Hotels told to report foreigners' arrivals

Immigration police are demanding the operators of hotels and guesthouses file reports on foreigners within 24 hours of their check-in, or face fines.

Police will step up enforcement of the reporting requirement in Bangkok before expanding it to other provinces.

Pol Maj Gen Kritsada Surachetpong, commander of Immigration Division 1, yesterday said that sections 38 and 77 of the Immigration Act require hotel and guesthouse operators to report the check-ins of foreign guests to immigration police within 24 hours of their arrival.

However, many operators, including those of five-star hotels, fail to comply. Immigration police are determined to enforce the law strictly now.

"I must admit that police didn't tell the owners of guesthouses and hotels enough of the need to file such reports," Pol Maj Gen Kritsada said.

"Today we are enforcing the law simultaneously with an information campaign.

"The situation is improving as we now have the operators of 10-20 hotels reporting guests' arrivals," Pol Maj Kritsada said.

The reports would allow police to monitor the movements of foreigners including those tourists who are actually criminals in disguise.

Operators can report to the Immigration Bureau in person at the Immigration Division 1 in the government complex on Chaeng Watthana Road, by registered mail or by reporting online at www.immigration.go.th.

Violators can be fined 800-20,000 baht.

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Writer: Wassayos Ngamkham
Position: Reporter