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Thai Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce call for overhaul of TM30 laws

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Thai Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce call for overhaul of TM30 laws | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Stanley Kang, chairman of the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce in Thailand, spoke to the Bangkok Post about their concerns over the TM30 debacle

Speaking to the Bangkok Post, chairman of the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce Stanley Kang, says the government needs to review the enforcement of the draconian TM30 (and TM28) immigration reporting regulations

The TM30, and related forms, are for expatriates, overseas students and foreign retirees to report their whereabouts within a 24 hour period, if they have moved from their registered address.

Stanley says the current crackdown, more rigidly enforcing an old 1979 law, has drawn a lot of negative publicity from local expats, foreign investors and others affected. It also affects local landlords, who rent out accommodation to foreigners, to report their guests staying at their property within 24 hours.

Foreigners are also obliged to report their whereabouts within 24 hours when they stay at locations other than their primary residence. This includes short visits to other nearby provinces or if they’re returning to Thailand from a trip overseas.

Speaking to the Bangkok Post, Stanley said that there is no problem with foreigners staying at hotels because staff file reports with immigration twice a day.

“However, what should I do if I arrive at and leave my rented accommodation every week? It is burdensome for landlords to file TM30 forms for their foreign tenants.”

“Our members have said that some guesthouses are now putting up “no foreigners” signs to avoid difficulties. I am now hesitant to let my foreign friends stay overnight with me because I have to file TM30 reports for them.”

Numerous forums and panel discussions have not made the situation any clearer with a never-ending range of possible conundrums and circumstances being thrown up by affected foreigners. Invited Immigration officials have not made the situation any clearer or provided solutions for the current confusion.

The current online registration of your whereabouts, to comply with the TM30 and TM28 requirements, has not been reliable with some applicants complaining that they are still waiting for confirmation of their registration after several months and that, sometimes, the system doesn’t work anyway.

“We suggest certain groups be removed from the TM30 regulation reporting requirement. Work permit holders with business visas should be exempt because companies have built or rented accommodation to them.”

The Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce is just one group who have been lobbying the government and Immigration Department for changes, or even clarification, of the rules, claiming the publicity is starting to affect foreign investment and exacerbating an exodus of foreign expats who are already finding it challenging to remain living in the Kingdom.

“Similarly, retirement visa holders should be exempt from the requirement because they have received permission to live here and have permanent places of residence and paid deposit money.”

You can read Stanley’s full interview with the Bangkok Post HERE.

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Expats

Deceased Phuket expat’s body stuck in hospital due to passport mix-up

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Deceased Phuket expat’s body stuck in hospital due to passport mix-up | The Thaiger

In a nightmarish scenario, a deceased Phuket expat’s body is stuck in a Thai hospital as his step‐daughter claims hospital administrators won’t release the body due to a passport mix‐up.

Gemma Swift, the step‐daughter of 75 year old David Donoghue, who died 2 weeks ago, says she is pleading with embassy staff in Thailand to resolve, what she says, is purely an administrative issue after Donoghue’s passport number at the hospital was from that of an expired one.

Donoghue’s current passport was on file with the British Embassy, but because it did not match what the hospital had, his body has remained at the hospital. Swift says it was something that could easily be corrected and the situation was “horrendous” for the family.

“The British Embassy over in Bangkok, they said that because [the number] was from his current passport, they were unable to change the letter. They have said that they won’t reissue a letter with the passport number that he’s got in the hospital with him.”

She said her family planned to arrange a funeral for him in Thailand, then bring his ashes back to the UK. As he retired to Phuket 15 years ago, her family would then take his ashes back to Thailand, as per his wishes, to scatter them.

However, none of his family members were able to travel to Thailand to be with Donoghue in his final days, as the mandatory 14 day quarantine period upon entering Thailand, would not have allowed them to see him.

“I thought this was a basic human right to be able to give somebody a funeral and I accept that there is always going to be red tape…but please just issue a letter and let us bring him home.”

