The Thai Immigration police officers have been quietly cancelling visas of foreigners in the country who are involved in court actions.
And in one case a foreigner was deported having to leave a series of properties behind despite being acquitted of a charge of assault against another of another foreigner.
He claims police demanded first 500,000 baht to solve his problems. He refused.
The new immigration ‘rules’ which do not appear to have been widely published allow a massive opportunity for abuse.
In two known cases foreigners have had their immigration status removed after action was taken against them under the Computer Crimes Act.
This leaves all foreigners totally vulnerable from pensioners to journalists; and foreigners who have invested in Thailand could lose everything they possess.
The worst case so far discovered is of an Australian, Mr. A, who had settled in Thailand with his Thai wife and who ran a successful tourism business and also built several houses.
He had an argument with his German neighbour which ended in a fight. The German claimed he had received a fractured rib but failed to produce an x-ray as proof.
The Australian completely denied the charges but claims local police on Phuket demanded 500,000 baht to solve his problems or he would be deported. He believes the German paid police to take action against him.
The case went to court and the Australian was found not guilty.
But when he went to renew his visa after the military took over it was refused on the grounds he was a danger to public safety and he was deported having to leave all his property behind. He is currently trying to rectify the problem.
The police involved are the same police linked to a Irishman Colin Vard who was robbed of six houses on the holiday island of Phuket. Mr.Vard is under DSI witness protection. There was a stand-off between Phuket and Surat Thani Police (Region 8) over his case.
A second case involved a school-teacher, who was involved in a dispute with a foreigner who sued him under the Computer Crime Act for libel. He too has been told his permit as a teacher has been revoked and he has to apply for a visa to attend court. These visas have to be renewed after each court hearing.
There is no presumption of innocence in Thailand’s laws which are a godsend to foreign fraudsters.
Fraudsters merely have to issue summonses under the Computer Crimes Act if they are publicly accused and then sit back as the laws takes over.
Another person who has had his visa withdrawn – as he is in dispute with a foreign property developer whom he described as a crook or words to that effect – is a 69-year-old British pensioner who bought property here. He has asked for anonymity. But Mr. C was not without his sense of humor.
“I am on a visa to attend court. What I said was true. Anyway this means I do not have to show the immigration authorities I have 800,000 in the bank any more.“
|Alan and Chutima|
The most public case is that of journalist Alan Morison, of Phuketwan, who is being taken to court with Chutima Sidasathian by the Royal Thai Navy under the Computer Crime Act for carrying 41 words from a Reuters report critical of the Thai Navy’s action relating to the trafficking of the Rohynga minority of Burma.
Alan Morison is a hostage to the Thai criminal system. Whatever the verdict he apparently still could be deported if he is treated like the other Australian. That will mean the closure of the Phuketwan website which has established a good name among the mainstream foreign media and local alike.
But worse he has been treated like a criminal in Thailand while global opinion indicates who the real criminals are.
All in all it would appear that Thailand’s military government is not as benevolent as some people are led to believe. A report in the Bangkok Post today by Sanitsuda Ekachai headlined: Martial Law – A nightmare for the Have-Nots’ highlights how poor people are being railroaded nationwide – for military profit.
And the Asia Sentinel is scathing about Thailand’s new laws to spy on its own people.
“Civil rights organizations have complained that the current law, the Computer Crimes Act of 2007, is vague enough to be used against freedom of speech activists and opponents of the government virtually at official whim. Penalties can range as high as 15 years. From 2007 to 2010 the law was used to put more than 110,000 websites out of business.”
A report in the Diplomat is headed simply: “The US Needs to Get Tough with Thailand”.
Comment: Andrew Drummond writes:
Immigration police also pulled this one on me last year. At the request of One-Stop-Services the office of Drew Noyes in Pattaya, Immigration would not give me a visa attached to my PRD card which accredited me in Thailand as a journalist until November 2015. I had to leave Thailand anyway, not least because police and army were assisting the foreign criminals I was writing about and an issue suddenly put me and my family in danger. But no foreign correspondent should put up with such preposterous rubbish.
My crime was apparently to call #DavidHanks former owner of the Masquerades brothel in Melbourne a former pimp, or at least I allowed a poster on my site to do so. This case is being appealed, but the methodology of the judgment against me was quite crass. In legal terms in Australia Mr.Hanks was indeed a pimp. This appeared on an English language website registered in the UK and hosted by Google in the US. The word pimp was translated to ‘maeng da’ – horseshoe crab – in Thai and is an insulting expression (not that the word pimp is not – but it is a legal occupation in Victoria, Australia. So I was found guilty in a Thai court of using a word I did not use, mistranlated from English on a foreign website. I would say it does not get more stupid, but it does.
So long as the military and police in Thailand side with the low-lives it’s no place for foreign journalists. All anybody needs to do now go get rid of a foreign journalist is to take a case against him. The plaintiff does not even need to win! And in my case the plaintiffs have already lost several cases.
I am being sued by #BrianGoudie, a fake British lawyer, who was jailed in Australia for six year for theft, #DrewNoyes, a fake American lawyer, who was exposed by a newspaper in the United States for property and share fraud and sexual harassment, and who has been convicted and sentenced to two years in Thailand for extortion, and #DavidHanks, the former pimp for calling him a former pimp. Goudie should not be in Thailand at all under Immigration Laws and all of these people run nominee companies and consistently fail to declare tax.
The farcical aspect of my cases is that the plaintiff s are suing over not what I have written but the lampooning photographs I have published. Thus as an example the Thai judicial system has allowed a prosecution of me for publishing this picture (right).
Brian Goudie has falsely claimed to be a British barrister working in Thailand and of course is a convicted criminal.
This speaks a lot for the level of policing and the justice system.
But its not all grim. One complainant told me, and I am not sure whether this was tongue in cheek: “Look at this way. If I go and punch someone I don’t like and he takes a case against me, I get a free going to court visa. It would be best I lost because then I would get a free visa while I am on appeal.
Better still if I win I could encourage the victim to appeal. Then if I lost that I could then appeal to the Supreme Court.
“That would give me ten tax free years in Thailand. As I do not have a work visa, how could I pay tax?”
At the moment we are still trying to establish whether this is selective or right across the board.