Visa crackdown in Phuket: Over 1,000 foreigners nabbed for overstaying

Photo via Freepik

A crime-free initiative in Phuket has seen significant success, with over 1,000 foreigners caught for overstaying their visas. This achievement is credited to the collaboration between the Phuket Immigration Office and 800 accommodation providers on the island, who have adopted crime-free measures that enable them to report any suspicious activities involving their foreign guests.

Phuket’s immigration chief, Thanet Sukchai, revealed that the number of foreign guests registered at accommodations in Phuket in the past two months was over 20% higher than the number of foreign tourists who had arrived during that time. He also mentioned that the new database had recently assisted the police in locating a missing foreigner.

Between May 1 and 25, Immigration Police conducted raids at 1,550 targeted locations in Phuket, resulting in the arrest of 11 foreigners who had overstayed their visas and four others who had entered Thailand illegally. The Immigration Bureau’s Information Technology Centre reported that 1,050 foreigners overstayed their visas, with 391 not staying at their registered accommodations, and 228 have already left the country.

Out of the visa overstayers, 331 tourists applied for visa extensions, 109 were reported dead, one was bedridden, and another had obtained Thai citizenship. Legal action is being taken against only nine overstayers, according to Thanet Sukchai.

Thanet encouraged anyone with information about tourists overstaying their visas or breaking the law in other ways to report it to the Phuket Immigration Office or through the Traffy Fondue application.

In other news, Phuket Police yesterday apprehended an Australian man for causing damage to a passenger van in a road rage incident, specifically targeting the vehicle’s rear-view mirrors. The man, identified only as Navale, was taken into custody following a complaint received by Wichit Police yesterday morning, The Phuket News reported.

According to the police report, Navale and an individual named Haider from Dubai were involved in the attack on the van, which was registered in Songkhla province. The two men allegedly damaged the van’s side mirrors by hand, an act caught on video by a good samaritan who provided the footage to the police. Read more about the story HERE.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.