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Thai police investigate 110 immigration officers in bogus visas scandal

PHOTO: Twitter/Richard Barrow

The ‘visas-for-cash’ scandal continues to spread throughout Thai immigration officialdom.

The Royal Thai Police are now investigating the actions of 110 immigration officers who are accused of assisting foreigners, including Chinese criminals, to remain in the kingdom illegally. According to a Nation Thailand report, the officers are said to have issued incorrect visas to these individuals, including forging signatures and using fake photos.

The Deputy National Police Chief, Surachate Hakparn, plans to report the issue to the National Police Chief, Damrongsak Kittiprapas, describing the actions as a violation of Thailand’s Criminal Code for nonfeasance and accepting bribes.

According to Suarachate, the visas in question were primarily granted in North and Northeastern Thailand between 2020 and 2022. Although there is no direct evidence connecting the current Immigration Bureau Chief to the case, he says a thorough investigation will still be conducted.

Out of a 20,000-strong police force, Surachate notes that 110 officers is still a low number, but it does include both high and low-ranking officers, including 3 police generals.

The investigation began in November following a tip-off from massage parlour tycoon Chuwit Kamolvisit about the presence of Chinese triads in Thailand. This information led to the arrest warrant of Chaiyanat “Tuhao” Kornchayanant, a Chinese national and alleged triad leader, who had gained Thai citizenship through marriage to a senior police officer.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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