EPL Prediction Competition 2018-2019 Kata Rocks
Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

Cops bust short course visa scam

NATIONWIDE: Police are zeroing in on foreign criminals who enrol at language schools to obtain education visas so they can live in Thailand and commit crime.

crimecorruptionimmigrationpolice
By Bangkok Post

Monday 30 April 2018, 09:34AM


Surachate Hakparn, of the tourist police. Photo: via Bangkok Post

Surachate Hakparn, of the tourist police. Photo: via Bangkok Post

The move comes after romance scammers busted by police showed student visas to officers.

During last week’s raids to bust foreigners who had overstayed their visas in an operation called X-Ray Outlaw Foreigner, officers also searched 74 international schools which provide language courses.

Tourist Police deputy commissioner Surachate Hakparn said the search came as some criminal elements from Africa were found to have enrolled as students at language schools.

“There are foreign criminals who come to Thailand and enrol on such courses so as to change their tourist visas to education visas, which grant them a permit for a much longer stay,” Maj Gen Surachate said.

After enrolling in the courses, these criminals do not show up at the classes, he said.

Student-certified documents issued by the schools must be submitted to provincial education offices before they can seek a change of visa status at the Department of Consular Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

He said an initial probe also found some unscrupulous police officers were helping these foreigners obtain student visas at a cost of around B40,000 as a “management” fee.

“This week, the Tourist Police will hold a meeting with the Department of Consular Affairs and the Education Ministry about the problem,” Maj Gen Surachate said. .

Last week’s raids, which targeted 118 locations across the country, underscored the government’s clampdown on foreigners who overstay their visas, he said.

The operation integrated efforts by several police agencies, including the Tourist Police, Anti-Human Trafficking Division, Technology Crime Suppression Division and Crime Suppression Division.

In the operation, officers apprehended 99 foreigners, most of whom had either overstayed their visas or entered the country illegally.

Thailand Property Awards

According to Maj Gen Surachate, some foreigners were found to have been involved in romance scams, credit card skimming as well as drug trafficking. Many are from Africa, he added.

Police are keeping eye on suspects from Nigeria, Cameroon, Guinea and India. Some of these people had B300,000-B400,000 in their bank accounts but were unable to explain how they obtained it, he said.

He said almost 100,000 foreigners are believed to have currently overstayed their visas, with more than 4,000 busted for the offence in the recent crackdowns.

These operations have led to a sharp drop in criminal offences committed by such people in Bangkok, according to Maj Gen Surachate.

Col Choengron Rimpadi, an Immigration Bureau spokesman, conceded that Thailand has been targeted by transnational criminals.

“This is a challenge for immigration officers in Thailand who must step up efforts to stop foreigners with criminal motives from entering the country,” Col Choengron said.

He said his bureau has heightened measures to screen people at airports and border checkpoints, particularly for individuals who leave and re-enter Thailand overland to renew their visa-exempt status on so-called visa runs.

These foreigners will be stopped and asked to apply for the appropriate visas, he noted.

According to Col Choengron, the Immigration Bureau will begin checking the fingerprints of those entering via international airports so they can be compared with those on the blacklist.

A facial recognition system will also be used to determine whether people’s faces match with those in their passports, he said.

Read original story here.

 

 

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:

Kurt | 30 April 2018 - 10:11:12

Zeroing in on foreigners is more profitable money wise and less risky than zeroing in on Thai.
You never know or a Thai is may be a influential person, and can damage your RTP career if you as police officer don't wai deep enough for a Hi-So criminal who has high level friends in Government.   TIT.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
New Phuket Governor announced, starts role Oct 1

I wish the new governor great success in his upcoming difficult position. I would also like him to b...(Read More)


Chinese tourist drowns at Nai Harn

Of course it of utmost importance to state that "red flags were posted" so the blame goes ...(Read More)


Reach of the ancient empire. Were the Greeks or Romans in Phuket or the Peninsula?

I visited Egypt in 87. The statues and paintings did not look like present day Egyptians. When in T...(Read More)


Hope floats to raise the Phoenix

Probably can't swim either. ...(Read More)


Phuket Opinion: Never look back, never learn

Christy, this is Thailand. The worst punishment would be transferred to an inactive post. I know. Ha...(Read More)


Phoenix tour boat owner to fight charges, renounces confession

The Thai judicial system is under the microscope on this one as it's high profile the police, la...(Read More)


Phoenix tour boat owner to fight charges, renounces confession

It really doesn't matter how much assistance she provided to the survivors. What about the 47 de...(Read More)


Phuket tour boat fire investigation underway

Underway-underway-underway. Do they really not know/realise their own shortcomings in their jobs on ...(Read More)


New Phuket Governor announced, starts role Oct 1

A new Governor, a new Captain on the ship Phuket! Let's hope the change brings something good f...(Read More)


New Phuket Governor announced, starts role Oct 1

According to his CV with a Master in Public Administration (M.P.A.) at the American International Co...(Read More)