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Thailand tightens the screws on TM30 reporting, petition ongoing

Tim Newton

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Thailand tightens the screws on TM30 reporting, petition ongoing | The Thaiger

Nearly 5,000 Thai expats have now signed a petition pleading for modification or abolition of the TM30 immigration form. The well-organised petition calling for changes to the form is an unusual step for expats who, most of the time, keep their head down and out of the daily operations of the Land of Smiles.

For its part, Thai Immigration says it is simply robustly applying Sections 37 and 38 of the Thai immigration act to “strengthen security” and keep tabs on foreigners whilst in the country.

But the ‘robust application’ is causing headlines the Immigration Department would rather not see and is prompting panel discussions, YouTube interviews and online pleads from well-known bloggers and long-termers. There is one discussion planned for the Foreign Correspondents Club this Thursday.

The petition, whilst politely written, is not likely to succeed. The inconveniences to some locals needing to report their whereabouts when changing their reported address, will be outweighed by the need for national security.

That a group of foreigners could possibly change Thai laws to make things more convenient and useful, is also inconceivable. Even if there was some minor adjustment to the laws it could take years.

Bottomline, don’t get your hopes up.

In the meantime, the inconvenience of Section 37 will remain a clear and present annoyance. There has been no shortage of people spraying the internet with their individual problems and examples and the 24 hour reporting will certainly affect some expats more than others, especially travelling business-people whose movement around Thailand is just part of their work.

Tourists are not affected as the onus of reporting locations whilst on holiday is the responsibility of hotels and landlords.

The issue is being presented in the international media as a nail in the coffin for long-term living in Thailand. The reality is that expat numbers continue to rise although the demographic is evolving to the chagrin of many European, Australian and American expats who seem particularly aggrieved by the enforcement and have made their voices heard – through signing the petition and sharing their strongly-held feelings on various forums online.

The other issue angering or confusing expats is that, like many other immigration laws, the enforcement of the clauses continues to be patchy around the Kingdom – they really don’t know how, or if, it’s going to be enforced in their case. For the short-term we would recommend you play by the rules to avoid any unpleasant fines or surprises. If you have any queries it is best to visit an Immigration Office and ask questions to find out how it applies to your visa and situation.

Don Ross from ttrweekly.com shares some thoughts on how the laws could be changed…

“The director-general (usually the chief of police) can make changes to clauses 3 and 4. The DG can also through the Immigration Commission recommend a new ministerial regulation that updates the two clauses to make them more in tune with today’s online realities.

One possible change would be to stipulate that clause 4 reporting only kicks in after 72 hours away from home, rather than 24 hours. It would allow thousands of expatriates who are long-stay or retirees to visit other provinces for up to three days without triggering a clause 4 reporting hassle.”

If you want to read and sign the petition click HERE.

Thailand tightens the screws on TM30 reporting, petition ongoing | News by The Thaiger

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Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2012. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for nearly 40 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program, presented 3,900 radio news bulletins in Thailand alone, hosted 450 daily TV news programs, produced 1,800 videos, TV commercials and documentaries and is now the General Manager and writer for The Thaiger. He's reported for CNN, Deutsche Welle TV, CBC, Australia's ABC TV and Australian radio during the 2018 Cave Rescue.

Visa

Government crackdown on foreigners teaching without work permits

Maya Taylor

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Government crackdown on foreigners teaching without work permits | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO

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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Thailand

British arrivals ‘on hold’ after family confirmed with B117 Covid strain

The Thaiger

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British arrivals ‘on hold’ after family confirmed with B117 Covid strain | The Thaiger

In their latest proposal, Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health will request the CCSA to defer the entry of British visitors to the country after evidence of the faster-spreading B117 strain (aka. the “G strain”) of Covid-19 was found in 4 British travellers arriving in Thailand on December 21.

Over 30 countries have reported cases of the highly-transmissible UK variant of the novel coronavirus, raising fears of increased global spread of the virus, even as countries begin to unroll vaccination programs in the new year, including Singapore and Taiwan. Up to recently, Taiwan has had very few Covid-19 infections.

Vietnam is the latest nation to report a B117 case, which authorities detected in a woman quarantined after recent travel from the UK. Vietnam has banned nearly all international travel, but it is providing repatriation flights for citizens stranded in the UK.

Department of Disease Control announced that all passengers who were on board the same flight as the 4, or anyone who had come into contact with them, has now been located, tested and found to be clear of infection.

The 4 English patients were all from the same family travelling from Kent. The family are now confined to a hospital “and will not be released until medical officials test and clear them of Covid-19 risk”, according to the Centre of Excellence in Clinical Virology at Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Medicine.

The Centre’s Dr Yong Poovorawan says they’ve been collecting samples from Covid-19 patients for research and reported that the Covid-19 detected in the 4 British patients are of the B117 strain which is spreading quickly through the UK.

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