Foreigners of various nationalities were arrested in a major anti-crime operation specifically targeting foreigners in Pattaya.
Pattaya police on Thursday, July 6th, held a press conference to address the arrests of foreign suspects in five high-profile criminal cases in Thailand.
In the first case, the Swiss suspect only identified as Mr. Jonothan, 31, was apprehended as per warrant B-18-2612 issued on September 28th, 2018, by the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL).
He was arrested at the immigration checkpoint within Suvarnabhumi Airport, Samut Prakan province, Thailand, while attempting to flee to Vietnam. Jonothan is considered a high-profile cross-border criminal as he was reportedly involved in several drug trafficking cases.
In late 2016, he allegedly clandestinely imported over 2,000 tablets of narcotics purchased from an African man residing in Thailand and subsequently sold them to customers in Zurich, Switzerland. Following this, the Swiss Federal Police and INTERPOL issued a red notice on Jonothan before forwarding the case to the Royal Thai Police Office, leading to his apprehension at the airport. He is undergoing extradition proceedings to Switzerland.
In the second case, Mr. Stefan, 45, a Swedish national, was apprehended at his residence located in Pattaya. This followed a cooperation between the Royal Thai Police and the International Liaison Office of the Nordic Police, who requested assistance in investigating, tracking, and apprehending Mr. Stefan.
He was wanted on arrest warrants issued by the Swedish courts and the European Union on charges related to copyright infringement. Mr. Stefan had fled the case in Sweden and had taken refuge in Thailand. His involvement in the commission of offenses included participating in the unauthorized broadcasting of copyrighted television signals in Sweden, according to Swedish Courts.
The acts caused significant financial damage to three companies. Furthermore, the illegally obtained broadcasts were disseminated to the public through various channels such as YouTube and Facebook without authorization from the affected companies, resulting in infringements of the rights of the affected parties. The arrest and apprehension of Mr. Stefan were successfully carried out by the immigration officers.
In the third case, a group of Korean nationals was apprehended, comprising of:
- Mr. Kim, 40
- Mr. Beck, 28
- Mr. Choi, 32
- Mr. Jung, 25
- Mr. Chun, 39
Investigations conducted by the immigration officers revealed that all the South Korean nationals were clandestinely working in the Kingdom without work permits. They surreptitiously founded a tour company within a luxurious villa in Pattaya and opened a website that offered tour bookings exclusively for South Korean tourists.
The five suspects provided all-inclusive tour packages within Thailand to the tourists, such as accommodation arrangements. They also took the tourists only to the Korean-owned business establishments within their connections.
Subsequently, all the South Korean suspects were arrested. They were in police custody.
In the fourth case, officers from the Chonburi Immigration Office, in collaboration with the Tourist Police and Interpol, apprehended Mr. Zhang, a 41-year-old Chinese national, in Soi 18 Naklua in Pattaya on overstaying charges.
It was discovered that Mr. Zhang had been residing in Thailand for over 5 years without a proper visa. A police questioning revealed that he had entered Thailand on May 26th, 2015, and had been granted permission to stay until July 29, 2018.
However, when Mr. Zhang’s permission to stay had expired, he refused to notify the authority and had remained in the country illegally for a total of 2,160 days. Mr. Zhang explained that his prolonged stay was due to a pending asset-related case in China, and he feared facing legal consequences if he returned. As a result, he had been taking refuge in Thailand. He was undergoing legal processes.
In the final case, officers from the Police Region 2, in collaboration with the Office of the Tourist Police, arrested over 17 Vietnamese people for running an online gambling website.
The website was reportedly backed by a Chinese investor. The police seized 12 computers as well as counterfeit passport-making equipment and rubber stamps for entry/exit visas for the Samut Prakan Immigration Office and countries such as Myanmar and Cambodia.
The police also discovered a quantity of untaxed foreign cigarettes. Consequently, all individuals involved were put into police custody. The seized evidence was brought to the Bang Phli Police Station for further investigation.
The 17 Vietnamese suspects were charged with running a gambling website and offenses related to producing counterfeit passports.
This is one of the biggest anti-crime operations in and around Pattaya as Thai police have actively waged wars upon foreign criminal enterprises within the Kingdom.
The police urge those who encounter suspicious activities or individuals to contact 1178 or file a report through https://www.immigration.go.th/ immediately.