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Crackdown Targets Phuket Overstayers

Crackdown Targets Phuket Overstayers

Saturday, August 17, 2013
PHUKET: Immigration officers on Phuket have announced their intention to crack down on people who overstay their tourist visas on Phuket.

Arrests are imminent, Phuketwan believes.

The announcement of the crackdown was made by Phuket Immigration Superintendent Colonel Sanchai Chotkayaikij at 4.11pm via an Internet social networking service to Phuket media.

The announcement said the Immigration officers would join forces with Tourist Police and officials from the District of Kathu to apprehend people who are overstayers on Phuket.

The Kathu district takes in the popular west coast nightlife destination of Patong.

Yesterday, 84 illegals from five countries were rounded up on Phuket and more arrests were promised between today and the end of August, with another crackdown scheduled for September.

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Well, overstay is illegal but aren't there more important cases to solve than chasing and fining overstayers ?
A more liberal visa policy to welcome long stayers and (pension) spenders, as it is in Cambodia, woud be appreciated by many.

Posted by Resident on August 17, 2013 17:27

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Try outside of the 7/11's in Patong. That's where the people hawking time-share hang out looking for a sucker.

Posted by Tommy on August 17, 2013 17:30

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It's happening, I was confronted by a team of 5 uniforms while enjoying a beer around the corner from my home early last evening. Make sure to carry your passport everywhere.

Posted by ssresident on August 18, 2013 12:02

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Just been pulled over by the fuzz in Nai Harn in a white pick up, had to hold my passport up to my face while they took a photo. They were quite forceful. Are these guys really police?

Posted by DuncanB on August 18, 2013 15:47

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Thailand is a developing country and therefore it's government funds are limited. I have heard that about a dozen late night robberies are occurring around Rawai per month at the moment by kicking people off their motorbikes. Rather than harass the foreign people that cause little trouble and support the local economy and the Isarn economy via the local bars surely government resources are better spent stopping the robberies or maybe the government prefers to finance Phuket and Isarn more when foreigners decide it's time to head to a country with more friendly Visa policies like most in SE Asia as they are getting robbed and harassed by Immigration Police.

Posted by Fiesty Farang on August 18, 2013 16:42

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If you have Thai driving licences with photo, do you need to carry your passport?

If so, must you carry the original or does a photocopy suffice?

Posted by Logic on August 18, 2013 16:45

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"Thailand is a developing country and therefore it's government funds are limited. I have heard that about a dozen late night robberies are occurring around Rawai per month at the moment by kicking people off their motorbikes."
I thought it were the developed countries where the funds are limited at the moment.
Don't believe everything you read or hear.

Posted by stevenl on August 18, 2013 17:23

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@FF carry your original, copies can be changed. They want your photo page and all your stamps and visas. No my Thai drivers nor motorcycle license was good enough. Don't mess with these guys. For friendliness they did not score highly. I also went through a check point on Bypass road much earlier. They swooped all over a white Fortuner behind me.

Posted by DuncanB on August 18, 2013 18:20

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Er comment was for Logic, not FF. OOps.

Posted by DucanB on August 18, 2013 18:23

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Today some immigration guy came to my hotel and said they want us to do pictures of tourists and submit them their passport copies. I told him I want to see the paper from the government that is ordering this measure, otherwise I am not going to hand-out anything. He was much less friendly than and left. In the meantime I still have all the illegal taxis right in front of the entrance.

Posted by Jakub P. on August 18, 2013 19:38

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top form - if u are overstaying you should be caught - arrested and deported -

Posted by Ciaran on August 18, 2013 22:35

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Today, 2 Immigration Officers come to our dive center to check if foreigners have their passports on them with correct visas..... Would be better they go at night in Rawai bars to get some longterm overstayers on Thai Visas.... My neighbor shows them his two empty pockets with a large smile ....then, they moved to other nearby shops for foreigners.

