As Thailand opens more, police prepare for more international crime

Police General Wisanu, photo by Daily News.

A senior Thai police inspector told Thai media that Royal Thai Police plans to redouble its efforts to fight international crime as the country opens up more and more with the ease in Covid-19 restrictions. The inspector, General Wisanu Prasatthongosot, told Daily News that Thailand is located at a crossroads in the region that makes it an ideal spot for international crimes such as cyber crime, money laundering through fake companies, and several others.

On top of its location, Wisanu said Thailand’s cost of living is another factor drawing international criminals posing as “tourists”. Such “tourists”, he said, include fugitives from Europe, the US, and Australia who are involved in mafia activities, drugs, human trafficking, money laundering, and fraud.

Wisanu added that many gangs from Africa and East Asia also come to cause trouble in Thailand. The other groups Wisanu mentioned were South Asians and Africans involved in so-called ‘romance scams‘, as well as theft.

In stepping up its efforts, Wisanu said RTP plans to work with agencies like Interpol and Thai Immigration. He said that Thai immigration have around 30 million people on its Biometrics database, which uses facial recognition and fingerprinting to identify banned persons. The facial recognition is meant to stop criminals from getting away with their crimes by simply changing their names and getting new documents.

Thai officials across the country are preparing for the expected crime increase. Last month, Phuket officials held a meeting to discuss an expected increase in drug issues in the island province, in light of Thailand’s eased entry restrictions. The officials said airlines need tighter surveillance to prevent drug smuggling to Phuket.

Thailand’s Justice Minister said last month that Thailand is winning the war against drugs. We’ll see if Thai authorities continue to ‘win’ against drugs and other crime in the long run.

SOURCE: Daily News

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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