Cops arrest Iraqi in Pattaya who overstayed visa by 8 years

Iraqi man was arrested in Pattaya, photo by Naewna.

Cops arrested an Iraqi man in Pattaya who overstayed his visa for more than eight years. Chon Buri Immigration and Pattaya Police arrested the man at his house in Pattaya’s Map Yai Lia community on Tuesday.

The man was sitting in front of his house when the cops showed up. The man turned pale and fainted when he saw the police team.

Police identified the man as 52 year old Khalid Majeed Ali. They found that Ali had arrived at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport on November 17, 2014 on a 60-day tourist visa valid until January 15, 2015. But instead of going home once his visa expired, Ali overstayed his visa by over eight years or 2,993 days.

Ali had hidden in the Map Yai Lia community for a long time. He did not have a job or socialise with anyone, and it was reportedly feared that he might turn to crime.

Officers brought Ali to Nong Prue Police Station for further legal proceedings.

Deputy National Police Chief Pol. Gen. Surachate Hakparn, also known as “Big Joke,” ordered all units to quickly round up foreigners who have either entered the country illegally, overstayed their visas, or have not stuck to their visa’s purpose. This is part of an effort to prevent crime from damaging Thailand’s tourism image.

The offence of overstaying in the country carries a maximum penalty of two years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of 20,000 baht. Offenders will be blacklisted and forbidden from entering the country for ten years.

Pol. Col. Prinya warned that foreign nationals who have overstayed their visas should report to the nearest immigration office as soon as possible to avoid arrest and legal action.

Last week, Big Joke said that expats in Pattaya would be scrutinised closely as part of Operation X-Ray. The operation involves scrutinising Immigration and Police records to identify wanted individuals in the Pattaya area and targeting them for removal.

Sophisticated technology such as Immigration vehicles equipped with smart cameras will be used to identify certain wanted individuals who may be walking on a street or area.

Operation X-Ray also involves much closer scrutiny of visa renewals for foreigners of concern, including questioning sources of income and their backgrounds. This is especially true for those of working age without work permits and an uncertain line of income.

The operation was announced after a Chinese woman was abducted in Pattaya as she went to get her child from school, and gangsters demanded 1 million yuan (4.7 million baht) in ransom.

Crime NewsPattaya News

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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