CrimeKoh Samui

Norwegian overstayer arrested on Koh Samui

Norwegian overstayer arrested in Koh Samui, photo by Khaosod.

Thailand’s crackdown on overstayers is continuing, and the latest offender busted is a Norwegian man on Koh Samui. Surat Thani immigration officers arrested the man, 43 year old Jan Banan Thalmann, at a house in Samui district’s Mae Nam sub-district on Saturday.

Police said Thalmann had overstayed his visa by 15 days. His reasons for overstaying were not clear, The Phuket Express reported. He was taken to the Koh Samui Police Station to face overstaying charges.

Thalmann’s arrest followed a string of arrests of visa overstayers in Thailand.

On December 8, Immigration Police arrested a Polish man in Koh Samui, wanted on an Interpol red notice for assault and illegal possession of firearms. He had overstayed his student visa by 36 days, which was cancelled by immigration on November 3 because he didn’t attend classes.

On December 6, a British man was arrested in Srisaket province in northeast Thailand for overstaying his visa by 75 days. He said he only stayed because he loved Thailand so much, but immigration banned him from entering the kingdom for five years.

The same week, police busted a Kuwaiti overstayer on Thailand’s island of Koh Pha Ngan. The man, 56 year old Rashed Hea Juma, overstayed his visa by 16 days, according to police.

Last month, a Chinese man was arrested in Bangkok after overstaying his visa for an impressive seven years. He said he stayed because he feared religious persecution in China.

A Korean woman who was arrested in Bangkok for stealing a car, bag and watch valued at 5 million baht was found to have overstayed her visa in Thailand by six years.

Deputy Police Chief and former Chief of Immigration Pol. Gen. Surachate “Big Joke” Hakparn ordered a crackdown on foreign visa overstayers in Thailand last month. The crackdown followed the recent case of 41 year old Ren Haibo. A Chinese gang kidnapped and tortured Ren in Chon Buri province. The gang cut off Ren’s little finger and sent a video to his girlfriend requesting a staggering ransom of 150 million baht.

Surachate said it is common for foreign criminals escaping prosecution to come to Thailand on a tourist visa and bribe their way onto a student visa. He then instructed immigration officers at the borders and at all offices to clamp down on overstayers.

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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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