Dutch woman arrested at Phuket Airport for illegally entering Thailand

A 28 year old Dutch woman was arrested at Phuket International Airport on the weekend for entering and staying in Thailand without permission or a visa.

The unnamed woman was taken to Sakhu Police Station to face charges of entering and staying in Thailand illegally. It’s not clear how she managed to enter the kingdom.

Under Phuket Immigration’s new yellow and red card system for bad foreigners, first-time foreign offenders in Phuket will receive a yellow card and repeat offenders will receive a red card, leading to their deportation.

Red cards void the foreigner’s visa, but since the Dutch woman doesn’t have a visa, her offence is still a deportable one – even if it is her first.

Phuket Police also recently announced the arrest of a 30 year old Cambodian tour guide, Sothy Roth Sam Oeurn, for illegally operating a tour business, being a tour guide and working without permission.

In the early hours of Monday morning, a brawl erupted between five foreign tourists and three foreign staff members at Atlas Restaurant on Soi Sansabai in the Patong area of Phuket. The fight was caught on camera.

The fight allegedly began because the foreign tourists were drunk and became enraged when they were told to wait in line for their food like everyone else. The foreign tourists allegedly threw a bottle into the restaurant, prompting the foreign staff – Egyptian, Jordanian, and Burmese – to fight back with poles, chairs, kitchen utensils and other makeshift weapons.

When police arrived, the foreign tourists fled and only the three staff were present to tell their side of the events to the police. It’s not clear whether the staff were criminally charged.

Police have apparently located the five foreign tourists and summoned them to the police station but there has been no further update about whether the brawl warranted any red or yellow cards.

Since the start of 2023, there have been more than 181 cases of foreigners being charged with criminal offences. Most of the offences happen in Patong and involve drunk driving, overstaying, illegally entering Thailand and working without a permit.

According to Phuket Immigration, most of the criminal foreigners come from Russia, France, the UK, Myanmar and Cambodia.

Should Phuket see success with its red and yellow card system, the policy may be expanded to other tourist hotspots such as Pattaya, Chiang Mai and Koh Samui – where foreigners are also partial to misbehaving.

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.