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‘Red card’ system launched for ‘bad foreigners’ in Phuket

‘Red card’ system launched for ‘bad foreigners’ in Phuket

PHUKET: Phuket Immigration has launched a ‘red card’ system that will see foreigners found guilty of two offences deported from the country.

By The Phuket News

Wednesday 1 March 2023, 05:43PM

Pol Maj Gen Praphansak Prasansuk, Commander of the Immigration Region 6 office, which oversees Immigration affairs in Phuket, announced the new system at a press conference today (Mar 1).

Under the system, a foreigner will be designated a ‘yellow card’ for a first offence. The foreigner will be issued a formal warning and the relevant embassy will be notified, Maj Gen Praphansak said.

After the foreigner completed the current stay and left the country, the foreigner will be denied permission to stay in Thailand for the next visit on the basis that the foreigner had conducted an unlawful act that “caused trouble and behaved [in a way] that is a threat to society”.

If a foreigner is found guilty of a second offence during the same period of stay, the foreigner will have the permit to stay in Thailand revoked and will be sent back to their home country, Maj Gen Praphansak said.

However, critical to the policy announced today, Maj Gen Praphansak did not define exactly what level of or type of crime or “unlawful act” would be considered for a first or second offence.

Of note, the types of offences mentioned at the press conference focussed on traffic violations such as not wearing a helmet while riding a motorbike, not having the correct driver’s licence and dangerous driving.

Meanwhile, the press conference today proudly announced the arrests of foreigners caught breaking the law under the ‘Phuket Crime - Free’ campaign.

Present for the event were a host of high ranking officials from local government offices, including from the local transport, labour and even education offices. Phuket Vice Governor Anupap Rodkwan Yodrambam was present as the leading provincial administration figure.

Phuket Provincial Police Commander Maj Gen Sermphan Sirikongwas also present, but oddly not even named as present by an official report of the event.


The press conference today focussed on highlighting what action police had taken against foreigners, assuring that the arrest of such foreigners was of paramount importance to the safety of people on the island and for the preservation of Phuket as a world-class tourism destination.

While scant on details, it was confirmed that a “foreign man” had been arrested on an “Interpol red notice” as he was wanted by the French authorities.

Also touted was the arrests of two Russian suspects for a robbery involving cryptocurrency, and the arrest of French nationals for reckless driving, driving without a helmet and driving without the correct driver’s licence needed for operating a vehicle in Thailand.

The latter group of arrests, described as “involving foreign tourists joining groups of motorcycles in Patong”, was branded as “causing annoyance and behaviour that is a threat to society”.

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Phuket Immigration, Patong Police and Phuket Tourist Police had arrested French foreigners involved in the above, and they had arrested a foreigner for “stealing a Thai job”.

Tracking down and arresting a “gang” of Mongolians stealing from tourists in Patong, namely by pickpocketing, was also worthy of mention at the high-powered press conference today. Apparently the landlord of where the Mongolians were staying was issued a formal warning, “admonishing him to strictly comply with the law”, but which law the landlord had broken was not explained.

Officials at the event also promoted the Traffy Fondue app as a means of filing complaints to authorities, which has become a standard entry into nearly every local government report involving officials.

It was explained that of the three complaints relevant to the Phuket Immigration Office, Patong Police and Phuket Tourist Police, two had been “resolved” while the third was still under investigation.

Phuket Immigration Chief Pol Col Thanet Sukchai called on all people to report illegal activities perpetrated by foreigners.

“The Phuket Provincial Immigration Office has set a standard for conducting screening inspections and the suppression and arrest of foreigners who commit crimes in various fields, including monitoring persons with arrest warrants,” he said.

“If anyone sees or knows of wrongdoing [by foreigners], please report it to the Phuket Immigration Office,” he added.

While focussing on catching ‘bad farang’ on the island, police at the press conference today made no mention of any ethical action taken against any of its own officers for engaging in criminal activity, including an officer from the Chalong Police attempting to extort B5,000 from a foreign tourist for illegally riding a motorbike through the Chalong Underpass.


Col Thanet yesterday led a ceremony to declare the “new” drive-through window at the main Phuket Immigration Office in Phuket Town officially open.

The window has been moved to the back of the building, which allows the queue of vehicles waiting to be served to be longer before it affects traffic on the street.

The window remains on the left-side of the vehicles, meaning that any persons using the drive-through must still slide across and reach out of the passenger window to pass their passport and other important documents to the officer serving them.

Additional reporting by Eakkapop Thongtub

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Kurt | 03 March 2023 - 07:38:50

I thought now we have a driving license point law. No helmet? Decuction of points. 2nd time no helmet? Another points penalty. So, that LAW is now not valid anymore on Phuket? Replaced by RED CARD, meaning--> Deportation?

Kurt | 03 March 2023 - 07:06:08

The more corruption and unlawful 'misbehavior'of RTP and Immigration from the top to bottom get exposed on social media, the more RTP and Immigration 'defend themself  hammering foreigners  with scaremongering diversion/distraction tactics like Phuket''s RED Card. On Phuket only!

Kamala Pete | 02 March 2023 - 12:30:40

It looks like yet again badly thought out solutions to problems caused by genuinely bad visitors are seriously impacting long term expats, who are a large source of foreign income to Thailand.

Kamala Pete | 02 March 2023 - 12:26:39

This is serious sh*t !!  Retirees who have shifted their money and possessions to Thailand and generally import around a million baht a year can now be kicked out for not wearing a helmet twice??? Does the yellow card drop away when a visa is renewed or does is stay as a permanent "Gotcha" ??  

ematt | 02 March 2023 - 12:01:53

It’s a start. Time to clean up Phuket. 

JohnC | 02 March 2023 - 08:49:20

Traffic offenses are not crimes, they are misdemeanors at worst. Very hypocritical to threaten to deport people for traffic violations that Thai people do on a daily basis and never get stopped for; not wearing helmets, no valid licence, reckless driving, are all very common among locals. The more RTP officers that are caught for corruption the more they seem to blame and push back at foreigners. 

Kurt | 02 March 2023 - 08:02:13

They just have to change 'IN' and 'OUT' gates..  Synchronise as it is with gas stations. Problem solved.  Will probably done in another few years.  :-) With another 'ceremony'.
The red card thing creates discriminative treatment of foreigners at different Thai locations.  Get a fine in C-M, get deported on Phuket. Even in rubber law land that is strange.

Fascinated | 01 March 2023 - 18:54:42

Was the last paragraph absolutely necessary? Phuket Immigration has been improving by leaps and bounds over the last few years and the drive thru is a good example.  It's hardly an imposition to reach across and hand over the docs. Us slim people can even do it without undoing our seatbelts. 


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