Thai Police to Press Charges Against Schools Over Alleged Fake Visa Conspiracy

first_imgThe police in Thailand are soon going to press charges against many international and language schools for allegedly forging visa documents on behalf of foreigners, Bangkok Post reported.The schools that will be charged are said to have plotted with Thai brokers as well as a group of immigration police officers. They offered student visas to people who allegedly had no wish to study in Thailand, Tourist Police Deputy Commissioner Maj. Gen. Surachet Hakpal said, according to the report.“We now know who the brokers and police officers are and are going to act against the schools,” he was quoted as saying by the publication. Students having non-immigrant visas, known as ED visa, are permitted to live in Thailand on a yearly basis, Hakpal explained.The non-immigrant ED (educational) visa is issued to applicants who wish to study, attend a seminar, training session, or internship in Thailand. The validity of the visa is three months, and the holder is entitled to stay in Thailand for a maximum period of 90 days. The person can apply for an extension of stay and can be granted an extension for a period of one year from the date of first entry into Thailand.According to investigators, several people are registered in these schools as a front. They would hardly ever attend any classes, and the police are now well aware about this practice. They have cautioned the schools to not advertise themselves as “visa changing sites,” Hakpal added.He said that his agency is now making arrangements to have a meeting with education officials to discuss measures that can help prevent foreigners from exploiting legal loopholes in a bid to stay in Thailand illegally. So far, the Tourist Police have arrested 1,088 suspects in Operation X-Ray Outlaw Foreigners conducted by them for over a year.The police crackdowns revealed that a number of foreign criminals possessed education visas allegedly obtained in an illegal manner so that the suspects could stay in Thailand for a longer period.The Thai Police on April 26 searched 118 spots across the country in a nationwide raid for illegal immigrants and arrested 99 foreigners. Among those arrested were nationals from India, Myanmar, Germany and Laos, the Bangkok Post reported. More emphasis was laid on international schools because foreigners staying illegally in Thailand most often approached these schools as language teachers, Hakpal was then quoted as saying. The most common charge against the arrested foreign nationals is overstaying in Thailand after expiry of their visas. Related ItemsThailandlast_img

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