Acting Immigration Police chief Pol Maj Gen Surachate Hakpal, who recently got the job because of his relentless crackdowns on foreigners living unlawfully in the Kingdom, vowed on Friday to get rid of 7,000 overstaying foreigners by the end of this month.
Surachate, better known as “Big Joke”, made the promise in a 2.30am press conference at the Montien Hotel ar park on Surawong Road in Bangkok’s Bang Rak district.
He addressed reporters to announce the results of his 37th “Operation X-Ray Outlaw Foreigners” in which he had dispatched police to 265 locations around the country the day before. The targeted places included tourist destinations, language schools and private schools.
He 700 foreigners had been arrested during the latest crackdown. Of these, police found that 247 had sneaked into the country without a visa, 104 were overstayers and 349 had failed to report their residential addresses or violated the alien business law.
Immigration police and tourist police have so far checked 5,071 spots around the country and arrested 3,501 foreigners with either lapsed visas or no visas, Surachate said.
He said he has been told that a further 7,000 foreigners were still in Thailand on expired visas and all would be deported by the end of October.
He also threatened legal action against any Thai employers who hired overstaying foreigners or those without visas at all.
Surachate has targeting foreigners who had no right to be in Thailand since he was he deputy tourist police chief, when he labelled his first crackdown “Operation Black Eagle”.
He has habitually chosen odd hours to announce the results of his weekly crackdowns.