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