She said before Covid-19, family members travelled often to Phuket to visit Donoghue, who once worked for the Thai tourist police. She says the entire ordeal has been heartbreaking as her family was unable to say goodbye.

“That on its own was heart breaking, and now to get this two weeks later, to find out we can’t give him a funeral, or get his ashes back, it’s just horrendous.”

“It’s like being on autopilot… once we know we have done everything we can, we can start the grieving process, but at the minute we can’t.”

A Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office spokesperson said they are assisting Donoghue’s family during the difficult time.

“Our staff are in contact with the local hospital and funeral director to help his family obtain the necessary paperwork to ensure his body is treated in line with their wishes.”

If the situation isn’t fixed, Donoghue’s body will join a mass cremation at the hospital.

SOURCE: BBC News

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Government crackdown on foreigners teaching without work permits

Maya Taylor

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Government crackdown on foreigners teaching without work permits | The Thaiger
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Thailand’s Ministry of Labour is cracking down on foreign teachers who may be working in the Kingdom without valid work permits. The ministry has instructed the Department of Employment to apply stricter criteria when issuing work permits to foreign teachers. According to department figures, Thailand currently has 6,129 foreigners teaching in 922 private and public schools. Of those, 2,667 are from the Philippines, 558 from the UK, 465 from the US, 237 from China, and 160 from South Africa. The remainder are from other countries.

The Bangkok Post reports that authorities discovered 8 foreign teachers not in possession of work permits or working in reserved professions. Of those, 3 failed to notify government employment officials of their employer, place of work, and duties within 15 days of taking up employment. Officials also discovered a school that was hiring foreign teachers without work permits, as well as hiring foreigners to carry out work they were not permitted to do. A further 20 schools are accused of not providing the names, nationalities, and duties performed by foreign teachers within 15 days of them beginning work.

Officials say foreign teachers must be in possession of a non-immigrant visa, not a tourist or transit visa and should apply for a work permit at their local employment office. Foreigners teaching without work permits may face fines of 5,000 – 50,000 baht and deportation. Schools or other academic institutions that hire foreign teachers illegally face fines of between 10,000 and 100,000 baht for each illegal worker, with those responsible also facing potential jail terms.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Koh Samui

British man arrested on Koh Samui for alleged meth-fuelled shooting spree on speedboat

Maya Taylor

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British man arrested on Koh Samui for alleged meth-fuelled shooting spree on speedboat | The Thaiger
PHOTO: ViralPress

A 33 year old British man has been arrested on the holiday island of Samui for allegedly firing gunshots from a speedboat while high on drugs. According to a report in the UK’s Daily Mail, Benjamin Robert Simpson, a cryptocurrency trader, allegedly fired a handgun several times, in the direction of the Four Seasons Hotel, where he was a guest. He allegedly fired the gun while on a speedboat with the boat’s driver, Geerati Glinubol, after both men had taken meth.

It’s understood the boat belongs to Simpson, who had hired Geerati as his driver. Simpon originally arrived in the Kingdom as a tourist, but then began trading cryptocurrency. According to Chatchewin Nakmoosik from the local police force, both men took meth before embarking on a speedboat cruise around the island. It’s understood that Simpson then fired several gunshots towards the Four Seasons Hotel, where terrified staff called the police. Police were waiting at the hotel when Simpson returned from his speedboat trip and he was immediately arrested, along with Geerati.

Police say Geerati has confessed to taking drugs with Simpson, telling police that the Briton then bragged about how many guns he had and fired several rounds into the sea, frightening people on nearby beaches. Officer Chatchewin says that in a subsequent search of Simpson’s room, police found a 9mm Beretta pistol and 31 bullets, as well as a revolver with 49 bullets. Officers also seized a plastic bag containing nearly 7 grams of methamphetamine, as well as several meth pipes.

“Hotel staff heard guns being fired so they called the police. They said the gunshots were near the hotel and they were scared. We arrested Benjamin Robert Simpson in the hotel room and found 2 guns and methamphetamine. We put him in handcuffs and kept him at the police station while we investigate and check CCTV.”

SOURCE: Daily Mail

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