Thailand police nab 110 foreigners in overstay, criminal cases

Thailand police nab 110 foreigners in overstay, criminal cases
PHOTO: The Straits Times

The Immigration Police Bureau yesterday announced cases of foreigners caught for overstaying their visas and committing crimes.

So far, 108 foreigners have been rounded up for overstay after authorities decided to conduct regular checks on foreign visitors from 19 to 25 of every month. Those caught so far are eight Somalis, three from Papua New Guinea, three Nigerians, a Mali national, a Liberian, 50 Pakistanis, 15 Indians, a Sri Lankan, a Bangladeshi, three Vietnamese and 22 other nationals.

Immigration Bureau chief Pol Lt-General Natthorn Praosunthorn said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha had issued an order banning those who overstay for more than a year from entering the country for three years. If they overstay their visa for three years, they will be banned for five years, while a five-year overstay carries a ban of 10 years.

The order, announced in the Royal Gazette, will go into effect in March.

Visitors whose visas have expired are encouraged to turn themselves in or they will face heavy penalties when caught. Natthorn said the crackdown was part of a move to boost security in the country as many foreigners who overstay their visas are involved in crimes.

Separately, a French man was arrested and charged with attempted murder, detention and robbery, police said yesterday. Kraiba Safy, 26, was arrested on December 11 in Bangkok's Bang Rak district. It has been alleged that Safy and two other men had been trafficking drugs in France, and had fled to Spain and Thailand after getting into conflicts. French police nabbed two suspects in Rayong, who then implicated Safy as being the mastermind.

In a second case, American boxer Malik Naeem Watson-Smith, 23, who once fought Thai boxer "Bua Kao", was caught on December 14 in Chon Buri for overstaying his visa. He had earlier been charged with assault and was granted bail on May 19, 2010, under condition that he could not leave the country without court permission.

Eveniy Gubarev, 37, a Russian national, was arrested on December 17 for overstaying, and is also wanted on charges of fraud and laundering money.

An unnamed 47-year-old Belgian was arrested on December 20 for overstaying by 305 days. He arrived on January 20 and was allowed to stay until February 18.

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