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“Strictly screen foreigners entering and leaving the Kingdom”, Deputy Chief of police

File Photo - Bangkok Post

As Thailand’s tourism industry roars back to full speed, and attracting many new nationalities to the Land of Smiles, there has been a noticeable uptick in cases reported involving foreigners violating the law. Statistically, the rise has not been significant, but the reporting and social media frenzy over recent incidents, is spurring the police and Thai immigration officials into a reactive stance.

Police now claim that some of the recent cases “pose significant threats to societal order”. So, Pol. Gen. Roy Ingpairoj, Deputy Chief of the Royal Thai Police, is taking decisive action. He has publicly issued a number of directives to the Commissioner of Immigration, “mandating stricter enforcement of immigration laws”.

Even as turmoil swirls in the upper ranks of Thailand’s police force (the Chief of the Royal  Thai Police and one of his high profile deputies are currently transferred to desk duties at the prime minister’s office pending an investigation into allegations of corruption involving some online gambling gangs), Pol. Gen. Roy Ingpairoj has issued the orders that will, at the very least, shine a spotlight on some, or many, visa renewals, the issuance of new long-term visas, and greater scrutiny on tourists arriving into the Kingdom.

He says that it has come to light that “certain individuals” from abroad have “unlawfully entered Thailand” with “hidden agendas”. These individuals have demonstrated a blatant disregard for Thai laws, and their presence in the country has proven to be detrimental rather than beneficial.

“Their actions have inflicted harm upon Thai society, economy, politics and national security.”

In the past, the, then, deputy commissioner of Thai Immigration, Surachate Hakparn, coined the phrase “good guys in, bad guys out”. These new directives are a more specific, and aggressive, gesture towards foreigners living in Thailand that have short-circuited the immigration laws or visas.

To curb and prevent instances of foreigners who are granted temporary stay in the Kingdom of Thailand from engaging in criminal activities, causing disruptions, or posing threats to the peace, security, or national interests of the populace, the following instructions (quoted directly from an article by khaosodenglish.com) have been issued…

  1. Strictly screen foreigners entering and leaving the Kingdom. This includes the consideration of applications for extensions of stay, visa stamping, and changes in visa status. All relevant laws, regulations, and orders must be strictly follow
  2. Investigate and prosecute all crimes committed by foreigners. This includes violations of the Immigration Act, the Alien Employment Act, the Entertainment Places Act, illegal business operations, nominee arrangements where Thai nationals hold shares or real estate ownership on behalf of foreigners to avoid legal compliance. The behavior of foreigners should also be investigated to determine if they have any mafia-like influence. Cooperation with relevant agencies is required for integrated law enforcement.
  3. Revoke the stay permits of foreigners who are found to be staying in the Kingdom without a legitimate reason or who have other behaviors that warrant the revocation of their permits. This should be done in accordance with the Immigration Act.

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