Overstaying foreigners targeted in Pattaya club inspections

PHOTO: Pattaya officials search Walking Street clubs for overstaying foreigners. (via Pattaya News video)

Pattaya police are continuing their crackdown on nightlife and entertainment venues, but now with a new target: overstaying tourists. In the wake of the meth-fueled daycare centre massacre, police all over the country have been raiding venues and parties and cracking down on drug use. They have also been checking clubs for illegal operations, such as staying open past curfew. Now police are looking for foreigners who have stayed past the dates of their visa or visa exemption.

On Friday night, police and immigration descended on Pattaya Walking Street. They searched several clubs and go-go bars in the popular nightlife area. They began their raids around 10pm but this time, instead of searching for drugs or checking that the venues were operating legally, they were doing spot checks on customers for potential overstays.

Police officers and immigration officials were randomly checking the IDs of tourists and inspecting their visa or visa exemption status. They reminded many tourists that everyone must carry an ID on them at all times. Foreigners are required to have their passports to show their stamps, or at least have a copy of their passport stamps on them at all times.

Information from the Pattaya News did not specifically confirm if they found any foreigners on overstay, but no arrests were made during the entertainment venue searches on Friday.

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While police were mainly looking for foreigners who may have violated the immigration laws of Thailand by overstaying beyond the date allowed in the stamp on their passports, Thai people were also checked during their bar and club inspections. Local people were checked to make sure that they were old enough to be in the clubs and drinking. The police inspecting the clubs reminded all entertainment venues that they need to be watchful and not allow minors in. They also instructed club staff to be vigilant in preventing illegal activities such as drug use inside their venues.

The sudden crackdown on overstays was prompted by many high-profile crime cases where overstaying foreigners were involved recently. The Chinese tourist that was kidnapped in Pattaya and held for ransom was the victim of a person who had overstayed by more than 400 days.

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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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