Hungarian fugitive captured in Pattaya after being granted long-term visa

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A Hungarian fugitive granted a lengthy visa by Chonburi Immigration officers was arrested and deported by the same officers after the Hungarian Embassy told them he was wanted on two arrest warrants back home.

Lajos Czegledi, 47, was taken into custody Feb. 24 while walking on Jomtien Beach. A Kanchanaburi resident, Czegledi was vacationing in Pattaya.

Czegledi is wanted on two 2011 arrest warrants issued in the Hungarian cities of Budapest and Benkechaba for fraud and tax evasion totaling the equivalent of 40 million baht.

Lajos Czegledi (right) signs documents acknowledging he is being arrested.Lajos Czegledi (right) signs documents acknowledging he is being arrested.

His warrants didn’t stop him from getting long-term permission to stay in Thailand from the same office that eventually arrested him, however.

Czegledi arrived in Thailand on Feb. 1, 2013 on a 90-day visa granted at the Luek Pass border crossing in Sa Kaeo Province border crossing.

He was then granted a new six-month visa in April 2014 at the Chonburi Immigration Office, allowing him to stay until Nov. 1.

Since then, the Hungarian embassy informed immigration of their error and police have been looking for him since. Once he arrived back in Pattaya, they captured the fugitive and deported him home to face charges.

His arrest marks the second time in less than a month that an internationally wanted fugitive had been arrested in Pattaya after being granted a long-term visa by the Chonburi Immigration Office.

On Jan. 30, Russian Maksin Savintcev, 35, was arrested on a warrant for a 100 million baht fraud scheme in his home country. His student visa granted in April 2014 had been extended by Chonburi officials for a year before they were informed he was on the run from Russian police.