On the main resort island of Phuket, authorities have launched a new system for tracking offenses by foreign tourists. The rules of football are taken as the basis: yellow cards will notify guests of Thailand about a single violation, and red cards will already be deported from the country. Another Thai innovation was reported by Phuketnews.
As a Phuket Immigration official explained at a press conference last Wednesday, under the system, a foreigner found guilty of one offense is officially issued a yellow (warning) card, while two offenses face immediate dismissal, in this case speech about deportation to their homeland. Once a foreigner has left the country, the next time they will be denied entry to Thailand on the grounds that the tourist has committed an illegal act that “caused problems and became a threat to society.” At the same time, officials have not yet decided what level or type of crime or “wrongful act” will be considered as a first or immediately double crime.
It should be noted that the types of offenses mentioned at the press conference related to traffic violations such as not wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle, not having a valid Thai driver's license, and driving dangerously.
During the press conference, law enforcement officers proudly reported on the arrests of foreign travelers found to be breaking the law as part of the Crime Free Phuket campaign. All of them could become deportation applicants, but the law on the card system came into force later than they were caught, except for one case. Here is a list of known detentions of tourists in Thailand to date:
- One foreigner was arrested under an “Interpol red notice” because he was wanted by the French authorities. The perpetrator was deported.
- There were also reports of arrests of two suspects in Russia for robbery using cryptocurrencies and the arrest of French citizens for reckless driving, driving without a helmet and without the appropriate driver's license required to drive a vehicle in Thailand.
- Another group of arrests relates to the “annoying and socially dangerous behavior” of tourists riding motorcycles in Patong.
- French people were also arrested earlier, who were caught driving motorcycles improperly, as well as for illegal labor activities, in The document contains the wording “theft of work from the Thais”.
- A gang of Mongols-pickpockets, robbing tourists in Patong, was also arrested.
It was clarified that catching violators is of paramount importance for the safety of tourists, expats and locals staying on the island, and for the preservation of Phuket as a world-class tourist destination. Phuket Immigration Chief Paul Kol Thanet Sukchai urged all people to report illegal acts committed by foreigners, so the rate of denunciations and deportations is likely to increase in the near future.
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