Tourist police last night rounded up 144 foreigners, most of them from Nigeria and Cameroon, in a race-based campaign targeting “coloured” people engaged in various crimes.
Tourist police deputy chief Pol Maj-General Surachet Hakpal, who spearheaded the raids, also repeated his order for a nationwide search for "illegal" foreigners.
Surachet changed the name of the ongoing operation from “Operation Black Eagles” to “X-Ray Outlaw Foreigner” as police searched 110 spots around the country.
The night’s raids resulted in 144 arrests, Surachet said at a 1:40am post-raid press conference at the Rotfai Market on Ratchadapisek Road in Bangkok’s Din Daeng district.
In Bangkok alone 41 were arrested, 25 for allegedly having unlawfully entered the kingdom, 15 for overstaying their visas and three over drug use.
Surachet said all those arrested would be blacklisted and deported.
He told reporters that the searches focussed on "coloured" people who came to use Thailand to carry out various crimes, including romance scams, call-centre scams, prostitution, human trafficking and drug trafficking.
Surachet said some illegal foreigners had come to work as English teachers in international or bilingual schools, including teaching English to kindergarten kids in Chon Buri.
Police would later check with the schools to discover whether the English teachers have legal document to live in the Kingdom, Surachet added.