Cops nab 14 in crackdown on foreign criminals

Detainees involved in 'dark side of tourism'

Three Russian men and one Moroccan national are detained in a crackdown on mafia-type foreigners led by the Immigration Police Bureau in Pattaya. FROM LEFT Moroccan national Amine Chanekar, Anton Filippov, Mikhail Kriventsov, and Aleksandr Danilov. Pawat Laopaisarntaksin

The Immigration Bureau rounded up 14 foreign nationals yesterday on various charges in a sweeping crackdown on suspected foreign criminals turning Chon Buri's Pattaya into a criminal hub.

The arrests of the suspects -- six from Russia, four from Uzbekistan, and one each from Ukraine, Belarus, Morocco and Iran -- were made as authorities were looking into complaints by residents and tourists that they were being extorted and threatened by foreigners.

Pol Lt Gen Nathathorn Prousoontorn, the bureau commissioner, said the suspects were not only working illegally, they were also allegedly involved in the "dark" side of the tourism industry ranging from the procurement of prostitutes to drug-dealing.

He said many of them had overstayed their visas and those who did not would have their visas revoked by the immigration authorities following the arrests.

Of these suspects, some are wanted by Interpol and law enforcement officers in their own countries on financial crimes and narcotic-related charges, he said. Among them are Russian nationals Aleksandr Danilov, Mikhail Kriventsov, Anton Filippov, and Sergei Mareev.

According to Pol Lt Gen Nathathorn, Mr Danilov is involved in a drug ring in Pattaya and has men working for him. Mr Danilov's visa expired in May 2012.

The suspect also allegedly admitted he had been arrested on drug charges in his home country before he fled here. He reportedly travelled between Pattaya and the resort island of Phuket.

Pol Lt Gen Nathathorn said the arrest of Mr Kriventsov, also wanted by Interpol on charges of narcotics distribution, followed a tip-off from the Russian embassy.

He said the suspect was arrested in Loei after he got wind of the crackdown. The suspect last entered Thailand on Sept 18, 2015 via a checkpoint in Nong Khai and his visa expired in June last year.

The commissioner said Mr Filippov is wanted by Russia for "failing to comply with a court order" and the Russian authorities have recently revoked his passport.

Mr Filippov entered the country via Suvarnabhumi airport on Feb 1 this year and was granted a visa until April 30 this year.

However, immigration authorities decided to revoke his visa following the arrest.

Pol Lt Gen Nathathorn said Mr Mareev, who is wanted by both Russian authorities and Interpol, was arrested in a sting operation after police learned he used a chat application to lure women to have sex with him.

The man was detained for questioning when he turned up at a meeting venue. Police also found large amounts of medicine in his possession.

According to the commissioner, the suspect entered Thailand via a checkpoint in Nong Khai in late December last year with a 60-day tourist visa.

The man also allegedly told police that he is HIV-positive.

Back to top