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Thai Authorities Arrest Sixty Two Foreigners in Country Wide Immigration Sweep

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BANGKOK – Tourist Police Bureau Deputy Commissioner Pol Maj Gen Surachate Hakparn told a press conference Friday that mixed teams of police and officers from several agencies arrested 62 foreigners at 72 locations throughout Thailand in operation X-Ray Outlaw Foreigner.

Pol Maj Gen Surachate Hakparn said officers went to pre-selected places in Bangkok and other provinces popular with tourists, including Phuket and Prachuap Khiri Khan. They targeted people at 4 language schools, 13 secondary schools and 58 other places.

A total of 73 suspects – 62 foreigners and 11 Thais – were detained, Pol Maj Gen Surachate Hakparn, deputy commissioner of the Tourist Police Bureau, said at a media briefing later on Friday.

Eleven of the suspects (3 from Vietnam, 2 each from Myanmar and England, and one each from Nigeria, Laos, India and Malaysia) were charged with overstaying their visas.

Of these, the longest were Okerie Victor Ugiochukwa, 35, a Nigerian who had overstayed for 1,387 days, followed by Christopher Michel, 53, a British national caught in Phuket after 1,077 days on overstay, and Ravindra Singh, 23, of India, who was arrested in Prachuap Khiri Khan 219 days after his visa expired, Pol Maj Gen Surachate said.

Police laid illegal entry charges against 42 other suspects (12 from Laos, 10 from India, 9 from Myanmar, 5 from Cambodia, 2 each from Vietnam and France and one each from China and Nigeria).

The 20 other suspects (11 Thais, 3 from India, two each from Myanmar and Laos and one each from Kazakhstan and Vietnam) were charged with other offences.

Pol Maj Gen Surachate said the raids were the 19th phase of operation X-Ray Outlaw Foreigner, which aimed to sweep out foreign criminals who entered the country to commit crime, such as romance scams, credit card skimming and drug smuggling, as well as overstayers.

To date, a total 1,832 suspects had been arrested during raids on 4,084 premises across the country.

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