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Thais refused entry to Germany because of scam, says Thai embassy

The Thai Embassy in Belgium has given a different version of the incident in which 14 Thais were denied entry to Frankfurt after their TG flight bound for Bangkok was delayed due to technical problems.

An early report said the delay had forced them to seek overnight accommodation in a Frankfurt hotel but immigration officials refused to give permission for them to leave the airport because their visas had expired.

They then had to camp inside the airport lounge and left the following day.

In a statement the Thai Embassy in Brussels said the reason for German immigration's rejection was the result of a scam run by tour agencies to get Schengen visas for Thai tourists.

"Some Thai tour agencies apply for Schengen visas with a Schengen country complete with hotel bookings and in line with the other requirements. When the visas are approved, they cancel all the bookings and travel to other countries instead," the statement read.

Such a practice could cause direct problems for Thai tourists and the country's image as they could be rejected for entry into a country should the immigration officials learn about the scam.

The embassy said the incident at the Frankfurt airport was a classic example of the scam.

The German immigration officials detained the 14 Thais after they found out that their tour agency had applied for Schengen visas for them from the Belgian Embassy but the group didn't set foot in Belgium. They instead visited Germany, Italy and Switzerland.

The officials thus denied them entry to Frankfurt, read the statement.

Incidents of this nature have become common at Frankfurt Airport, making the officials focus on Thai passport holders. Moreover Thais will have more difficulties in applying for Schengen visas in the future.

The Thai Embassy in Brussels recommends that a Thai who wants to visit 10 Schengen countries in seven days and where the first stop is Amsterdam, apply for the visa at the Dutch Embassy in Thailand.

In the event that he plans to visit Paris for three days but stay in Belgium for two months, he has to get visa from the Belgian Embassy not the French.


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