A total of 9,265 foreigners whose visas have expired were apprehended in a nationwide operation launched on Monday last week until Sunday. Among those rounded-up, 9,038 illegal immigrants had been charged with violating the Immigration Act 1979, 18 for violating the Criminal Code and 209 were charged in accordance with other laws.
Nationals from African countries, India and Bangladesh comprised those who were arrested, said in the report quoting Immigration Chief Pol Lt Gen Nathathorn.
There were no Filipinos reported being included in the arrest according to the Philippine Embassy in Bangkok.
In a press briefing on Sunday, the Immigration chief revealed the development of the bureau’s “Good guys in, bad guys out” operation which aims at catching foreigners who overstay their visas.
“Overstaying in Thailand is a common offence because the penalty was weak. An offender is currently fined 500 baht per day, up to a maximum of 20,000 baht before being deported but could still be allowed to return to Thailand as long as the person is not barred by immigration officials”, said Bangkok Post in a news report.
Meanwhile, 200 baht per day will be charged to those who don’t have the money to pay for the fine if they are put in jail.
“New and tougher penalties for visa overstays have been approved by the Interior Ministry and will now be considered by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha”, the report added.