NATIONWIDE: A British national was arrested in Phuket in the early hours of this morning when he was found to have overstayed his visa for more than 1,000 days.

Christopher Michel, 53, was caught after it was found he had overstayed his visa by 1,077 days.

Michel was one of 62 foreign nationals detained in the latest police ‘outlaw tourists’ raids early this morning (Aug 3), which this time targeted 75 locations across the country.

Mixed teams of police and officers from several agencies went to pre-selected places in Bangkok and other provinces popular with tourists, including Phuket and Prachuap Khiri Khan. They targeted people at four language schools, 13 secondary schools and 58 other places.

A total of 73 suspects – 62 foreigners and 11 Thais – were detained, Pol Maj Gen Surachate Hakparn, deputy commissioner of the Tourist Police Bureau, said at a media briefing later today.

Eleven of the suspects (three from Vietnam, two each from Myanmar and England, and one each from Nigeria, Laos, India and Malaysia) were charged with overstaying their visas.

Of these, the longest were Okerie Victor Ugiochukwa, 35, a Nigerian who had overstayed for 1,387 days, followed by Michel after 1,077 days on overstay, and Ravindra Singh, 23, of India, who was arrested in Prachuap Khiri Khan 219 days after his visa expired, Maj Gen Surachate said.

Police laid illegal entry charges against 42 other suspects (12 from Laos, 10 from India, nine from Myanmar, five from Cambodia, two each from Vietnam and France and one each from China and Nigeria).

The 20 other suspects (11 Thais, three from India, two each from Myanmar and Laos and one each from Kazakhstan and Vietnam) were charged with other offences.

Pol Maj Gen Surachate said the raids were the 19th phase of operation X-Ray Outlaw Foreigner, which aimed to sweep out foreign criminals who entered the country to commit crime, such as romance scams, credit card skimming and drug smuggling, as well as overstayers.

To date, a total 1,832 suspects had been arrested during raids on 4,084 premises across the country.


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