A similar clampdown began in Phuket on Thursday (May 3), and Capt Ekkachai Siri of the Phuket Tourist Police confrmed that any irregularities in student enrolment and attendance will be investigated. Surprisingly, it was reported that police were zeroing in on foreign criminals who obtain education visas so they can live in Thailand and commit crime.
Do police honestly believe the only reason that people enrol at language schools to obtain education visas is to commit crime? This is far from the truth.
People enrol at language schools to obtain education for a number of reasons: First, they may just want to extend their stay in Thailand and actually spend some time learning the language while they’re here; and second, some foreigners who do not have legitimate businesses set up in Thailand but are happy to run illegal businesses via Facebook pages etc. all whilst staying on an education visa.
Some people who have these education visas keep it to themselves, although there are others who are happy to tell all and sundry. One such person, who The Phuket News shall not name, was staying on an education visa whilst running a now defunct pub/guesthouse slap bang in the middle of Phuket Town. Had he attended the courses for which he enrolled? Very unlikely!
Another case was that last year of the Russian “Crypto Boss” Maxim Lastovka, 27, and his partner who were allegedly robbed of various valuables during an alleged burglary at their condo in Nai Harn.
Chalong Police confirmed that both Russians were on education visas. Surely a quick “khun pôot paa-săa thai bpen măi?” from any officer involved with the two Russians would have revealed how much Thai they had learned.
If police are serious then they should have an absolute field day in Phuket and we await reports of language schools, visa service providers and education officials being prosecuted, and foreigners being deported and blacklisted for their illegal use of these easily obtained visas.