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Crackdown on illegal foreigners: Many claiming to be students to get fake visas

As the crackdown on illegal foreigners in Thailand continues it has emerged that many of those arrested are conniving with language schools to get fake visas so they can stay in Thailand on a yearly basis.

The scam – that has been going on for years – is well understood by the Thai police and their top crime buster Pol Maj Gen Surachet Hakpal who yesterday reported more arrests.
To date a total of 1,088 had been arrested in the crackdown. Surachet, the deputy commissioner of the Tourist Police Bureau, said there had been more than 3,000 raids over the last year.
There has been confusion in the Thai media that many of those arrested were teachers. The reality is that they are foreigners masquerading as students who get long visas then commit crime in Thailand and they certainly don’t attend classes.
They are able to get year long visas instead of a much shorter period.
Several language schools and what is loosely termed as “international” schools are now set to face charges after the Thai police operating under the “X-Ray Outlaw Foreigner” banner have uncovered a network of illegal activity that includes staff of the schools themselves and corrupt immigration officials.
Charges are soon to be laid that refer to the alleged falsification of visas on behalf of foreigners.
Manager reported that many of those arrested were “people of color” with Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone named as countries where the bogus students hail from.
Time will tell whether Maj Gen Surachet – known by the affectionate moniker of Big Joke in the Thai media after a series of high profile busts – will be able to nail alleged corrupt officials in immigration that is a section of the Thai police itself. ATP – EP

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