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Phuket Russians targeted in Thai New Year crackdown

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PHUKET: Kathu District Chief Weera Kerdsirimongkol, who took up his position in Phuket less than a month ago, will target Russians, Nepalese and Vietnamese working illegally in Phuket, starting on April 14, the first day of the Thai new Year, he told a Provincial Hall meeting yesterday.

“Initially, we will work with Phuket Employment Office and issue warnings to businesses involving foreigners and we will post public notices. The raids will start on April 14,” he said.

“We will target Russian, Nepalese and Vietnamese businesses. We have received a lot of complaints from Thai people accusing Russians of stealing their jobs. The raids will also target Vietnamese and Nepalese working illegally on the island,” he added.

Vice Governor Somkiet Sangkaosuttirak explained that the crackdown follows Governor Maitri Inthusut ordering each of Phuket’s three vice governors to step up law enforcement on illegal foreign nationals in each of Phuket’s three districts.

“Each vice governor has one district in which to follow up and suppress foreigners working illegally and foreigners using Thai nominees to set up companies. Kathu District is my responsibility,” V/Gov Somkiet explained.

“Our team has to carefully distinguish which foreigners are genuine tourists and which foreigners are businessmen pretending to be tourists and using Thai nominees to open businesses,” he added.

According to Mr Weera, 3,017 work permits have been issued to foreigners in Kathu District, which includes Phuket’s key resort town of Patong. Of those, only 221 have been issued to Russians.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

 

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