Russian man arrested in Koh Pha Ngan for overstaying visa 993 days

An unidentified Russian man has reportedly been arrested on the island of Koh Pha Ngan for overstaying his visa by 993 days or over 2.5 years.

According to TPN National, the 34 year old man was arrested and taken to the Koh Pha Ngan Police Station to face charges of overstaying and will be deported. The arrest followed the Surat Thani Immigration officer’s bid to crackdown on overstaying foreigners in Thailand. Such monitoring includes random passport checks of foreigners, which are legal in Thailand.

The recent influx of crimes has seen many Russians reprimanded after a large number migrated to Thailand to avoid military conscription over the invasion of Ukraine.

Since Russia took exception to Ukraine’s aspirations to join NATO and the European Union, thousands of Russian citizens have fled.

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Russian roubles may have been welcomed by Thai businesses as the Covid-19 ravaged kingdom looks to get back on its economic feet but not everyone is happy with the Russian invasion.

According to data from Phuket International Airport, between November 1, 2022, and January 21, 2023, more than 233,000 Russians arrived in Phuket, making them the biggest group of visitors by far.

Many are purchasing off-plan condos for US$500,000 or more, to relocate when they may feel forced to leave their homeland, reported Aljazeera.

The Phuket Information Centre (ศูนย์ข้อมูลภูเก็ต) Facebook page accused foreigners, particularly Russians, of operating illegal businesses and working illegally in Phuket.

Phuket Information Centre Facebook page shared with its followers last Sunday, February 5, that…

“A lot of foreigners stay and work in Phuket, both legally and illegally. Recently, a group of foreigners started a car rental business. They offered both cars and minibuses and also served tourists as chauffeurs. They steal jobs from Thai people!”

Since September, Russian tourist arrivals in Thailand have increased sevenfold. Thailand, especially Pattaya and Phuket, has always been a popular holiday destination for Russians, with 1.48 million of them arriving in Thailand in 2019.

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Ann Carter

Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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