon Nakhon fresh market in Pattaya by Chon Buri Immigration officials and Bang Lamung Police Station led to the capture of seven illegal foreign workers. Police reported the surprise raid was conducted at 6am on Wednesday and seven illegal migrants were arrested. Officers searched the market and nearby shops which saw workers from Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos scatter in all directions to escape arrest.

                            The police managed to catch 30 of the workers, out of which 23 were found to have valid work permits. However, the remaining seven workers had neither travel documents nor work permits and were therefore deemed to be in the country illegally, Bangkok Post reported. The seven illegal foreign workers were taken into custody by the Bang Lamung Police Station and charged with illegal entry. They were to be deported after going through the legal process. Foreigners working illegally in Pattaya and Thailand have become a problem over the past couple of years, according to a report by the Department of Employment (DoE). The report covered the period from October 2022 to March 2023.

                            The report revealed that 685 employment venues were prosecuted and 1,550 people prosecuted. The majority of people prosecuted were economic migrants from Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos who had entered Thailand without registration. There were also many Indian and Vietnamese nationals prosecuted. The director-general of DoE, Phairoj Chotikasatien, said that foreign workers were subject to changes in regulations in 2017, which listed 40 employment skills strictly reserved for Thais and mandated fines and deportation for foreign defaulters.

                            Fines for businesses that offer employment without authorised permits vary from 10,000 baht to 200,000 baht per worker. Phairoj said there were inspections across Thailand, including in Bangkok, Phuket, Samui, Chiang Mai, and Pattaya. In February, it was reported that many foreigners, particularly Russians, were working illegally in Phuket. Phuket Information Centre Facebook page shared with its followers on February 5, that…

                            “A lot of foreigners stay and work in Phuket, both legally and illegally. Recently, a group of foreigners started a car rental business. They offered both cars and minibuses and also served tourists as chauffeurs. They steal jobs from Thai people!”


                            • #15
                              Cops bust 6 overstayers in northeast Thailand ahead of Songkran

                              Cops busted six overstayers in northeast Thailand’s Buriram province ahead of the Songkran festival. A crackdown by Immigration Police in Buriram led to the detention of six foreigners for overstaying their visas. The operation took place from March 27 to April 10 and was aimed at preventing and suppressing crime during the Songkran Festival, according to Naewna.

                              Pol. Maj. Gen. Ketchakat Nilpradap, head of Immigration Division 4, led the police officers who conducted the raids and detained the foreigners. Two detained foreigners were fined for overstaying their visas, one was arrested for working without a permit, and four were held for illegal entry.

                              Immigration Police warned that foreigners caught breaking the law in Thailand and who meet the criteria of being a prohibited person will be blacklisted. The crackdown was ordered by Pol. Maj. Gen. Phanthana Nuchanart, deputy chief of the Immigration Bureau, who directed his officers to take strict action against foreign nationals who flout immigration rules.