Immigration police gear up for MotoGP invasion
Immigration police are gearing up for Thailand's first MotoGP event to be held in Buri Ram next weekend where large crowds of foreign and local spectators are expected to gather.
Between 80,000 and 100,000 spectators are projected to attend the PTT Thailand Grand Prix 2018 to be held at Chang International Circuit from Oct 5-7.
Pol Maj Gen Kittikorn Boonsom, commander of Immigration Division 4, said immigration officers were setting up teams to examine passports at Buri Ram airport after the Interior Ministry announced the local airport would be an immigration checkpoint.
Foreign visitors are allowed to enter the country via the airport and some nationalities are also allowed to seek visas upon arrival, he said.
The Immigration Bureau's Personal Identification Blacklist Immigration Control System (Pibics) will be up and running at the airport to try and identify criminal suspects who may try to sneak in.
There will be four immigration stations each for handling arriving and departing passengers at the airport, Pol Maj Gen Kittikorn said.
Starting on Monday, an immigration checkpoint will be opened at the Chang International Circuit to provide necessary services to foreign visitors who want to extend their stay, report in or update their addresses.
Five smart patrol vehicles quipped with Pibics will be deployed at key strategic locations including the airport and the racing circuit, he added.
Immigration officers will be drawn from nearby provinces such as Surin, Ubon Ratchathani, Si Sa Ket and Roi Et to support the operations.
He said local police in Buri Ram and their peers from various agencies including the Tourist Police Bureau will be coordinating closely to beef up security for the visitors.
Tourism and Sports Minister Weerasak Kowsurat said early this week that more than 100,000 tourists are expected to visit the country and the province during the event.
According to Mr Weerasak, the sporting event, which will see 90 riders race in three categories, is likely to spur local tourism and generate billions of baht and will be watched on TV by some 800 million people worldwide.