Immigration chief warned he might face the chop

The immigration police commissioner Pol Lt-Gen Sakda Choenpakdee has been warned by the national police chief that he would be removed to an inactive post if he fails to rein in his men – several of whom were involved in unlawful activities deemed a national threat.

The national police chief, Pol Gen Somyot Poompanmuang, issued the warning at a meeting with 259 immigration police officers from the deputy commissioner down to inspectors held at the National Police Office on Monday.  Pol Lt-Gen Sakda was however absent at the meeting.

The immigration police officers were taken to task by Pol Gen Somyot took the opportunity to present them with a damning report, based on complaints and evidences collected in the past year, outlining six misdeeds allegedly committed by several unscrupulous immigration police officers.  He told them to stop the malpractices or else.

The six alleged misdeeds are as follows:

  1. Providing service at a substantial charge to extend the stay of foreigners in this country such as arranging student visas for foreigners without actually attending any educational institutes or changing tourist visas into business visas.  The charges range from 12,000-15,000 baht per head.
  2. Providing service in in-out or entrance-exit arrangement for foreigners to extend their stay for another 15 days at a time as the foreigners in question have no justicification to stay on.
  3. Allowing illegal immigrants to enter the country in exchange for bribes making it possible for human trafficking.
  4. Stamping seals to falsely claim the stay in Thailand of illegal immigrants to help them gain entry to third countries.
  5. Selling official documents, tor mor 6, to Laotians and Vietnamese who entered the country to work.
  6. Demanding excessive fees from foreigners in exchange for visa on arrival at Don Meuang and Suvarnabhumi international airports.  By average, there are about 6,000 visitors applying for arrival visas a day and each was made to pay 300 baht in extra.  The under-the-table fees amount to 1.8 million baht a day and it is not known who have pocketed them.