Connect with us


Officials check visa service firm

Legacy Phuket Gazette



Officials check visa service firm | Thaiger

PHUKET: The investigation into fake entry permits for foreigners took a halting step forward recently when Immigration officers visited a “visa service” company and seized 20 passports found on the premises. “We checked the company where, foreigners informed us, they had obtained stamps, and now we are waiting for further instructions,” Pol Capt Krissarat Nusen of the Phuket Provincial Immigration Office (PPIO) told the Gazette. “We found evidence there but we [have no proof of] what they were doing. We have to get more evidence before we can proceed against [the company]. “If we want to raid them, we need to have foreigners report officially to the police that they were cheated by this company, but so far no foreigners have made such reports to the police. Some have just given us information.” He said that the holders of some – but not all – of the passports had contacted the PPIO requesting the return of their travel documents. The reluctance of foreigners to make reports may be partly explained by the fact that police appear to be applying a narrow intrepretation of the rules. While those who contact the Immigration Office to report having fake stamps will not be charged with being accessories to forgery, they will be fined for overstaying their previous legitimate entry stamps at a rate of 200 baht a day, up to a maximum of 20,000 baht. Capt Krissarat said that after the Gazette published news that “victims” of the visa service company could present themselves at the PPIO and would not be charged with a crime, four or five people had come forward. “We have had many phone calls asking for more details about this, but no one seems to be brave enough to make an official complaint to the police. “I would suggest that victims contact their embassy because Immigration in Bangkok is already working with the embassies over the fake stamps,” Capt Krissarat added. Colonel Montri Kosiyasathit, Deputy Commander and official spokesman of Immigration Bureau 1 in Bangkok, said he felt that local officers were interpreting the law too narrowly. “I don’t think it’s right to fine them for overstaying – they are victims, and had no intention of overstaying. It is up to the judgment of individual officers, but most of those working in local [immigration] offices tend to interpret the law narrowly,” he added. He said that he would discuss the matter of the overstay fine with the Major General in charge of Immigration Police Region 3, which includes Phuket. “I will suggest that he instruct local offices not to impose the fines because [these people] did not intend to overstay – they were victims [of fraud].” He agreed that action could not be taken against the visa service company until foreigners are willing to make official reports complaining of fraud. “However, we can question the foreigners whose passports were found as to why their passports were left with the company,” he added. Col Montri also urged foreigners to call Bangkok if they came across an Immigration officer “cheating” or telling them to do something they knew to be illegal. They should call 02-2871740 during government office hours, he said, and be prepared to give the name of the offending officer, along with the date and time of the offense and the place where the officer works.


Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)12 hours ago

AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines to be donated to Thailand from Japan

Bangkok12 hours ago

Bangkok police warn that protests planned for Thursday break the Emergency Decree

Thailand13 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Hotel occupancy, Phuket beaches hit with tar balls, doctor ‘warning’ | June 21

Phuket Sandbox July 1st


Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Thailand13 hours ago

Pattaya residents complain of sinkholes in road, couple sustains injuries

Insurgency13 hours ago

2 suspected insurgents killed in gunfire exchange with police-military team

Best of13 hours ago

Top 8 Things to do in Hua Hin

Thailand14 hours ago

Army raids a house, arrests 53 as part of alleged gambling operation

Best of14 hours ago

Top 5 Insurance Companies for Expats in Thailand

Thailand14 hours ago

Thailand abstains from vote on UN resolution condemning Myanmar violence

Leisure14 hours ago

Top 5 Rooftop Bars in Bangkok

Best of14 hours ago

Top 5 Shabu-Shabu Restaurants in Bangkok

Indonesia14 hours ago

Indonesia approaches 2 million Covid cases

Thailand15 hours ago

Monday Covid Update: 3,175 new cases; infections rise in the Deep South

Pollution15 hours ago

Oil slick and ‘tar balls’ wash up on Phuket’s beaches – what caused it?

Best of15 hours ago

Top 5 Ice Cream Shops in Bangkok

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8