Thailand’s immigration police have turned their attention to foreigners who help pay for their holidays in Thailand by selling things in the streets.
Two so-called “begpackers” were arrested in Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand for working without a work permit.
Thai media Naew Na referred to them as long-haired “hippies” taking jobs reserved for Thais.
A news conference attended by Immigration chief Lt-Gen Sompong “Big Oud” Chingduang in Bangkok yesterday was told that Immigration Division 5 in Chiang Mai were patrolling Soi 3 Moon Muang Road where Thais were selling stuff on the footpath.
But also there were Zoulis, 43, a Greek and Lin, 28, a Chinese national.
They were selling stuff just like the Thais.
Their tourist visas were found to be in order but they were deemed to be taking jobs reserved for Thais and working without a permit.
They were handed over to the local police and booked for working illegally.
The bust will be of interest to usually young tourists who believe they can supplement their stay in Thailand by selling personal items or things they have made in the streets without sanction. Some sell photographs.
Many posters online have criticized the practice as being done by entitled and essentially well-off foreigners while others take a more conciliatory view suggesting that they do no real harm.