Overstayers to face stiff re-entry ban in Thailand

Bangkok, Oct 26 (IANS) Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has been asked to issue a ban on foreigners found guilty of overstaying in Thailand from re-entering the country for one to 10 years, the media reported on Monday.

The move is aimed at cutting the number of illegal migrants by 80 percent, down from the current number of overstayers estimated at 800,000 people, The Bangkok Post reported.

Immigration Bureau chief Nathathorn Prousoontorn said in cases of overstaying of more than 90 days to one year, the ban from re-entering will be one year. In cases of overstaying between more than one year and three years, the ban will be three years, while those found guilty of overstaying between more than three years and five years will face a ban of five years.

For those found guilty of overstaying more than five years, the ban will be for 10 years.

However, under the present law, after being deported to their countries of origin, those illegal migrants can still return to Thailand again, the chief said.

In a crackdown over the past week, 9,265 foreign suspects were arrested, 97.5 percent were accused of violating the immigration law by overstaying. Of this number, only 18 people were detained on other criminal charges.

A vast majority of the detained suspects were African people, Nathathorn said.

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