Immigration inspector shunted over visa for pirated-goods smuggler

Immigration inspector shunted over visa for pirated-goods smuggler

Pol Maj Jakkrapong Phermkamlang, a Buri Ram immigration inspector, has been transferred to the Immigration Bureau's operations centre after approving a visa to practice Buddhist dhamma for a Chinese man later arrested in Bangkok with millions of counterfeit brand name eyeglasses. (Photo supplied/Wassayos Ngamkham)
Pol Maj Jakkrapong Phermkamlang, a Buri Ram immigration inspector, has been transferred to the Immigration Bureau's operations centre after approving a visa to practice Buddhist dhamma for a Chinese man later arrested in Bangkok with millions of counterfeit brand name eyeglasses. (Photo supplied/Wassayos Ngamkham)

An immigration inspector in Buri Ram province has been transferred to an inactive post over the approval of a visa to study Buddhist dhamma for a Chinese man who was subsequently caught in Bangkok trading in counterfeit goods.

Immigration Bureau commissioner Sompong Chingduang signed the order transferring Pol Maj Jakkrapong Phermkamlang to the bureau’s operations centre, an informed source said on Tuesday.

The order was signed on Jan 19.

This was the same day Chinese national Changli Li, 42, was arrested in possession of  millions of fake brand name eyeglasses at premises in Dao Khanong area of Thon Buri by the Department of Special Investigation.

The Immigration Bureau checked the suspect's records and found that the Buri Ram immigration office had allowed him to stay in the country after he gave dhamma studies, or religious practice, as a reason for staying. Approval was given on June 11 last year.

The source said Pol Lt Gen Sompong ordered an investigation into alleged irregularities in issuing visas. This followed the discovery that a group of Chinese nationals gave their residence as a temple in the Northeast when seeking visas.

Those people submitted photos of them wearing white robes and practicing dhamma when filing their applications to stay in the country for one year.

The bureau found that the local immigration office’s decision in allowing the Chinese nationals to stay may not have been in line with official regulations and orders.

This led to the order transferring of Pol Maj Jakkrapong, who was in charge.


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