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Phuket

Tourist visa runs are not dead: Immigration boss

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Tourist visa runs are not dead: Immigration boss | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Tourists who can prove that they are genuinely staying only short-term while travelling in Thailand will be allowed to leave on “visa-runs” and re-enter the country, Immigration Commissioner Pharnu Kerdlarpphon confirmed to the Phuket Gazette.

“Genuine tourists are fine. All they have to do is prove to the immigration officer at the border checkpoint that they really are tourists by presenting evidence such as their travel itinerary, hotel booking, tour bookings and any other documents to prove their travel in Thailand is genuine,” Lt Gen Pharnu said on Wednesday.

“Then they will be allowed to re-enter the country.”

Gen Pharnu clarified the focus of the new immigration regulation, which allows most foreigners to enter the country only once using visa-exempt status.

“The crackdown is all about preventing foreigners from using visa-exemptions and tourist visas to stay in Thailand and work,” Gen Pharnu said.

“We should have done this a long time ago. We have let foreigners work illegally in Thailand on tourist visas for too long. It’s time to stop them.”

The new regulation has nothing to do with ill-fated Malaysian Airlines Flight MH 370 and the passports from Phuket that were used to board the flight, the general added.

The immigration chief was clear that from August 13 any foreigners who fail to prove that they are tourists will not be allowed to re-enter the country on visa exemption status (story here), as explained in a formal notice posted on Bangkok Immigration’s website on May 8.

“From August 13, if we suspect any foreigner of working illegally in Thailand on a tourist visa, that person will be detained and deported, even if the foreigner has not previously completed even a single visa run,” he said.

“People who are deported will be banned from re-entering Thailand for five years, not forever. After that, the foreigner may appeal to re-enter the country.

“This is what we have been doing for years with foreigners who have been deported, and any foreigner who is added to our blacklist is issued a formal notice explaining what they have done wrong.”

Gen Pharnu noted that immigration officers were ordered to give special attention to Russians, South Koreans, Vietnamese and Chinese attempting to extend their stays by completing visa runs.

Ranong Immigration Superintendent Ekkorn Bussababordin confirmed to the Gazette on May 12 that foreigners will continue to be allowed to re-enter Thailand on three consecutive “walk-in” visas until August 12.

As reported in the Gazette last week, after August 12, such foreigners risk being stranded in Myanmar (story here).

The May 8 order, posted in Thai, stated that the new rule is to come into effect at all immigration checkpoints, including airports.

“Thailand is open to all tourists,” Gen Pharnu said, “but we will not allow illegal workers. If you want to work here please do the right thing. Apply for a business visa and live here legally.”

— Chutharat Plerin

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

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Hua Hin

Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain

May Taylor

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Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain | The Thaiger

The Thailand Meteorological Department issued a weather warning for southern Thailand with torrential rain forecast to hit the region throughout the weekend. The heavy monsoon over the Gulf of Thailand and south of the country is being blamed for the rough weather, with the TMD predicting flash flooding in many areas.

(Phuket, Hat Yai and Hua Hin’s forecast below)

“Waves are expected to reach 2 metres in height in the lower Gulf of Thailand and possibly higher at the height of the storm. Ships are advised to proceed with caution.”

For the north and northeast of Thailand, the TMD forecasts strong winds and cooler mornings as the arrival of the “winter” season, coupled with a moderate high-pressure system, causes temperatures to dip.

Hua Hin’s five day forecast

Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain | News by The Thaiger

Phuket’s five day forecast

Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain | News by The Thaiger

Hat Yai’s five day forecast

Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation | weather.com

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Crime

Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft

Greeley Pulitzer

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Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Patong Police

Patong Police have yet to develop any tangible leads tracking down a foreigner who made off with US$30,000 in cash from a currency exchange booth in Kalim, north of Patong in Phuket, last Tuesday.

The man is about 168 centimetres tall with grey hair and around 60 years old, Patong police told The Phuket News.

“We have no clue what nationality he is.”

He was last seen at the currency exchange booth wearing a purple polo shirt, blue jeans and black cap. Police have checked hotels in the area, police stations across the island and Phuket Immigration, but have yet to join the dots and come up with firm leads.

“Investigators have checked CCTV in the area and collected what evidence we have but we still do not know the man’s name or where he was staying.”

The man had visited the booth several times before Tuesday, when he disappeared with the $30,000 in US banknotes, according to police.

“It was always small amounts”, he added, noting that the amounts didn’t warrant staff at the exchange booth to check the man’s passport before making the exchange.

The man arrived at the booth again at about 1pm on Tuesday, saying that he had 900,000 baht cash to exchange.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Crime

Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room

The Thaiger

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Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Phuket Hot News

The security guard of a hotel in Nai Yang, northern Phuket, 52 year old Yingyot Butsabong, from Maha Sarakham province, was found dead yesterday (October 16) in his room. Police remain mystified how the man came to grief.

A woman named Supattra received a call from the hotel he worked at and was informed that he didn’t show up at work yesterday, so she went to his apartment to check on him.

She saw that his room was locked from the inside, so used the key she had in her possession to open the room and found Yingyot laying on the floor, face down. She thought he was just sleeping so she tried to wake him up but once she flipped him, she found that he already passed away.

She immediately called Saku police, and once on the scene, police found that there was some blood on the floor. The man had a 2 centimetre wound on his left eyebrow which was deep into his skull. There was also a wound on his chin about 1 centimetre long and about a centimetre deep. His left eye had a bruise which looked like he was attacked by a hard object.

Police report that he had been dead for around four hours in the room.

The room was not ransacked and there was no sign of fighting or theft. His body has been sent to Thalang Hospital for a detailed autopsy and to look into the cause of death.

SOURCE: Phuket Hot News

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