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James Nelson with officers from Phuket Immigration last night

Phuket Expat Arrested For Overstaying Since 2010: Fine, Deportation Loom

Tuesday, July 2, 2013
PHUKET: A Canadian expat resident has been arrested for overstaying his visa on Phuket and faces a hefty fine and deportation from Thailand.

Acting on a tip-off, Immigration officers went to central Phuket yesterday evening and took James H. Nelson, 64, from the Lake View Apartments in Tungthong for questioning.

Mr Nelson said his passport had been sent to the Canadian Embassy for replacement.

A check with Phuket Airport Immigration established that Mr Nelson had arrived on Phuket on September 22, 2010 and the tourist visa allowed him to stay until November 20 that year.

Mr Nelson was kept in the cells at Tungthong Police Station overnight and will face Phuket Provincial Court today.

Overstays are fined at the rate of 500 baht a day but this amount is usually capped at 20,000 baht, Captain Wattanatorn Bamrungtin of Tungthong Police told Phuketwan today.

In theory, the penalty could be 20,000 baht plus a two-year jail term, the captain said. However, the maximum was unlikely to be imposed.

In the event that Mr Nelson could not pay a fine, one option was for him to pay off the amount by serving jail time at the value of 200 baht a day.

Mr Nelson has no job and a heart condition, the captain added.

''This is a sad case,'' said Captain Wattanatorn. ''We have heard from his former girlfriend, who has since become happily married and started a family with another expat.

''She feels sorry for Mr Nelson and arranged for food and drink to be brought to him last night in the cells. It seems he gets by on an 11,000 baht a month pension from his home country.''

After arriving on Phuket, Mr Nelson apparently developed a liking for the island's bars and was an easy mark for some women, the captain said he had been told.

His ex-girlfriend, a teacher, had even offered to pay the fine if Mr Nelson turns out to be as poor as he seems, Captain Wattanatorn said.

Deportation is almost certain to follow the payment of a fine for overstaying. It's believed there are hundreds of other expats like Mr Nelson on Phuket, with little means of support.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


Wow!!! Way to step it up from the Ex!! Even married with new family she still wants to look after him. Sweet lady!

Posted by Ryan on July 2, 2013 11:50


What goes around comes around Mr Nelson...

Posted by Nicke on July 2, 2013 12:45


The story is about the girlfriend. It's the untold story, one of many, of the wonderful women of Thailand.

Posted by JK on July 2, 2013 18:00


A common story but rarely seen in print
he discovered bargirls or they discovered him all savings gone & now leading a frugal existance in Thailand he should have read private dancer kudos to the the ex GF a exceptional girl indeed.

Posted by slickmelb on July 2, 2013 21:26


How is he going to get back to Canada? Seems he was drawing on early benefits from the Canada Old Age Security Plan and I doubt he has any savings. If he is destitute, what happens? Does he sit in an immigration cell indefinitely?

Posted by Ryan on July 3, 2013 09:31

Editor Comment:

Usually arrangements are made and whatever fare is paid has to be repaid.


'sweet lady', 'wonderful woman', ' a exceptional girl' --- I just wonder, if it would be your wife, now, and probably your money, the fine would be paid with, what would you think then?
But more important:
How can a single male farang live from 11.000 Baht/month? That makes it, cheap accommodation presumed, less then 270 Baht/day. For electric, internet, food drink, cloth and tansportation. And don't get sick, old boy!

Posted by Point of view on July 3, 2013 09:45

Wednesday February 21, 2024
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