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Surachate Hakparn: Sidelined and sent back to the operation centre of the RTP

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Surachate Hakparn: Sidelined and sent back to the operation centre of the RTP | The Thaiger
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Thailand’s headline policeman, former Immigration Chief Pol Lt Gen Surachate Hakparn, aka. Big Joke, has been transferred to the Operation Centre of the Royal Thai Police. The order was signed by the Thai Police Chief Chakthip Chaijinda.

The order was signed and executed last night. As of today, his social media account – Facebook and Twitter – plus the Immigration Bureau Facebook page, are offline.

Rarely out of the headlines, and traversing the country seemingly breaking cases faster than the media could report them, the high-profile poster boy of Thai police seems to have come to an undisclosed impasse. At this stage no reasons have been provided for his sudden side-lining back to head office.

One of his notable pet projects was pursuing foreigners, illegally overstaying their visas, as well as central African ‘scammers’ who he rooted out in his “Good guys in, bad guys out” campaign. The media parades for these almost weekly raids were usually rolled out after midnight and included photos with him smuggly glaring down one of his captive perpetrators.

He’s also come into the international spotlight over a number of recent high-profile immigration cases including when he reversed a deportation order against Rahaf al-Qunun, a young Saudi woman who arived in Thailand fleeing alledged abuse by her family. And also the case of the Bahraini-born Australian Hakeem al-Araibi who had been detained by Thai police in an international tug of war between Australia and Bahrain.

Surachate is the son of a career policeman and was born in Songkhla in 1970. After joining the force, he quickly rose through the ranks to command a local station and later moved to Bangkok to head the 191 task force. He spent a time with the tourist police co-inciding with his rise to fame, before landing the top job at the Immigration Bureau last year.

He has also been closely linked to Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwon.

Surachate Hakparn: Sidelined and sent back to the operation centre of the RTP | News by The ThaigerSurachate Hakparn: Sidelined and sent back to the operation centre of the RTP | News by The Thaiger

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Woman sentenced to 43 years in prison for violating lèse majesté law

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Woman sentenced to 43 years in prison for violating lèse majesté law | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Siamrath

The Bangkok Criminal Court sentenced a former public official to more than 4 decades in prison for violating the country’s strict lèse majesté law on insulting or defaming the Thai Monarchy.

The woman, a former Revenue Department official known as Anchan, was found guilty on 29 counts of violating Section 112 of the Criminal Code, known as the lèse majesté law, as well as the Computer Crime Act. She was sentenced to 43 years and 6 months in prison.

Anchan had posted audio clips on Facebook and YouTube of a man making comments considered critical of the Thai Monarchy. The man has been arrested, but officials haven’t released any other details.

The ruling comes during an ongoing pro-democracy movement raising subjects that are considered taboo in Thai society. In recent months, dozens of protesters have been charged with violating the lèse majesté law. A senior researcher from the Human Rights Watch as the recent sentence sends a “spine-chilling” message.

“Today’s court verdict is shocking and sends a spine-chilling signal that not only criticisms of the monarchy won’t be tolerated, but they will also be severely punished.”

Section 112 of the Criminal Code:

Those who defame, insult or threaten the King, the Queen, the Heir-apparent or the Regent shall be punished by a jail term of between three to 15 years.

SOURCES: Thai Enquirer | Bangkok Biz News| Independent

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Man arrested for allegedly overstaying 60 day tourist visa by 7 years

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Man arrested for allegedly overstaying 60 day tourist visa by 7 years | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai Crime Thailand

Immigration police arrested a 40 year old Nigerian man for allegedly overstaying his visa by 2,683 days. The man entered Thailand in April 2014 on a 60 day tourist visa. He was arrested in in Ratchathewi district of Bangkok.

Illegal immigration is considered as a major factor of the second wave of Covid-19 after the outbreak Samut Sakhon seafood market affecting a large migrant population.

Thai Visa says immigration officers were “targeting Africans to check on their visa status as part of measures associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The penalties for overstaying in Thailand are as follows…

When surrendering at airport immigration when leaving Thailand…

  • Overstay less than 90 Days = 500 Thai baht/day overstay fine (maximum 20,000 Thai baht)
  • Overstay more than 90 Days = 1 year ban from Thailand and 20,000 Thai baht overstay fine
  • Overstay more than 1 Year = 3 years ban from Thailand and 20,000 Thai baht overstay fine
  • Overstay more than 3 Years = 5 years ban from Thailand and 20,000 baht overstay fine
  • Overstay more than 5 Years = 10 years ban from Thailand and 20,000 baht overstay fine

When caught while overstaying…

  • Overstay of 1 day to 1 Year = 5 years ban from Thailand and 500 to 20,000 Thai baht overstay fine.
  • Overstay more than 1 Year = 10 years ban from Thailand and 20,000 Thai baht overstay fine.

SOURCES: True Crime Thailand | Thai Embassy| Thai Visa

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BTS Skytrain’s Green Line maximum fare to rise, Rail Transport Department disagrees with the move

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BTS Skytrain’s Green Line maximum fare to rise, Rail Transport Department disagrees with the move | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thairath Online

After the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration agreed to raise the maximum fare on the BTS Skytrain’s Green Line from 59 baht to 158 baht, the Rail Transport Department is calling on city officials to suspend the maximum fare ceiling, saying it would put an unfair burden on passengers.

Bangkok Governor Aswin announced earlier that the maximum fare of 158 baht is to be imposed on February 16, but a discount to 104 baht is offered during the Covid-19 outbreak. The City Hall needs to increase the fare rate because it can’t pay the debt to Bangkok Mass Transit System.

Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob says the BMA should halt its policy on the new BTS maximum fare and wait for other authorities to find proper solutions.

The Chairman of a House committee on transport, Sophon Sarum, a former transport minister, dismisses the BMA’s claim of its financial inability to repay the Green Line’s loans while suggesting the BMA to manage the Green Line’s finances by raising funds from banks and other financial institutions.

The Rail Department and BMA will meet to discuss the maximum fare ceiling this week.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post | Coconuts Bangkok

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