Iraqi man arrested for overstaying in Thailand for nearly 15 years

Photo via Facebook/ สำนักข่าวกาญจน์ - Kanchanaburi News

Immigration police officers arrested an Iraqi man in the central province of Kanchanaburi today after almost 15 years of overstaying in Thailand. As part of a concerted effort to root out illegal immigrants across the country, Thai authorities, led by the Royal Thai Police and Immigration Bureau, meticulously investigated cases in each province.

The meticulous operation led to the discovery of the Iraqi man, identified as 43 year old Oday Jabbar Khudhair, who had been concealing himself in a guest house within Kanchanaburi.

Kanchanaburi Provincial Immigration Officers swooped at 11am, effectively arresting Khudhair. Records show that he initially entered Thailand on May 24, 2008, under a Non-Immigrant Visa (Non-B), permitting him until August 21 of the same year. However, Khudhair blatantly disregarded the stipulations and evaded capture.

Initially residing in other provinces, Khudhair adopted a nomadic pattern, flitting from one locale to another until ultimately settling in Kanchanaburi. This calculated evasion led to his overstay of 5,468 days, nearly 15 years.

Khudhair now faces charges under Section 81 of the Immigration Act, specifically for residing in the country after the stipulated permission had lapsed. This offence carries potential penalties of imprisonment for up to two years, coupled with a fine reaching 20,000 baht. Following his sentencing, Khudhair will be subject to deportation from Thailand.

Interestingly, earlier this year, another Iraqi man’s overstay came to light when he was apprehended in Pattaya. Shockingly, he reportedly turned pale and fainted upon sighting the police at his residence.

Comparatively, Khudhair’s case may well be one of the most extended overstays to date. In recent years, cases of significant overstays included a Hungarian woman detained in Koh Samui for exceeding her visa by a decade, a Chinese man found guilty of a seven-year overstay in 2022, and a British man arrested this year after an 11-year overstay.

The significance of such overstays has not gone unnoticed by Thai authorities. A May police report detailed the apprehension of nearly 1,300 overstaying foreigners within a mere nine-day span of the operation. In stark contrast, data from a similar operation conducted between October and November of the previous year reported only 785 cases of overstay.

Central Thailand NewsCrime NewsThailand News

Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at

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