Pattaya Daily News

22 February 2010 :: 10:02:57 am 13858

Thailand Begin Transnational Criminal Investigations

The Thai Immigration Bureau has begun a nationwide campaign to capture and deport hundreds of foreign criminals and fugitives believed to be taking refuge inside the Kingdom.
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Bangkok, the 22nd of February 2010 [Pattaya Daily News]: Thai Immigration Bureau Commissioner Lieutenant General Wuthi Liptapallop has acknowledged the global sentiment that Thailand is becoming increasingly known as a safe haven for international criminals due to the relatively relaxed visa regulations and policies.

”I don’t want Thailand to be known as a place where foreign criminals hide and conduct illegal activities, but they do, especially in Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Koh Samui and Phuket,” a quote obtained from a leading Bangkok publication stated yesterday. Further stating that: ”We want these and other places in Thailand to be tourist destinations, not places for foreign criminals and gangs.”

The renewed crackdown on international fugitives and criminals in Thailand coincides with the recently instigated investigations into the vast amount of illegal immigrants living and working within the Kingdom. It is expected that the immigration bureau will be targeting foreign nationals who have an outstanding arrest warrant against them, along with those who have committed offenses whilst residing in the Kingdom.

Lt. Gen. Liptapallop, along with being the Immigration Commissioner, heads the Transnational Crime Coordination Unit, who he has stated have obtained a list of the ‘most wanted’ criminals from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as well as Interpol.

To deal with this increasing foreign criminal invasion, a new National Criminal Center will be established within the Thai Immigration offices in Soi Suan Phlu, Bangkok. Expected to open next month, the center will begin to handle all the requests obtained from abroad in order to assist in tracking down and arresting fugitive transnational criminals.

Lt. Gen. Liptapallop stated that the new center will have the advantage of using all the data relating to foreign transit into an out of the country which has been compiled for many years but has never really been used effectively. Further to this, he stated that a list had been created showing that there is approximately 1,000 foreign nationals with arrest warrants in Thailand who have evaded capture. The warrants are categorized according to there seriousness in the eyes of the Thai justice system.

”We will try to classify the various warrants and arrange them into categories such as human trafficking, robbery, terrorism, drugs and so on. I will launch a battle against all the criminals, to find and arrest them. I estimate that at least half of these wanted people are still in Thailand,” Lt. Gen. Liptapallop said.

With Lt. Gen. Liptapallop’s extensive experience within Thailand’s police departments, including time served with the; Narcotics Suppression Bureau (NSB), Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) and Tourist Police (TP), he has stated that better cooperation between the various departments is needed to effectively manage the transnational criminal investigations. The sharing of information as and when it is received has been perceived as one of the biggest flaws in the Thai special police system.

Police Lieutenant General Liptapallop used the recent arrest of wanted Japanese ‘Yakuza’ boss Anai Kenichi as an example of the renewed crackdowns investigative success, stating that this was just the first in a long line of cases that are currently being investigated.

Reporter : John Weston   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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