Immigration officers linked to triad visa racket

Immigration officers linked to triad visa racket

Former massage parlour tycoon Chuvit Kamolvisit submits documents about Chinese nationals running grey businesses in Thailand at the Royal Thai Police headquarters on Dec 1. (File photo: Apichart Jinakul)
Former massage parlour tycoon Chuvit Kamolvisit submits documents about Chinese nationals running grey businesses in Thailand at the Royal Thai Police headquarters on Dec 1. (File photo: Apichart Jinakul)

An investigation into corruption by senior Immigration Bureau (IB) officers has found clear evidence of some officers helping foreign criminals, and even serving as owners of foundations that arranged visas for Chinese nationals.

One of the foundations had its headquarters in a chicken coop, police said.

They found clear proof of offences such as renewal of visas for Chinese nationals through foundations, visa applications by schools or the falsifying of signatures of a deputy governor.

Some officers had used houses and the chicken coop as offices for foundations set up to apply for visas for Chinese nationals. Investigators found some IB officers were owners of foundations that hired agents to falsify documents, police said.

Police are expected to summon all of the accused officers, ranging from commanders and station heads to officers at the operational level, to hear the charges next week.

The former massage parlour tycoon and politician Chuvit Kamolvisit for weeks has been supplying police and the media with documents said to detail links between corrupt officials and grey businesses run by Chinese triads in Thailand.

He alleged that three former division commanders of the Immigration Bureau took bribes in exchange for approving non-immigrant visas for 3,325 Chinese nationals who had entered the country on tourist visas.

He said the cost of getting such an application approved by one of the commanders ranged from 100,000 to 300,000 baht per person.

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Vocabulary

  • bribe: money or a present given to someone so that they will help you doing something dishonest or illegal - สินบน
  • commander: a police offer of high rank - ผู้บังคับบัญชา
  • coop (noun): a cage for chickens, etc. - เล้าไก่
  • corrupt (adj.): (people) willing to use their power to do dishonest or illegal things in return for money or to get an advantage - (ผู้)ทุจริต, (ผู้)โกง
  • falsify: to change something, such as a document, in order to deceive people - ปลอมแปลง
  • foundation : an organisation that provides money for something - มูลนิธิ
  • Immigration Bureau: the government agency dealing with people entering and leaving the country and those who want to live there - สำนักงานตรวจคนเข้าเมือง
  • national: a citizen of a particular country - ประชาชน
  • proof: information, documents, etc. that show that something is true - การพิสูจน์
  • racket: an illegal activity that earns money - การหาเงินโดยผิดกฎหมาย
  • triad: a secret Chinese organisation involved in illegal activities such as selling drugs -
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