Immigration cracks down on illegal foreigners ahead of APEC

PHOTO: Immigration has tightened Suvarnabhumi Airport and other entry points ahead of the APEC Summit. (via Nation)

With the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit getting underway, the Immigration Bureau is increasing security at all international airports in Thailand. The crackdown has already netted several foreign scammers hiding out within the kingdom. They are vowing increased scrutiny of those entering the country and a closer watch over suspicious foreigners who are already here.

Immigration authorities have already blocked more than 2,000 people who were attempting to come into the country. Many of those people had already previously been blacklisted by immigration. The crackdown is looking for all suspicious individuals but is focusing especially on those who may be aiming to disrupt or damage the APEC Summit.

As part of the increase in security, the Immigration Bureau is adding additional staff to immigration checkpoints in particular at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, the main international hub to enter Thailand. They are also working closely with immigration offices in other countries to make sure that they have up-to-date and accurate information on wanted criminals who may attempt to hide out in the kingdom.

Officials have already arrested 1,249 people for entering Thailand illegally. Of those, 770 were from Laos, 349 came from Myanmar, and 108 were from Cambodia. Another 22 were from other countries. Outside of the airport, 785 migrant workers from other countries were picked up on visa overstays.

The arrests weren’t all poor migrant workers though. The Phuket News reports several high-profile criminals were flushed out due to the immigration crackdown.

A Taiwanese man identified as Zhang was spotted after police saw his 24 million baht Ferrari parked in Bangkok at a department store. He is wanted for leading a call centre scam group in the Philippines. He presented police with a Cambodian passport originally, but authorities checked his biometric data and found that he had used two counterfeit Taiwanese passports at immigration to enter the country.

Two other people detained in the immigration sweep ahead of APEC were Chinese nationals that were on Interpol’s Red Notice list. Both were wanted for scamming and crimes.

One of the men, a 40 year old named Hu, was arrested not far from Suvarnabhumi Airport, hiding out in Samut Prakan. He was wanted for alleged forgery and possession of illicit property. The second was arrested after police received a tip that led them to a house in the Sutthisan area of Bangkok. The 27 year old named Li is accused of scamming over 400,000 people using a bogus investment mobile app. He cheated his victims in China out of about 50 million baht before disappearing.

Bangkok NewsCrime NewsThailand News

Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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