Phuket’s unlucky 13: Immigration crackdown reveals rule-breaking escapades

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Immigration authorities in Phuket apprehended 13 individuals and charged them with violations of the Immigration Act. This information was disclosed yesterday in the Phuket Overstay Report, issued by the local Immigration department.

Of the 13 arrested, seven were detained for overstaying their visas from September 1-30. Also noted in the report was the charging of one individual for failing to adhere to the 90-day reporting requirement mandated by Section 37(5) of the Immigration Act. Additionally, two property owners or managers faced charges under Section 38 of the Act for not reporting foreign occupants at their establishments.

Other offences included two foreigners apprehended for robbery and another taken into custody on an existing warrant. Further details about these three arrests were not disclosed in the report.

The immigration office flagged a total of 228 individuals as “targets” for a variety of reasons. These people were located in several areas across Phuket, including Chalong, Patong, Phuket Town, Wichit, Cherng Talay, Kathu, Kamala, Thalang, Karon, Sakhu, and Tha Chatchai.

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During the same period, immigration officers conducted checks on 375 foreign nationals. The most common countries of origin for these individuals were Russia, China, the United Kingdom, Myanmar, and Canada.

In September, immigration issued nine Yellow Cards, seven of which were handed to foreigners. These included two individuals from the UK, two from Myanmar, and one from Russia. The nationalities of the recipients of the remaining two Yellow Cards were not specified, reported The Phuket News.

The Arrivals By Air report for September revealed that Russians topped the list of direct arrivals to Phuket, numbering 40,210. This was closely followed by 37,343 arrivals from China, 21,108 from Australia, 18,990 from India, and 13,086 from Malaysia.

The total number of foreigners who arrived in Phuket by air during the month was 242,780. Of these, 288,528 recorded their place of stay with immigration. Additionally, 22,349 foreigners arrived in Phuket by sea, predominantly from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, and the Philippines.

The report also noted the arrival of five cruise liners, 30 private yachts, and 15 cargo vessels in Phuket during the past month. However, no fishing boats were reported.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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