Reprimand for immigration officers

Reprimand for immigration officers

Ten immigration officers in Sa Kaeo and Pattani have been transferred to inactive posts pending a probe into alleged lax enforcement of immigration restrictions after a group of Cambodian people entered the country illegally last month.

In separate transfer orders signed by Immigration Bureau chief Surachate Hakparn last Wednesday, seven immigration officers in Sa Kaeo and three immigration officers in Pattani have been moved to the IB's operations centre, deputy police spokesman Kritsana Pattanacharoen said yesterday.

Two inquiry panels were set up to look into their alleged failure to control illegal immigration, the deputy police spokesman said.

The move came after a combined force of military rangers, police and local governing officials raided an Islamic ponoh school in Pattani's Mayo district on Jan 28 following a tip-off that combat training sessions were held at night there, Pol Col Kritsana said.

Authorities detained a group of Cambodian nationals.

Some had no travel documents and some held passports that had expired, he said.

An initial investigation found the group had entered Thailand via the Khlong Luek border checkpoint in Sa Kaeo's Aranyaprathet district, prompting a probe against immigration officers based in the two provinces, Pol Col Kritsana said.

He said immigration officers have the authority to deny entry to and deport foreigners who violate the immigration law and who are deemed to be national security threats.

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