Deadline: Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwan yesterday instructed Pol Maj-General Surachate Hakparn, Thailand’s acting Immigration Bureau chief to crack down on foreigners overstaying their visas or using Thailand as safe haven for criminal activities.

Pol Maj-General Surachate Hakparn has been given one month to arrest and deport thousands of foreigners suspected of staying in the Kingdom illegally, the Nation reported.

Pol Maj-General Surachate Hakparn was recently promoted to acting Immigration Bureau chief after spearheading a series of raids and spot checks that have so far found more than 1,000 foreigners overstaying their visas.

Surachate has strong connections with Prawit whose popularity has been declining after the luxury-watch scandal. The police commander had recently made a name for himself with his crackdowns on crimes related to foreigners as deputy commander of Tourist Police.

Thailand welcomes more than 30 million visitors annually for tourism. The country is also home to millions of documented and undocumented migrant workers from all over the world. Illegal entry and overstay are not unusual for the country.