Two Frenchmen held by Immigration officers had been on Phuket since January but the third expat arrested, a Swiss man, had been living on the island without a visa update since December, 2010.
The arrests came at 10am at a petrol station in southern Phuket as Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister Pracha Promnok was briefing police from four top tourist provinces about the need for added security.
Extra checks already in place have been redoubled with the disppearance of 300 visa entry forms from the Thai Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.
The three men arrested today at a PTT petrol station in Chao Fa Road West, southern Phuket, are:
Damien Yann Minnig 31 from Switzerland, who arrived at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport on December 3, 2010, and whose visa expired on January 1, 2011;
Frank Georges Vincent Fechant 50 from France, who arrived via Phuket International Airport on January 19, 2013, and was due to leave before February 17;
Soulimant Loic Yves Bartholemy 23 from France, who arrived via Suvarnabhumi airport on January 24 and was due to leave on February 22.
The men were taken to Chalong Police Station for questioning. If standard proceedure is followed, they will appear in court at the first opportunity and be fined before being deported at their own expense.
The fine for overstaying in Thailand is 500 baht a day but the maximum fine is usually set at 20,000 baht.
Today Deputy Prime Minister Pracha told senior police and Immigration officers from four provinces - Phuket, Krabi, Phang Nga and Surat Thani, home to Samui and Phangan islands - that all foreigners are coming under greater scrutiny for the safety and protection of Thailand's tourists.
''Resorts will be expected to provide more thorough details about the movements of their guests,'' a large meeting of police heard on Phuket today.