Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan has told the Immigration Bureau to intensify its crackdown on foreigners without visas or overstaying visas and deport those arrested within one month.
Lt Gen Kongcheep Tantrawanit, spokesman for the Defence Ministry, said Prawit, who oversees security affairs, gave the order at a meeting of military, police and Interior Ministry security agencies on Monday morning.
Prawit told them to step up efforts to keep foreign tourists safe and to crack down on transnational criminals who enter the Kingdom posing as tourists.
The spokesman quoted Prawit as saying the government had received complaints about foreigners involved in illegal activities and businesses in several provinces including Bangkok.
The Immigration Bureau was told to strictly enforce the law, weed out foreigners without visas and overstaying their visas and deport them within one month.
It was told to check whether foreigners doing business here were working in professions that are legally reserved for Thais alone.
Pol Maj Gen Surachate “Big Joke” Hakpal was recently promoted to acting Immigration Bureau chief after spearheading a series of raids and spot checks that have so far found more than 1,000 foreigners without visas or overstaying their visas.
The bureau announced on its website on Monday that there were 1.6 million foreigners living in Thailand between January and August.
Canadians were the biggest group – 9,872 migrants – followed by 9,583 Dutch people, 9,566 Bangladeshis and 9,483 Italians.
During the same period, more than 10 million foreign tourists entered the Kingdom, the bureau said.