Thailand deports six Chinese beggars

By Hoang Vu   November 28, 2023 | 03:58 am PT
Thailand deports six Chinese beggars
Tourists shop for street foods ahead of Lunar New Year celebrations in Bangkok's Chinatown, Thailand, Jan. 19, 2023. Photo by Reuters
Thailand authorities said six Chinese visitors who were recently arrested for street begging in Bangkok have been deported, a top immigration official confirmed.

Panthana Nutchanart, deputy commissioner of the Immigration Bureau, told a press meet on Monday that they admitted to entering Thailand voluntarily after learning begging in the capital of Bangkok could earn them up to 10,000 baht a day, Bangkok Post reported.

The bureau said the Chinese beggars previously solicited money in other Southeast Asian countries like Singapore and Malaysia and decided to try their luck in Thailand. Begging is considered illegal in Thailand.

The group was arrested between Nov. 10 and 20 while asking for money in tourist-crowded areas in Bangkok and have been banned from returning to Thailand for 10 years.

The country last month started granting visa-free entry for Chinese tourists and industry insiders worried the Chinese beggars would take advantage of the government's visa-free scheme to operate in Thailand.

Thai police pledged to carefully check Chinese visitors with facial and body disfiguration as some had come there with the intention of begging on the streets, according to the Metropolitan Police Bureau.

Thailand has begun a major crackdown on foreign beggars. In recent crackdowns in Chon Buri, Chiang Mai and Phuket, police arrested 27 Cambodian, two Chinese, two Myanmar and two Russian nationals who are all set for deportation.

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