On January 31st, 2024, Mr. Varawut Silpa-archa, the Minister of Social Development and Human Security (SDHS), publicly revealed to the Thai media a complaint about a foreigner in elephant pants asking for money at the Mo Chit BTS station, in Bangkok.
In response to the complaint, the Rapid Response Centre for Accelerating Public Welfare Management of SDHS investigated the reported area, however, the unidentified foreigner was nowhere to be found.
Upon investigation, unidentified vendors at Mo Chit BTS station reportedly told the SDHS officials that the foreigner had been asking for money with a message saying he needed a flight ticket to return home, please donate 20 baht, thank you.
The foreigner had been at Mo Chit BTS station for a few days, and each time Bangkok municipal officials warned him to stop asking for money, the witnesses said to the SDHS officials.
However, the SDHS officials requested immigration officers and relevant agencies to perform further investigations. Furthermore, there were a few Thai individuals found in the area allegedly asking for money. The SDHS officials escorted them to the SDHS department for further processing according to the Beggar Control Act 2016.