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Thai Immigration Chief warns law-breaking foreigners “this is just the start”

Maya Taylor

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Thai Immigration Chief warns law-breaking foreigners “this is just the start” | The Thaiger
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PHOTOS: Naew Na

The chief of Thai Immigration, Lieutenant General Sompong Chingduang, also known as ‘Big Oud’ (because the head of Immigration has to have a nickname starting with ‘big’ apparently), is warning foreigners breaking the law in the country that the latest crackdown “is just the beginning”.

ThaiVisa reports that the immigration chief made his announcement at Immigration HQ in Bangkok.

He warned that this was just the start and pledged to rid Thailand of illegal immigrants, over-stayers, thieves, criminals and those with international warrants out for their arrest. The claim has been made often enough but successive immigration officials continue to keep rounding up foreign illegals whilst enjoying the glory of posing with the hapless overstayers and alleged criminals when they are caught.

As part of the announcement, 8 Somalis, 4 Chinese, and 3 Syrian nationals, all accused of over-staying their visas, were lined up and presented for the routine media shaming. No details were provided as to how or where they were arrested.

The Naew Na news outlet, who originally reported the story, says it did so under the orders of the PM, General Prayut Chan-o-cha, the Deputy PM Suwit Wongsuwan, and Royal Thai Police chief Chakthip Chaijinda and his deputy.

SOURCE: NaewNa | Thai Visa

Thai Immigration Chief warns law-breaking foreigners “this is just the start” | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: The chief of Thai Immigration, Lieutenant General Sompong Chingduang – Naew Na

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Economy

Government aims to offer work permits to foreigners who invest at least US$1 million

Maya Taylor

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Government aims to offer work permits to foreigners who invest at least US$1 million | The Thaiger
PHOTO: www.pinoythaiyo.com

Probably the most expensive Work Permit in the world. The Thai government is considering offering work permits to foreigners who invest at least US$1 million in Thai property or businesses. The Centre for Economic Situation Administration has approved a proposal to grant work permits to eligible Elite Card holders. In order to qualify, they must have the top-tier Thailand Elite visa card, which costs 1 million baht and is valid for 5 years. They must also be prepared to invest their funds for at least 5 years.

The governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Yuthasak Supasorn, says it’s hoped the move will boost foreign investment in the Kingdom. It’s hoped the plan could generate 31 billion baht for the economy, 1 billion of which would come from Elite card fees, with the remainder being generated by foreign investment.

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha has instructed the TAT and the Foreign and Interior Ministries to work together on the proposal, before submitting it to Cabinet for final approval.

The CESA has also approved the proposed partnership between the TAT, Thai Airways, and local hotels, in which tourism packages inclusive of quarantine, can be offered to foreign arrivals. It’s understood the packages will be available from December 1 until March 31 next year. The government is targeting 2,000 visitors, generating revenue of 200 million baht every month.

Just another ‘proposal’ we have to keep track of as the visa situation in Thailand becomes increasingly complex.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Tourism

Finally! TAT partners with hotels, airlines, to offer travel stimulus package for expats

Maya Taylor

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Finally! TAT partners with hotels, airlines, to offer travel stimulus package for expats | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Shutterstock

The Tourism Authority of Thailand is partnering with airlines and over 300 hotels around the country in another domestic tourism stimulus scheme, this time aimed at expats. It’s understood all foreigners and their families, living in the Kingdom, are eligible to avail of the scheme.

The “Expat Travel Bonus” offers a 1,000 baht per night discount on hotel accommodation at participating properties. The more nights booked, the bigger the discount. Participating hotels are registered with the Thai Hotels Association and can be found here.

The promotion will run until December 31 and interested travellers will need to contact the hotels directly to book. The scheme also allows for a 50% discount on domestic flights with AirAsia, Bangkok Airways, and Nok Air.

Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi from the Thai Hotels Association, has welcomed the scheme, saying hotels need as much support as possible in the absence of international tourism.

“With very limited travel from overseas, Thai hotels need all the support they can get, so there’s never been a better time for expats to help out and enjoy a great value vacation at the same time. I am happy that the association can be a part of this campaign.”

The TAT’s Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya echoes the sentiment, saying he hopes more expats will take advantage of the opportunity to get out and explore more of the country in which they live.

“In Thailand, the expat market has great potential, so we hope this campaign will encourage more expats to explore Thailand and show support for our hospitality industry.”

Before you rush into booking the ‘promo’ prices and taking advantage of the stimulus, check the prices for the same hotels on Agoda.com, bookings.com, hotels.com or your favourite OTA – The Thaiger.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Phuket

Expat awaits trial for drug charges, mother in England worries and works to pay the bills

Caitlin Ashworth

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Expat awaits trial for drug charges, mother in England worries and works to pay the bills | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook: Michaela Bentley

While 27 year old expat Louis Bentley awaits trial in Thailand for drug charges, his mother back in England is working 12 hour shifts to pay her son’s bills. For his mother, Michaela, the anticipation of waiting for the her son’s February court date, in a country so far from her with laws she’s unfamiliar with, has been “horrendous.”

Louis was arrested by Phuket police back in July and spent 2 weeks in Thai prison. Louis worked as an English teacher in China for 5 years. He took a trip to Thailand, but when the coronavirus outbreak spread worldwide, he stayed.

Michaela told her local newspaper, the Barnsley Chronicle in South Yorkshire, that she believes drugs were planted on Louis after he got in a dispute with a local. He wasn’t able to make bail at first because his “friends” allegedly ran off with his money.

She was able to raise enough money in an online fundraising campaign to pay the bail and other legal fees. But that was back in July and now the more than 9,000 pounds she raised has been spent.

“We’re sending over money to pay for his lodgings, food, gas and electric… I work 12 hours, 4 days a week, to earn money so that I can keep my house going and keep his house going.”

Now it’s just a waiting game. But the time leading up to the trial has been stressful. Michaela’s says her son says gotten depressed and sometimes days he doesn’t answer the phone, leaving her worried because he’s her only source of information when it comes to the trial.

“We’re just hoping for a good outcome when it comes to the trial.”

SOURCES: Yorkshire Live | Barnsley Chronicle

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