In a remarkable triumph for Phuket’s highly praised crime-free initiative, more than 1,000 foreigners have been apprehended for overstaying their visas. This success can be attributed to the collaborative efforts between the Phuket Immigration Office and 800 accommodation providers on the resort island.
Officials in Phuket proudly attribute this achievement to the crime-free measures implemented by businesses, which have enabled them to promptly notify the police about any suspicious activities involving foreign guests.
Phuket Immigration Chief, Pol Col Thanet Sukchai, highlighted the significant discrepancy between the number of foreign guests registered at accommodations in Phuket over the past two months and the number of foreign tourists who arrived during the same period. The former exceeded the latter by over 20%, triggering an investigation that ultimately led to the identification and capture of numerous visa overstayers.
The successful implementation of a new and crucial database played a pivotal role in this initiative. It allowed the police to track down a missing foreigner recently and served as a vital tool in conducting thorough investigations. From May 1 to May 25, Immigration Police launched targeted raids on 1,550 locations across Phuket, resulting in the arrest of 11 individuals who had overstayed their visas, as well as an additional four people who had entered Thailand illegally.
The Immigration Bureau’s Information Technology Center reported a total of 1,050 foreigners who were found to have overstayed their visas. Among them, 391 individuals were not residing at their reported accommodations, and 228 had already left Thailand. Furthermore, 331 tourists had submitted visa extension requests, while 109 were reported to have passed away. One individual was identified as a bedridden patient, and another had obtained Thai citizenship, which accounted for the deviation from standard visa requirements.
This significant accomplishment is a testament to the effectiveness of Phuket’s crime-free project, highlighting the proactive measures taken by businesses and the cooperation between the Phuket Immigration Office and accommodation providers. It sends a strong message that visa overstayers will face consequences, underlining the commitment of authorities to maintain the integrity of the immigration system and ensure the security of Phuket as a tourist destination.