Thai officials arrest overstaying French woman in Koh Pha Ngan

The 36 year old French woman was arrested, photo by Surat Thani Immigration.

Thai officials arrested an overstaying French woman in Koh Pha Ngan this week. Sura Thani Immigration officers said in a Facebook post that they arrested the woman on Monday in front of the Bounty Resort on 85/1 Moo 8.

The woman, 36 year old Myriam Naima Bakhoury, overstayed her visa by six days, the officers said.

She was taken to Koh Pha Ngan Police Station to face overstaying charges, and is waiting to be deported, The Phuket Express reported. It was not clear how Bakhoury was caught.

This news comes after reports that another overstayer was also busted in Koh Pha Ngan earlier this week.

A Russian man was arrested for overstaying his visa by a staggering 188 days. Surat Thani Immigration officers confirmed the arrest of 50 year old Leonid Toisloi. Toisloi was apprehended in front of a convenience store in the northern town of Chalok Lam earlier this week.

As with Bakhoury, authorities charged Toisloi for overstaying his visa. He is also being held at Koh Pha Ngan Police Station, awaiting deportation. It is not known how Toisloi came to the attention of the immigration authorities.

Thailand takes immigration laws very seriously and overstaying a visa, even by a few days, can result in detention, hefty fines, and deportation.

In Surat Thani, the province that contains Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao, the immigration office is employing new technology. Officers have equipped Smart Patrol Cars with advanced facial recognition to check foreigners quickly. Immigration officers are patrolling in WiFi-enabled cars, usually a BMW, to crack down on foreigners who have overstayed.

Surat Thani Immigration Police, and Koh Pha Ngan Provincial Police went on a tour of Thailand’s fifth-biggest island in November on the hunt for visa overstayers in the kingdom.

Three foreigners were arrested and detained at Koh Pha Ngan Police Station. Russian Alexander Makevich was nabbed for overstaying his visa by 29 days. Police also arrested a French woman, Ophelia Marie Miriam Jacque, for overstaying her visa by 93 days. Both were charged under suspicion of, “being an alien whose permitted entry into the kingdom has run out.”

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.