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Immigration denies dive shop crackdown



Immigration denies dive shop crackdown | Thaiger

PHUKET: Phuket Immigration Office Superintendent Pol Col Ittipon Atchariyapradit has denied that Immigration officers were involved in what seems to have been a shakedown attempt at a Patong dive shop.

He believes the men were impostors.

In an email sent to the Gazette, it was explained that on April 3 a foreign dive instructor emerged from the company’s dive training pool, where he had just finished teaching a dive class, when two men arrived claiming that they were from the Phuket Immigration Office.

The men asked to see the dive instructor’s work permit and passport.

However, the dive instructor said that he did not have any documents with him as he had just been submerged in water.

The men then questioned the instructor away from the dive students, and then went to the instructor’s house to check his passport and work permit.

Finding that the dive instructor had been hired legally and that he had all the necessary paperwork, the two men left, the email said.

Col Ittipon said that the Phuket Immigration Office does not send officers to check work permits unless he receives a complaint that a foreigner might be breaking the law.

“I can confirm that we did not send any officers to check any work permits on that day, and we have no plans to start doing that.

“To prevent people from imitating Immigration officers, you can ask them to present their Immigration Officer ID cards.

“You can also call us to check whether we have sent anyone. You can call the Phuket Immigration Office at 076-211905, or call Pol Capt Rassarin Teerapattanakul, the Sub-Inspector who is responsible for Investigation work, at 081-6167933 anytime,” he said.

Col Ittipon added that complaints about people imitating government officers can be filed at any local police station as it is a criminal offense.


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