Thai police hunt foreign fugitives ahead of APEC summit

There’s to be no respite for foreign fugitives hiding in Thailand, as immigration police refuse to rest in the run up to next month’s APEC Summit. Their mission? To guarantee absolute safety and security to world leaders set to gather in Bangkok for an epoch-making meeting.

Three Chinese nationals and a Taiwanese man are the latest to feel the force of the Immigration Bureau’s hardline campaign.

Chinese police fingered a 35 year old man identified only as Li, who was then arrested in Pattaya, according to bureau deputy commissioner Pol Maj-General Panthana Nutnart. The foreign fugitive was living it up at a luxury condo in Pattaya when the cops called. Li is wanted in connection with illegal collecting debts worth over 100 million baht (US$2.5 million).

A 40 year old man identified as Tsai has been arrested at an undisclosed location for entering Thailand illegally. No records were found regarding his entry to the country. Tsai is wanted for making and selling firearms.

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A third Chinese man was arrested in Chonburi for alleged involvement in a criminal gang running a call centre scam in Cambodia.

In the last case, a teenager from Taiwan, Chen, told police he was persuaded by an acquaintance to join a romance scam in Cambodia. After three months, he’d failed to find anyone to rip off. Fearing for his safety, he decided to sneak into Thailand with the intent of then sneaking into Myanmar, a place where thousands of people are trying to escape from. Taiwanese police are not interested in Chen’s travel tales or his lost love. They want to talk to him about a violent death in the middle of last year.

Bangkok is hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit, to be attended by leaders of 21 member economies, on November 18 and 19. Debt, the arms trade and cross-border e-commerce are sure to figure high on the summit agenda.

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Jon Whitman

Jon Whitman is a seasoned journalist and author who has been living and working in Asia for more than two decades. Born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, Jon has been at the forefront of some of the most important stories coming out of China in the past decade. After a long and successful career in East sia, Jon is now semi-retired and living in the Outer Hebrides. He continues to write and is an avid traveller and photographer, documenting his experiences across the world.

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