Phuket launches inspections to curb foreigner crime, boost reputation
Phuket authorities launched a comprehensive inspection campaign targeting crimes by foreigners to boost the island’s reputation among potential visitors. The ‘white accommodation scheme for foreigners’ was announced by Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew. The scheme is being overseen by Pol. Col. Thanet Sukchai, Superintendent of Phuket Immigration, The Phuket News reported.
The scheme aims to work with landlords who have foreigners residing on their properties, including rented houses, apartments, condos, and hotels. Inspectors will verify that these landlords are following the correct immigration reporting procedures as per Section 38 of the Immigration Act and not harbouring any foreigners illegally.
Landlords will be asked to monitor the behaviour of foreigners staying at their residences to ensure no inappropriate activities are being carried out, with a specific focus on international crime syndicates that may use Phuket as a base for their illegal ventures.
A team of 65 personnel from Phuket Provincial Police Division 2, Tourist Police Division 3, Immigration, and the Phuket Provincial Employment Office will conduct a series of checks with landlords and property owners across the island.
The campaign follows a recent visit by National Police Chief Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittipraphat, who inspected immigration in Phuket on May 11 and formally opened the ‘Punrak Cafe’ at Phuket Immigration Office in Phuket Town.
Officials confirmed that over 2,000 accommodation providers and landlords are currently participating in the project. The campaign will also identify any foreigners involved in illegal activities outside of immigration rules, such as drug possession or dealing.
A two-tier warning and disciplinary system for foreigners committing crimes in Phuket was launched on March 1. Foreigners caught committing offences that do not carry a prison sentence will be issued a yellow card warning by authorities, and their landlord and respective country’s consulate will be advised of their misdemeanour.
A second crime or an act considered a dangerous threat to society will result in a red card, which will also revoke the foreigner’s right to remain in the country.
The crackdown on illegal behaviour aims to boost confidence in Phuket’s image as a safe and desirable destination for foreign tourists to visit in the future.
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