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Pattaya

Confirmed: Minors to dodge overstay blacklisting

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Confirmed: Minors to dodge overstay blacklisting | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Children will not be blacklisted for overstaying their visas, officials confirmed today.

Thailand’s implementation of a regulation to blacklist overstayers will not affect those under the age of 18, explained Immigration Commissioner Nathathorn Prousoontorn. The news follows much uncertainty in Phuket after the regulations were announced earlier this month.

“The new penalties came into effect on March 20. They are part of the Immigration Bureau’s campaign: ‘Good Guys In, Bad Guys Out’,” Lt Gen Nathathorn explained at a public meeting at Phuket Boat Lagoon today.

The new rules were explained to the more than 400 attendees as follow:

In case of aliens surrendering to the authorities:
Overstay more than 90 days – forbidden from re-entering the kingdom for 1 year
Overstay more than 1 year – forbidden from re-entering the kingdom for 3 years
Overstay more than 3 years – forbidden from re-entering the kingdom for 5 years
Overstay more than 5 years – forbidden from re-entering the kingdom for 10 years

In case of aliens being arrested and prosecuted:
Overstay up to 1 year – forbidden from re-entering the kingdom for 5 years
Overstay for more than 1 year – forbidden from re-entering the kingdom for 10 years

The new rules do not include a life ban as a penalty for people who overstay their visas by 10 years or more, which was proposed in a previous plan (story here).

“We are here today to spread awareness, especially among those who work with foreigners, so that they can ensure that foreigners are aware of the laws and penalties. We admit that it’s an issue which many foreigners take lightly, as the penalty for overstaying is only 500 baht a day, with a maximum fine of 20,000 baht,” said Gen Nathathorn.

“This is all but an invitation to overstay in Thailand. People used to just pay the fine and re-enter the Kingdom without any problems. However, the new regulations will help put an end to this.”

The Immigration Bureau has collected almost 300 million baht in fines within the last six months, said Gen Nathathorn. He also noted that within this period, the number of people flagged in their database for overstaying their visa dropped from 810,522 to 486,947.

“In almost all cases involving transnational criminals, we found that they also overstayed their visas,” he said. “We welcome tourists, but only the law-abiding ones.”

Gen Nathathorn admitted that Thailand is both a destination and a point of transit for criminals.

“We have a policy of welcoming tourists in order to support our tourism industry – some nationalities don’t even need a visa to travel in Thailand. However, many foreigners exploit this situation, making Thailand a transit destination in their criminal schemes,” Gen Nathathorn said.

“Foreigners are living in almost every province in Thailand. They travel to many different places, such as Phuket, Pattaya and Chiang Mai, where they can easily hide among the large number of other foreigners. This regulation will be instrumental in protecting the innocent ones, whether tourists or investors,” he said.

Martin Carpenter, British Honorary Consul for Phuket, expressed his support for the policy.

“I think this is a very good policy. It’s very clear and precise, and should be followed,” Mr Carpenter told the Phuket Gazette.

“I am sure that in the past, possibly even now, there are some foreigners living in Thailand who overstay anywhere from a year to five years, or even more. It is irresponsible of them to take advantage of the situation. But if they don’t follow the regulations, the punishments are there, strong and clear.”

Mr Carpenter noted that the regulations are unlikely to affect those who want to work or retire here.

— Chutharat Plerin



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Pattaya

Three million baht Central Pattaya stormwater roadworks – FAIL

The Thaiger

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Three million baht Central Pattaya stormwater roadworks – FAIL | The Thaiger

PHOTO: A representative of the City Engineering Department inspects two side streets in the Soi Arunothai Community. Central Pattaya residents are complaining that 3 million baht in roadworks has been a waste of money – Pattaya Mail

Three million baht spent but not a lot to show for the considerable investment. Central Pattaya residents say that nearly 3 million baht was spent on roadwork but has failed to alleviate the flooding in the sois where the money was invested.

Nattapong Santaveesuk of the city’s Engineering Department toured two side streets in Soi Arunothai with neighborhood representatives Amnuay Muangthong this week.

The Pattaya Mail reports that residents living on Soi Charoensuk and Soi Udomsuk complain that their streets were ripped up, new drainage pipes laid and the road resurfaced, all with the goal of ending years of chronic flooding.

But it didn’t work.

Both streets continue to flood and take a long time to drain according to residents

Both projects are under warranty for two more years, according to city engineers, so they will ask the contractors to appraise the situation and perhaps rip up the roads again to fix what they failed to do the first time.

SOURCE: Pattaya Mail

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Pattaya

Pattaya’s LONG Songkran comes to an end today

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Pattaya’s LONG Songkran comes to an end today | The Thaiger

Whilst most of us have hung up our water pistols last Saturday or Sunday following Songkran revellry, punters in Pattaya have been hard at it all week.

But after 9 days of water wastage and Songkran celebrations, the annual festivities come to a close in parades and official festivities today and tomorrow.

Officially, according to the Pattaya Mail, April 19 is the final day of Pattaya’s Songkran celebrations. Ceremonies are being held today at Chaimongkol Temple. Alms offerings and elderly blessing ceremony were held early this morning and cultural shows continuing during the day featuring dancing and traditional games.

Pattaya’s Songkran parade started at noon along Second Road, Central Road and back along Beach Road to Bali Hai Pier before returning to the temple.

Pattaya officials reminded revellers that powder and chalk isn’t permitted, along with high-power water guns. Water-throwing is ‘meant’ to stop at 6pm, but… well… Songkran!

Tomorrow, April 20, the Rice Festival in Naklua, with no water throwing, officially draws the mid-April events to a close.

SOURCE: Pattaya Mail

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Bangkok

Severe localised storms predicted for central, north and north-east until April 16

The Thaiger

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Severe localised storms predicted for central, north and north-east until April 16 | The Thaiger

FILE PHOTO

The meteorological office (TMD) says there could be localised severe thunder storms for the entire upper area of the country until Tuesday.

The north, north-east, eastern seaboard and central regions, including Bangkok and surrounding areas could all be randomly hit by tropical thunderstorms.

The TMD office director Phuwiang Prakhammin has warned of rain storms, thunder and lightning, high winds and even hail.

“People were warned to avoid open spaces, not to stand under trees as it is a lightning strike hazard and be careful of unstable advertising hoardings.”

Farmers have also been warned about protecting their livestock and crops in the agriculture-heavy northeastern provinces. Here are the provinces that may be affected…

Northeast: Bueng Kan, Sakon Nakhon, Nakhon Phanom, Mukdahan, Khon Kaen, Chaiyaphum, Kalasin, Maha Sarakham, Roi Et, Yasothon Loei, Nong Bua Lamphu, Khon Kaen, Chaiyaphum, Nakhon Ratchasima, Buri Ram, Surin, Si Sa Ket and Ubon Ratchathani

Northern region: Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phayao, Phrae, Nan, Lampang, Tak, Sukhothai, Uttaradit, Phitsanulok, Kamphaeng Phet, Phichit and Phetchabun

Central: Nakhon Sawan, Uthai Thani, Chai Nat, Sing Buri, Ang Thong, Ayutthaya, Lop Buri, Saraburi, Suphanburi, Ratchaburi, Kanchanaburi, and Bangkok.

East: Prachin Buri, Sa Kaeo, Nakhon Nayok, Chachoengsao, Chon Buri, Rayong, Chanthaburi and Trat

SOURCE: Daily News

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