Posted by Whistle-Blower on August 19, 2013 12:32

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Ridiculous. Overstayers provide loads of money for Thai govt, why target them? I know someone who overstayed for a YEAR paid the 20,000 and came back.
Agree with other comments there are soooo many other things for Phuket police to focus on, such as drivers with no lights or helmets speeding down the road

Posted by alan on August 20, 2013 01:02

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I recently was stopped while driving my car at a police check point 200 kilometers north of Bangkok The police officer who was very polite but firm insisted on seeing my passport to confirm my visa was valid.
This confirms that the checks are not limited to the tourist resorts

Posted by Paul on August 20, 2013 10:34

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It seems from many comments that some Phuket Wan readers want some laws enforced and not others.
Isn't that called corruption??????

Posted by Arthur on August 20, 2013 22:05

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To Arthur. All problems should be solved step by step. From most serious to less important. First step was a lot of talking and cheering. Second step was warning. Third step is action. But. Officials phoned our office and warned about inspection. Inspectors come, checked and gone. If we had any illegal worker, one could take day off or come back later the same day. The efficiency of such actions is 0%. For now I see it everywhere here. What results are expected from such work?

Posted by Stranger on August 22, 2013 11:28

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2 officers came into my shop and ask me for my passport. "Sorry officers, but I keep that in a safe, so nobody steals it - Do you want me to go to my other shop and get it?". The officer smiled and said no it's ok, no problem. I then asking, why they are asking about passport when I'm sitting in a shop and not my WP. "Oh no, only passport". They were very friendly and wish me a good evening. Another day in paradise :-)

Posted by Zenobiz on August 22, 2013 13:51

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I have 2 tourist police officers here as we speak, checking passport, visa and company paperwork.

Posted by stevenl on August 23, 2013 13:34

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Foreign residents do not have to carry their passport. An Govt issued driver's License is sufficient. I would also carry a colour copy of the PP's ID and visa, and entry stamp pages

Posted by Nonpersona on August 23, 2013 14:05

Editor Comment:

I was stopped by a policeman while taking a photograph of a truckload of Burmese at the Tungthong Checkpoint in Kathu today. The officer asked to see my passport and my work permit. If you are asked for a passport and a work permit, it may be wise to be able to produce them.

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@ nonpersonna a vrry quiet word of warning and DuncsB's comment. Copies are not going to work in this roundup. After the theft in Malaysia of the Long Stay Visa Stickers, the Imm Police are not leaving any original passport page unturned.

Posted by Graham on August 23, 2013 16:16

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Any reasonable person would accept that as long as the original passport can be produced within a reasonable amount of time, no person should be punished for not carrying the original passport with them.

Mine is always in my safe along with other relevant documents but I'm happy to produce it to any officials on Phuket within 1 hr or whatever time it takes to drive back home and bring it for them to see.

Posted by ThaiMike on August 23, 2013 17:43

Editor Comment:

Most people only want laws to be enforced when it suits them.

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Ed It is not a law to carry a passport, if Thai govt issued ID is available and that is the law. No way I'm taking my passport with me anywhere but to immigration and the like.

Posted by Nonpersona on August 23, 2013 20:15

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From UK Gov Travel Advisory:
By law, you must carry your passport with you at all times in Thailand. Tourists have been arrested because they were unable to produce their passport on request. Make sure you complete the next of kin details section in the back of your passport.

Posted by Pete on August 23, 2013 20:18

Editor Comment:

Thai officials probably are not too concerned about your next of kin, but I suspect Thai law specifies that you must produce your passport when requested. Perhaps somebody can quote the law to settle this?

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Immigration Act, B.E. 2522
Section 12, No.1. : Aliens which fall into any of the following categories are excluded from entering into the Kingdom :1. Having no genuine and valid passport ...

Section 19: "In inspecting and considering whether an alien is forbidden from entering the Kingdom , the
competent official ...... (snip) may detain said aliens at any place..." Now, having no passport, not speaking the language, would be enough for the "competent official" to suspect and detain the alien and let the police station sort it out. Costs for detainment is on alien. So better have the passport with you in times of a crack down.

Section 20: You can be detained up to 48 hours and then up to 7 days...

btw. Section 37 is also interesting: there it is said, that an alien has to give notice, if they change their place given to immigration. 24h to notify immigration or the local police of change of address. Guess one of the most violated laws in Thailand.

Posted by Lena on August 24, 2013 02:31


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