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Phuket's Mai Khao beach, home to top five-star resorts and Turtle Village

Phuket Art Gallery Expats in Work Permit Arrests

Saturday, October 17, 2009
TWO expats have been arrested and fined for not having their work permits with them at an art gallery in a five-star shopping centre in Phuket's north.

The two men were questioned at the Turtle Village shopping centre in the prestigious resort zone of Mai Khao about their work status, then taken to the local police station.

''This is part of our regular checks on work permits,'' Lieutenant Colonel Watcharin Sujiratchikarnwiwat told Phuketwan on Friday.

The men were escorted to Tha Chat Chai police station about noon on Wednesday. Officers questioned the men in detail.

Both men said they were on staff at Kashmir Gallery, but had their work permits at their accommodation. Police accompanied the men to their home, where their work permits were produced.

The men were fined 5000 baht each for not having the work permits with them in their workplace.

People who cannot produce their passport and work permit on demand can be fined up to 10,000 baht. The law also applies to Thais, who have to produce their ID card if required.

The Kashmir Gallery at Turtle Village is described online as featuring ''unique art from Kashmir, oriental silk carpets, bed and table covers, wall hangings and embroideries.''

Lt Colonel Watcharin advised all people to carry their legal papers with them at all times, just in case.

On Thursday Phuket Governor Wichai Praisa-nob announced a crackdown from the end of October on non-Thais working illegally on Phuket. It was an ''economic crime'' for people to take the jobs of Thais, he told a meeting at Provincial Hall, adding that the crackdown would apply to all foreigners, not just Burmese, Laotians and Cambodians.
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Comments

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Looks like they have discovered a nice little earner.. Fining people who even have their WP's for not having them on them !!

Sure way to promote direct foreign investment.

Posted by LivinLOS on October 17, 2009 09:18

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A quote from the article:-

"People who cannot produce their passport and work permit on demand can be fined up to 10,000 baht".

Does this mean that tourists are expected to take their passports to the beach instead of leaving them in a safety deposit box?

Posted by Sir Burr on October 17, 2009 09:33

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I think this is fair, many expats work here illegally and they should be more strict on work permits.

Of course they won't ask people at the beach for there passports, why would they do that? They are going after illegal workers

Posted by Don on October 18, 2009 09:56

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Common sense ... Police ask for papers. If you don't have them with you then either A) Go and get them or B) Produce within 24 Hours. Of course this is Thailand and there's no money in common sense.

Posted by noddy on October 18, 2009 16:50

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In 3 years in Phuket I have been asked to produce my passport twice by police. Both times they were happy to accept a photocopy of the photo page and the page showing my current visa. Maybe I'll have to start carrying a copy of my work permit too..

Posted by stegee on October 19, 2009 23:46

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Artist working illegally? All the police have to do is visit Nai Harn and Rawai, and some upmarket hotels and restaurants that have exhibitions by the island's foreign artists, and clamp the cuffs on them.

Posted by James Feaney on October 20, 2009 16:52

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Too many rich white women try to make a living here as 'artists' and they pay no tax, have no work permits and worst of all are not very good.

Posted by Simone Leanna on October 22, 2009 16:00

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I agree with noddy, common sense needs to be taken here.....give the expat 24 hours to produce the requested documents or go with them to collect them from their home.....a fine for not carrying a passport is crazy.....embassies in thailand would be swamped with issuing new passports that had been stolen by the local mafia....

Posted by scotty on October 27, 2009 10:07

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Simply appalling. I keep my work permit at home under lock and key as well as my passport. (Technically illegal but better than losing them)

I keep other ID on me, including Thai driving licence.

So what happened to the crackdown on scams?

If the police verified the people have work permits as soon as they were taken to the foreigners' houses then the fine is inappropriate and the Governor of Phuket, who is allegedly trying to reduce scams, should be notified.

Posted by Andrew Drummond on October 28, 2009 10:17

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Seems like a scam to raise quick cash without thinking about the long-term repercussions such as chilling the investment climate. Not all expats are scruffy nobodies with no access to foreign capital and potential investment in Thailand.

Some of us have assets elsewhere that we'd be only too happy to invest in Thailand, though of course a scenario like this gives one pause about doing any business in Thailand whatsoever. Just saying.

Posted by Gregory Pleshaw on October 28, 2009 18:16


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