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Phuket Immigration Chief to ask for ‘red card’ system to be made national

Phuket Immigration Chief to ask for ‘red card’ system to be made national

PHUKET: Phuket Immigration Chief Col Thanet Sukchai left Phuket for Bangkok, where he hopes to ask Pol Lt Gen Pakpoompipat Sajjapan, Commissioner of the Immigration Bureau, to make the ‘red card’ system introduced in Phuket national.

By Nattha Thepbamrung

Friday 3 March 2023, 06:20PM

Phuket Immigration Chief Col Thanet Sukchai. Photo: Radio Thailand Phuket

Phuket Immigration Chief Col Thanet Sukchai. Photo: Radio Thailand Phuket

Pol Maj Gen Praphansak Prasansuk, Commander of the Immigration Region 6 Office, announced the new system of ‘yellow cards’ and ‘red cards’ for foreigners caught breaking the law  in Phuket at a press event on Wednesday (Mar 1).

Under the system, foreigners will be given a ‘yellow card’ warning for minor offences. The relevant embassy will be notified and once the foreigner is found committing the offence twice, a red card will be given.

“A yellow card is a warning. A foreigner who receives one can still stay in Thailand. But after the two yellow cards, there will be a red card, and the foreigner’s visa will be revoked and the person will be deported,” Col Thanet told The Phuket News.

Red cards will be issued for crimes of a serious nature, Col Thanet continued.

However, Col Thanet was unable to further clarify breaking specifically which laws would constitute a ‘yellow card’ or a red card offence.

“The actions need to be considered case by case and the main standard of consideration is maintaining the peace in public areas,” he said

“For example, with the foreign motorcyclists in Patong who rode the bikes made loud noises and disturbed people in many ways, all of the motorcyclists have already received yellow cards,” he continued.

“We have just started the project so we have to look into the offences case by case. In any case, if we see that it causes trouble to society, we will give them an official warning. The standard is that whatever affects the peace of living of local people as well as other tourists is prohibited,” he explained.

“Phuket is Thailand’s first and only province with this regulation. Once a foreigner is designated a yellow card, the foreigner can remain in Phuket until the current stay is complete or choose to travel or move to other provinces,” Col Thanet noted.

“Those who receive a red card can return to Thailand and Phuket, but this will be relevant to the offences they committed. However, it would be ‘more difficult’ [sic] for them if the immigration officer at the airport finds the record of a red card in the system,” he said.

Col Thanet did not explain what “more difficult” would entail, including whether the foreigner qwould be refused entry at the airport.

“The purpose of creating the yellow and red cards is to strengthen the laws in Phuket and to warn foreigners if their behaviour causes trouble to society,” he said.

Col Thanet did not clarify whether a court verdict was necessary for a card to be issued, or whether a law-enforcement officer pressing a minor charge was sufficient.

He did say that some burden of proof would be required.

“The behaviour needs to be proven whether it really was disturbing the public,” he said.

“The Immigration Bureau is authorised to allow the length of stay for each visa considering the behaviour in the record, so the yellow card and red card system will help make foreigners respect Thai law more,” Col Thanet said.

“Immigration must offer services and accommodate foreigners while also maintaining the security of society. We have to balance the two sides,” he said.

According to Col Thanet, Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew supports the initiative.

“From social topics that foreigners behave inappropriately and disrespect Thai law, the law enforcement must be done concretely to make Phuket safe by designating yellow and red cards to foreigners to behave well and not cause trouble to others,” Col Thanet cited the Governor saying.

“The previous operation already suppressed 20 trouble-maker foreign motorcyclists. Three of them were designated with yellow cards and the rest have already flown back to their home countries. Phuket Immigration has also filed the case with their embassy,” he said.

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Kamala Pete | 05 March 2023 - 11:22:14

The Colonel has said that not wearing a helmet on a scooter will earn a yellow card. In what way is this "disturbing the public"? The only danger created is to the rider.

Kurt | 05 March 2023 - 08:59:56

Tip fpr Col Thanet: Try out the yellow-red card system were the problems start...  the rental shops! Give them cards for illegal holding passports, renting out to people without proper driving license. Get a red card?--> Closure of rental shop 6 months. And not being a Phuketian?--> 6 months deportation to own province. Sure at least 50% of problems are gone!

JohnC | 05 March 2023 - 08:46:55

Just another way to try and make it look like foreigners are the main causes of the problems on Phuket when anyone experienced with the way thing 'work' here knows that this is just blatant BS. For more than 2 years they prayed for tourists to come back after covid now they just find more ways to prey on them once the cash cows came back. Be great if they all decide to leave again. Som nom...

Fascinated | 04 March 2023 - 13:31:12

Informing the embassies may get them to look at things like the welfare status of their citizens over here. With regard to 'Les Lapins' on Nanai apparently there is huge welfare fraud with them still managing to collect benefits whilst over here. Ever wonder how they can afford extended stays here?

Capricornball | 04 March 2023 - 10:40:58

Pretty crazy to entrust the crooked RTP in defining what qualifies as a "Minor charge". Way too many unidentified criteria and definitions that gives way too much latitude to an agency that has historically proven itself to be one of the most (if not THE most) corrupt and untrustworthy group in the entire country.

Kurt | 04 March 2023 - 08:31:42

...Informing Embassies? For what? Home countries just shrug shoulders The Phuket RTP tendecy to address direct Consuls/Embassies is a blatant violation of diplomatic protocol. Thanet's bosses should report to Thai Ministery of Foreign Affairs, at that level is contact with Embassies. Not a unknown RTP officer who likes to play himself in the spotlights.

Kurt | 04 March 2023 - 08:22:40

Col Thanet is 'air cycling'. It's all just 'dreaming'. Not enough explained/clarified. "We have to look case by case". Read that as; .. see how must we can extort the foreigner to get of the hook. Hope Thanet can find his General in BKK, as many there are 'inactive' for their role in 'grey business'. Here we see another grey business born. Informing Em...

agogohome | 03 March 2023 - 19:44:04

Sounds like another cash cow in the making!


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