Brazen Norwegian arrested by Immigration police trying to enter Thailand with forged documents
Norwegian man underestimated the Certificate of Entry system and entry security protocols when he presented forged paperwork at Suvarnabhumi airport to alert Immigration Bureau officers thus committed a serious criminal offence.
A young Norwegian who arrived at Suvarnabhumi airport and attempted to enter Thailand at an Immigration Bureau checkpoint with a fake Certificate of Entry document has been caught red-handed and is facing criminal prosecution.
A Norwegian was arrested on January 16th after he attempted to enter Thailand using a forged Certificate of Entry documents which he presented to Immigration Bureau officers at Suvarnabhumi airport.
The man, who appeared to be in his twenties, well dressed and sporting numerous tattoos, immediately set off alarm bells with sceptical officers when he presented the document complete with a stamp, suggesting that he was cleared to enter the kingdom on the 16th of January and that he was staying at a hotel on Sukhumvit Soi 57 as part of the Alternative State Quarantine scheme which is mandatory for all foreign travellers since the first half of last year.
Norwegian claimed to be visiting his Thai girlfriend
Immigration Bureau officers reported that the reason given for his illegal journey to Thailand was to visit his Thai girlfriend.
The security protocols for entry the kingdom because of the Covid-19 emergency meant that his gambit was sure to fail. The man has not yet been formally identified at this point.
After checking with the Thai Embassy in Oslo, the border control officers at the Immigration desk quickly verified that the documentation being presented was a forgery and arrested the Norwegian national on associated offences.
He was later handed over to Airport Police for detention.
News was made public on Immigration Bureau update on arrests and seizures at Suvarnabhumi airport
The news came to light in a presentation by the Immigration Bureau on recent interceptions and arrests at the facility.
The Norwegian, as well as facing criminal prosecution here and possible jail time for presenting a false instrument to state officials, will also find that because of his conviction, he will be placed on a blacklist prohibiting entry to Thailand in the future.
Since the onset of the pandemic and the closure of its borders, Thailand has instituted a strict and quite expensive process that has allowed thousands of foreign travellers, every month, to access the kingdom based on a Certificate of Entry process.
Certificate of Entry process is coordinated with the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bangkok and Thai embassies worldwide to confirm compliance
Users in each country of origin must show that they have satisfied all the entry criteria such as insurance cover and Covid-19 tests in addition to having booked and paid for a 14-day quarantine stay within the Alternative State Quarantine system.
The process is designed for those with connections to the kingdom or those who are willing to comply with the strict and expensive criteria to travel to Thailand on a range of special visas including the Special Tourist Visa which offers an extended stay.
The process starts with applying for a Certificate of Entry through a website operated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bangkok in coordination with Thai Embassies in countries of origin.
Only 0.17% of last year’s visitor numbers
The system and the Alternative State Quarantine process have become quite well-coordinated and indeed such an approach is now being adopted in the United Kingdom nearly eight months after Thailand.
The problem for the country, of course, is that these visitors do not represent Thailand’s normal foreign tourism market.
Figures from December last, a peak season month, showed the number of tourists entering Thailand was at only 0.17% of the level achieved the year previously.