Hungarian woman arrested in Koh Samui for 10-year overstay

PHOTO: a Hungarian woman was caught in Koh Samui on a 10-year overstay. (via mgronline)

A Hungarian woman was arrested in Koh Samui by Surat Thani Immigration Police for a visa overstay… of more than 4,000 days. The woman admitted to having travelled to Thailand in November of 2009 on a tourist visa and then stayed with her husband without ever bothering to apply for any visa or extension.

The woman’s visa expired at the end of February in 2010 and she stayed illegally for more than 10 years in Thailand. The Thaiger is not identifying her details other than to say she is a Hungarian national, though Thai media identified her by name and passport number.

She appears to have been living in Bophut on the island of Koh Samui and had lived with her husband until his death at the beginning of this month.

The woman had been out and about around the island when police officers asked to check her documents on the road near Bangrak Beach. No details have been made available yet about what prompted the police officers to stop the woman. When her 10-year overstay was discovered police took the woman into custody and brought her to the Bophut police station.

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Current laws for overstays in Thailand state that, for an overstay of 10 years, the woman would be fined 20,000 baht and given a 10-year ban on entering Thailand again. While punishment is generally less severe for people who turn themselves in versus those caught on an overstay, the overstay by the Hungarian woman is so long that maximum penalties would apply either way.

Those who surrender for an overstay of fewer than 5 years face a 5-year ban, while anyone caught (not surrendering) with an overstay of more than 1 year face the full 10-year ban.

Police involved in her apprehension said they were acting in accordance with the law to prevent illegal immigration and extended residence in the country without permission. They urge people to report offenders to Surat Thani’s Immigration hotline.


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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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