Overstayers nabbed: Immigration cops arrest 108 offenders

Immigration cops rounded up 108 foreigners for overstaying as part of a visa crackdown.

Thai Immigration police paraded a group of offenders yesterday at a press conference as they announced they had arrested 50 Pakistani nationals, 15 Indians, eight Somalis, three Nigerians, three from Papua New Guinea, three Vietnamese, a Mali national, a Bangladeshi national, a Sri Lankan national and twenty-three other nationals.

Measures to clamp down on foreigners who overstay their visa will go into effect in March.

Those who overstay for more than a year will be barred from the country for three years, while those who overstay for more than five years will be banned for 10 years.

Authorities have encouraged offenders to turn themselves in and avoid heavier penalties.

Immigration Bureau chief Pol Lt-General Natthorn Praosunthorn said the measures were taken to increase security in Thailand, claiming many foreigners who overstay are likely to have also committed crimes.

He cited the case of American boxer Malik Naeem Watson-Smith, who once fought Thai boxer “Buakaw,” and was caught overstaying his visa on 14 Dec. He had been charged with assault in 2010.

Russian Eveniy Gubarev, 37, was arrested on Dec. 17 for overstaying his visa and is wanted on charges of fraud and laundering money, while an unnamed 47-year-old Belgian was arrested on Sunday for overstaying by 305 days.

In a separate case, a French man overstaying his visa was arrested on Dec. 11 and charged with attempted murder, detention, and robbery in relation to trafficking drugs, The Nation reported.

Related:

Visa overstayers face bans of up to 10 years

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