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Allegations are made quite often about corruption at Immigration offices

Thailand Immigration Offices Being Probed

Saturday, September 12, 2015
PHUKET: Phuket and more than 50 other Immigration offices throughout Thailand are being investigated for corruption by the Office of the Inspector General.

The investigations, by 10 special teams, were triggered by the revelation that some of the Bangkok bombing suspects came and went from Thailand by bribing officials.

Allegations of corruption at Immigration offices come frequently - especially in places where foreigners come and go through airports.

The investigating teams have until September 23 to report. Thailand's present police chief, Somyot Pumpanmuang, met with 259 senior Immigration officials at Royal Thai Police headquarters in Bangkok last week and handed out brochures noting the six main ways in which Immigration officials allegedly take bribes.

General Somyot, a former deputy commander at Immigration, leaves the force on September 30.

The 10-team investigation was announced yesterday by the Deputy Commander of the Office of the Inspector General, Major General Chalanwit Weeradatetamhang.

The Immigration Region 6 Commander, Police Major General Thatchai Pitaneelaboot, told Phuketwan today that he welcomed the investigation. Region 6 includes Phuket.

''Anyone who behaves corruptly should be punished,'' he said. ''This is good for Thailand.''


Comments have been disabled for this article.


''Anyone who behaves corruptly should be punished''

Better start building a LOT more prisons then. The number of people in this country who have either paid or taken bribes must be staggering.

Immigration office in Phuket town was in the habit of charging Bt 500 for a certificate of residency. This document is supposed to be free.

When I insisted I get a receipt, they refused. After some back and forth, they dropped the charge altogether.

Paying bribes is just as much a part of the problem as is taking them. If everyone simply refused to pay, it would stop overnight.

Problem is many want services or favors they are not entitled to and are willing to pay extra for what is not rightfully due to them.

While on the subject, the RTP might want to take a good long look at their own track record re bribes. Funny enough that subject has not once surfaces in any reports about this issue.

I can't help but to wonder why nobody is asking the obvious question.

Posted by Herbert on September 12, 2015 13:04


It's a pitty that many off Thailand "hero's" become creative and active with bright solutions just in their final days of their long carriere. I welcome the great initiative to fight corruption like mentioned above. It might cost a few trees to use for the paper needed undoubtfully for the many names to be printed from corrupted officials at the several Immigration offices under suspicion. My pitty remainance, but is it coincidence?

Posted by phuketgreed on September 12, 2015 13:07


Just follow the money trail and it will prove that they are among the 'most' corrupt government officials on the country.

Posted by bill green on September 12, 2015 13:41


I'm sure this will be wrapped up (forgotten) in 30 days as per usual.

Posted by Arun Muruga on September 12, 2015 15:37


Earlier this year my wife had to go to Phuket town for a certificate of residence and was charged 300 Baht along with everyone else in the queue. They must rake in a fortune. A week later the Phuket head of Immigration came out and said that this was not happening. Amazing Thailand

Posted by Col on September 12, 2015 16:00


I cant remember the numbers of times I have had to pay for residence certificates.

As the other posters comment, its just business as usual. If everyone who had ever taken a bribe is punished I doubt there would be many RTP or Immigration people left.

If they are paid a decent wage to do a proper job, they wont need the bribes to survive.

Thailand has the money, there is no question of that. I hope one day the systems will be implemented properly. it will take time, but can be done.

Posted by Discover Thainess on September 12, 2015 17:49


Come on - get real everybody - you know the script - they shuffle the pack & get reassigned - nothing else will happen to them!

Posted by Logic on September 12, 2015 18:17


So Police Major General Thatchai Pitaneelaboot is effectively welcoming an investigation into the blatant corruption that most foreigners witness on a daily basis at Phuket Immigration offices? He'd be a brave man indeed if he had the guts to call upon the many people negatively affected by this alleged corruption to defend him and his team - the foreigners themselves - in order to prove him right... or wrong. Let's see what happens. I, for one, tentatively agree with Arun's viewpoint; it's too obvious to be tackled heads on. Maybe it's all a 'misunderstanding' that so many people are allegedly swindled on a daily basis isn't it? It bloody well cost me a lot to 'tip' immigration officials to obtain a renewal of my marriage visa at Khon Kaen immigration office and the officer had the cheek to complain that we didn't give him enough! O mama mia!

Posted by Sam Wilko on September 12, 2015 19:23


I opened my smartphone, put it on video and said: "Would you please ask me again for 500 baht for the certificate of residence so I can put it on youtube tonight" and it suddenly became what it should have been anyhow: free of charge...

Posted by herbert on September 12, 2015 20:01


I was having a chat with a taxi driver in Bangkok on Friday and he says to me, "When the police see a taxi it is like they see a nice sweet" he was referring to the fact he has to pay them almost everyday.

Posted by Arun Muruga on September 12, 2015 20:42


I was recently conned by immigration at Suvarnabhumi when I took a flight to London departing at 12.50am, the same day my 90 days expired. I went through immigration well before midnight but was told I would have to pay 500baht overstay. I pointed out that my 90 days did not expire till midnight, but the officer said I would still be in Thailand so I was on overstay. I asked for a dated receipt and he said it would cost 1,000baht on top of the overstay fine but only with the date of my flight. I refused and reluctantly paid the 500baht which went straight into his pocket.

Posted by Pete on September 13, 2015 08:42


I have had a non immigrant multi entry O visa for many years based on my 2 daughters to whom I am 'single' parent, with the help of a long time girlfriend. I am now about to get a retirement visa, which they still make difficult despite having both the requisite amount of money in the bank, the requisite income from pension & a condo (some countries give you the visa free for the condo alone).

I have been blatantly told on a few occasions "why you not get married - easier to get a visa?". Yet I am being told by married friends that they keep moving the goal posts on visa rules & are making it ever more difficult.

Posted by Logic on September 13, 2015 10:06



It is indeed cheaper and simpler if you marry a Thai national rather than stay on a retirement visa.

Posted by Sam Wilko on September 13, 2015 14:56


@ Pete
He was correct, it is the time your flight is scheduled that determines the exit date. You were on overstay.

Posted by stevenl on September 13, 2015 17:00


@ Sam Wilko

Not so sure about the "Cheaper" part...

Plenty of examples of foreign men marrying Thai women and ending up losing their life savings.

This of course leads to them having to lead a very simple life from then on but I don't really call that being "simpler" either.

I will stick with my Non-B Multi, kob khun krub.

Posted by Herbert on September 13, 2015 17:36


@ Herbert: Agreed! But I object to immigration making a statement such as that anyway. Quite ridiculous to state life would be easier (I never mentioned cheaper lol) by getting married. I did not find that in my own country & not about to try it abroad

Posted by Logic on September 14, 2015 00:31


At some immigration offices in Thailand a tip is required to get a retiree visa without proving financial reliability (bank account with a net positive balance of Tb 800,000 for at least 3 months prior the application date). Will the current investigation touch also this unpleasant misbehavior?

Posted by Farang Hua Hin on September 14, 2015 20:30

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