Immigration Bureau today issued an order forbidding immigration police at all border checkpoints to demand tea money from tourists, with warning that violator will face dismissal.
The order came after the bureau commissioner Pol Lt-Gen Nattathorn Prohsunthorn led a team of immigration police from the Immigration Bureau 6 based in Songkhla to inspect the Sadao immigration checkpoint in a fact-finding mission following complaints that tea money was collected from tourists to facilitate their entries to Thailand from Malaysia.
He ordered the relocation of the problem immigration checkpoint to the new office building while also ordered the installation of more CCTV cameras to monitor the working of immigration police closely.
Moreover, posters forbidding the collection of entry fee during official hours were also displayed at all passport stamp counters.
But for entry after official hours, the immigration Law 2522 allows collection fee of 5 baht for a visitor and 25 baht for a car.
After the field inspection of immigration police at the Songkhla border checkpoints, the commissioner said he also ordered the deployment of automated passport control system similar to the system at Suvarnabhumi international airport at the Sadao immigration checkpoint by the end of the year to speed up immigration process and stop the problem of illegal fee collection.
He added a central investigation committee has been appointed to look into the tea money collection at Sadao checkpoint.
He said if investigation finds any official guilty, they will be dismissed.
He added so far four police at Sadao checkpoint had been transferred to facilitate the Investigation.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)