Officers moved over visa scam

Two senior Immigration Police officers have been moved to police headquarters permanently after an investigation found them linked to an alleged visa scam.

National police chief Adul Saengsingkaew on Thursday transferred Pol Maj Gen Kriengsak Arunsrisophon, chief of the bureau's Division 3, and Theerachai Detkhad, chief of the Sa Kaeo office, to the main office.

Pol Col Theerachai had worked as an aide to the police commander before moving to the Immigration Bureau.

A source in the bureau said an internal investigation found grounds that the two officers could have been involved in colluding with a company that illegally arranged visas for foreigners.

The investigation began after the company, which was not named, claimed on its website that it could arrange visa renewals for foreigners with no need to go out of the country, charging 6,000 baht to the holders.

Foreigners have to leave the country to renew their visas at Thai consulates, with Vientiane and Penang among the most popular destinations.

The source said the police chief belikeved the two officers had seriously abused their authority as the issue posed a potential national threat.

Division 3 has responsibility for 15 central provinces including Sa Kaeo.

Pol Lt Gen Pharnu Kerdlarpphon, the Immigration Bureau commissioner, said on Friday that Pol Maj Gen Chisanupong Yooktatath, one of his deputies, had been named acting chief of Division 3. Pol Col Manas Sriwongsa was moved from the division to head the Sa Kaeo office.

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