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Crackdown on black tourists and migrants – 52 arrested

October 25, 2017 Headline News 1 Comment Email Email

After a spike in various types of crime, Thai police have launched a series of raids and sweeps targeting black people, mainly Africans, resulting in many arrests and numerous charges.

Authorities openly acknowledge they are identifying potential suspects by race, local media report. “Racial profiling”, in which people can be suspected of crime because of their race, tends to be more of a Western sensitivity than an Asian concern.

Police sweeps, rounding up people of African origin, were reportedly conducted over the weekend in 32 areas of Bangkok, including the Bang Na, Udomsuk and Lat Phrao areas. On Saturday, police arrested nine people, seven from Somalia and two from Nigeria, accused of being in the kingdom illegally. Another four Nigerians and an American were charged with overstaying their visas.

A few days earlier, big raids by immigration and narcotics officers backed by close to 200 police scoured 10 locations in Bangkok and arrested 52 Nigerians, Tanzanians and Uzbekistanis on various charges, Bangkok’s English-language newspaper The Nation reported.

The Phuket Gazette and The Nation website ran the story under the headline: “52 arrested in crackdown on black migrants and tourists”.

After the raids, 38 people were charged with unlawfully entering Thailand, 11 were charged with overstaying their visas and 27 with involvement in drug trafficking. One of the suspects was charged with smuggling and another with deceiving Thai women in a romance scam.

Police Major-General Surachat Hakpal confirmed police were “keeping an eye on” groups of black migrants and tourists because, he alleged, many of them were involved in crime, including money laundering, trafficking (in both humans and drugs) and using “skimmer” devices to clone ATM cards.

Surachet said one of those arrested had been jailed previously for possessing cocaine and an investigation was underway to find why the suspect hadn’t been deported following release from prison.

On Friday, Thai Visa News reported the arrest in Pattaya of a 41-year-old man from Mozambique on charges of conning Thai women by pretending to be a top US general.

Pattaya chief of police Apichai Krobpetch said the suspect, Michael Joseph, was found living in a Bang Lamung apartment, having overstayed since October 2013.

Written by Peter Needham

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. Sophie says:

    Wow, just because they are reporting it as such, doesn’t mean you should publish such an insensitive headline.

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