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Thai immigration to examine foreigner’s bank accounts

Sophon Cable TV has reported that immigration agents in Pattaya are being taught how to examine foreigner’s bank accounts for what they are calling ‘financial irregularities.’

This week hundreds of officers attended a training seminar in the city designed to show them how to detect what had been described as ‘money laundering.’

In theory, this means discovering bank accounts concealing funds that cannot be explained and may have been accrued through illegal activities.

Although, in reality, it seems officers are attempting to put a stop to agents who arrange long-term retirement visas for foreigners by declaring funds held in a proxy account that do NOT belong to the applicant.

The training seminar was held in Bang Lamung and presented by Lt-Gen Suwat Chaengyortsuk.

Sophon Cable TV themselves said that the seminar was an attempt to ‘increase the efficiency of officers and show them what measures are available under the current immigration law.

The initiative was described as ‘ongoing’ with technical improvements being added in the future.

Is anybody really comfortable with Thai immigration officers having free and easy access to their bank accounts, especially at a time when it is being demanded that a minimum of Bt800,000 must be held in foreign-owned accounts at all times?

What could possibly go wrong – and were is this leading?