Immigration chief vows crackdown on foreign peddlers

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The head of Thailand’s Immigration Division promised action against foreign street hawkers nationwide, noting that more work needs to be done, even in Pattaya, where a crackdown is in progress.

The head of Thailand’s Immigration Division promised action against foreign street hawkers nationwide, noting that more work needs to be done, even in Pattaya, where a crackdown is in progress.
The head of Thailand’s Immigration Division promised action against foreign street hawkers nationwide, noting that more work needs to be done, even in Pattaya, where a crackdown is in progress.

Immigration commissioner Pol. Lt. Gen. Nathathorn Prousoonthorn chaired a division-wide meeting at the Long Beach Garden Hotel and Spa Sept. 17.

He said street vendors and peddlers hailing from Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar remain a problem in Thailand, despite efforts to eliminate them.

He said a full crackdown must be conducted to solve the issue, especially in popular tourist destinations. Immigration offices must cooperate with the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security to monitor foreign workers and determine whether they should be jailed or deported, Nathathorn added.

The commissioner noted that Pattaya has been working to phase out street vendors for more than a month. While most of the hawkers affected are Thai, many foreign sellers also were swept off the streets.

However, he said, the fact illegal aliens continue to be caught in Pattaya indicates there is more work to be done, especially as there is evidence the foreign hawkers are being directed by a Thai. That implies human trafficking, which must be investigated, Nathathorn said.