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Checks on foreigners get stronger

Checks on foreigners get stronger

The Immigration Bureau (IB) is tightening up security across all international airports in the country ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit, which takes place later this week.

IB commissioner, Pol Lt Gen Pakphumpipat Sajjapan, said on Sunday authorities are taking a closer look at foreign arrivals, particularly those who may pose a security threat to the summit.

Since the start of October, authorities have barred over 2,000 individuals from entering the country, many of whom were already on the immigration blacklist, he said, adding authorities will also monitor the activities of foreign residents more closely during the summit.

“Those who are found to be involved in suspicious activities will be questioned and deported,” he said.

The bureau is also coordinating with its foreign counterparts to ensure its officers have the latest data on suspected and/or wanted criminals that may attempt to enter the country, Pol Lt Gen Pakphumpipat said.

The IB chief said more officers will be deployed to staff the immigration checkpoint counters at Suvarnabhumi airport, as the airport will see an increased number of travellers as the summit takes place.

Pol Lt Gen Pakphumpipat said between Oct 10 and Saturday, 785 foreign migrant workers were arrested for overstaying their visa, while 1,249 others — 770 from Laos, 349 from Myanmar, 108 from Cambodia and 22 “others” — were arrested for illegal entry.

Among those arrested were two individuals on Interpol’s Red Notice list, he said.

The first, he said, was a 27-year-old Chinese citizen, identified only as Li, who was arrested for allegedly defrauding more than 400,000 victims out of 50 million baht via a mobile application.

According to Interpol, Li and his accomplice launched an investment app to scam victims in China, before making off with the money.

A tip-off later led to his whereabouts at a house in Bangkok’s Sutthisan area.

The other is a 40-year-old Chinese national, named by police as Hu, for the alleged possession of illicit properties and forgery.

An investigation showed the suspect had been hiding around Suvarnabhumi Airport in Samut Prakan.

In addition, immigration police also arrested a Taiwanese national, known only as Zhang, who headed a call centre scam ring in the Philippines.

His arrest came after immigration police found his 24-million-baht Ferrari at a department store in Bangkok.

He showed his Cambodian passport to authorities, but a check showed his biometric information was linked to two counterfeit Taiwanese passports.

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