Russian mafia suspects rounded up, mostly in Pattaya

Pol Lt Gen Nathathorn Prousoonthorn (right) talks to Aleksandr Danilov from Russia during a press briefing on Monday at the Immigration Bureau. Other foreigners shown at the event are (from left) Amine Chanekar from Morocco, and two Russians -- Anton Filippov and Mikhail Kriventsov. (Photo by Pawat Laopaisarntaksin)

Four Russians suspected to be mafia gang members have been arrested by police who charged them with illegally staying in the country.

They were among 14 foreigners caught in separate anti-crime operations orchestrated by the Immigration Bureau. Others included two more Russians, one Ukrainian, one Belarusian, four Uzbeks, one Morrocan and one Iranian.

Most were nabbed in Pattaya and the bureau made the announcement at a briefing on Monday.

The four Russians were Sergei Mareev, Aleksandr Danilov, Mikhail Kriventstov and Anton Filippov.

Immigration Bureau commissioner Pol Lt Gen Nathathorn Prousoonthorn said they were mafia member suspects and wanted under warrants issued by their governments or Interpol.

Mr Mareev was arrested in Pattaya on Feb 19 after several entries into Thailand, the latest on Dec 30 last year through Nong Khai from Laos.

Russian police allegedly wanted him on theft charges and he was charged with overstaying in the country as his visa allowed him to be in Thailand until Feb 27.

The bureau also wrote in a chart during the meeting that Mr Mareev had a "serious disease".

Mr Danilov was wanted by Interpol on narcotics charges and was arrested in Pattaya, according to Pol Lt Gen Nathathorn.

He illegally stayed in Thailand far beyond the visa, which expired on May 29, 2012, he added.

Hunted by Interpol on drug charges, Mr Kriventsov was arrested in Loei after his latest entry from Laos through the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge in Nong Khai on Sept 18, 2015 and stayed beyond the expiration date of his visa on June 11 last year.

He fled authorities from Pattaya to the northeastern province, the immigration chief said.

Mr Mareev fled Russia after he was sentenced in a financial case. He took eight trips across Thai borders, the last one on Feb 1 this year.

The bureau revoked his visa after it expired at the end of  April. Russian authorities issued an arrest warrant for him.

Others were charged with illegally working in the country or overstaying.

Under Thai law, they will be deported from the kingdom.

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