Naew Na reported that a brand new BMW smart car was sent into action in Pattaya on Wednesday under the orders of Chonburi immigration chief Pol Col Naren Khreuangsanuk.
It wasn’t long before the BMW – set up with state-of-the-art onboard diagnostics – was used to verify the status of a foreigner walking about outside his house in South Pattaya Soi 7.
The vehicle will be used, according to immigration, to quickly verify the passport status of suspicious looking and acting foreigners across the city. The vehicle’s computer has the ability to instantly check the passport and criminal background status of foreigners.
Immigration soon realised that Imadh. M., 54, from Sudan was in Thailand illegally after running a random check on him from the vehicle.
He was taken off to Pattaya police station for processing and will be deported and blacklisted at his expense.
Pol Col Naren revealed this was all part of IB chief Lt-Gen Sompong Chingduang’s plan to rid Thailand of illegal aliens and foreigners up to no good.
The Pattaya News notes that profiling and stopping one for a random passport check is completely legal in Thailand. It is Thai law to have your passport on you at all times, although in practice a copy is generally permitted. The copy must have the individuals arrival and visa stamps, not just the identity page.
Chonburi Immigration told the media that they will continue to conduct random checks across Pattaya on a daily basis, looking for suspicious individuals. They did not define exactly what makes an individual suspicious. Immigration also noted that those legally in the country and following the rules have nothing to be worried about and a normal check only takes a few seconds.
The public should continue to call 1178 to report infractions of the immigration laws or if they believe someone is on overstay or in the country illegally.
Source: The Pattaya News