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Tourist Police and Immigration step up checks on foreigners living in Bangkok

In the latest crackdown on foreigners who stay in Thailand illegally, Tourist Police and Immigration carried out a series of raids on condominiums in Bangkok this weekend.

On Sunday, at least 30 officers raided five buildings at Fortune Condo Town condominium on Soi Sathupradit 19 in Yannawa district.

Officers inspected 225 rooms, 94 of which were occupied by a total of 340 foreigners, most of whom were Indian nationals, the Tourist Police Bureau reported on its Facebook page.

Four foreigners were arrested following the raids, with two Syrians charged with overstaying their visas, while one British national and one Moroccan national were arrested for failing to do their 90 day report.

Seven Thai landlords were also apprehended for failing to inform Immigration they had been renting their condo to a foreigner.

Under Section 38 of the Immigration Act, property owners are required to notify immigration if they have a foreigner staying in their property.

Acting Tourist Bureau commissioner Pol Maj Gen Terapon Kuptanond also urged people to report suspicious activity or offences via the Tourist Police hotline on 1155.

The raids on Sunday morning came after the new head of Thai immigration – Maj-Gen Surachate “Big Joke” Hakpal – who was recently appointed to the role from his position of deputy commissioner at the Tourist Police – warned that foreigners nationwide are being placed under greater scrutiny by immigration officials.

Last week, Maj-Gen Surachate promised a crackdown on people working illegally in Thailand.

He also promised to go after visa agents who falsify documents which are used by foreigners to extend their visas.

Maj-Gen Surachate said that immigration will be going after all agents and their customers nationwide involved in procuring visa extensions with fake documents.

On Friday, Tourist Police and Immigration officers arrested hundreds of foreigners for various visa offences following raids at 337 locations nationwide.

A total of 369 foreigners were arrested after raids at language schools, hotels and restaurants.

Earlier this year, Maj-Gen Surachate said that private language schools which offer ED-visas would become the target of a crackdown.

Maj-Gen Surachate had said the ED visa was being abused by foreigners who use it as a way to stay in Thailand long term, without actually studying.

Maj-Gen Surachate also hit the headlines last week after promising to end to the culture of tips, back-handers and money under the table at the Immigration Bureau in Thailand.

Thai Visa

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