Sunday, September 27, 2020

Immigration Police sue Twitter user for making false claim

Sep 15. 2020
Pol Lt-General Sompong Chingduang
Pol Lt-General Sompong Chingduang
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By THE NATION

Immigration Police is suing a Twitter user for falsely claiming that foreigners are allowed to enter Thailand via Suvarnabhumi Airport without having to undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Immigration Police chief Pol Lt-General Sompong Chingduang said on Tuesday (September 15) that he has had the 2nd Immigration Police Division file a lawsuit against the Twitter user for spreading false information that may affect the operation of his department.

The Twitter user had tweeted that they had visited the airport on September 10 and seen that more than 80 per cent of incoming passengers were medical tourists and they were allowed to enter the country without undergoing quarantine, which is mandatory for everybody who lands in the country to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Pol Colonel Chuengron Rimphadee, deputy chief of the 2nd Immigration Police Division, said it was mandatory for all medical tourists to undergo quarantine at their specified hospitals.

“All travellers also have to inform immigration officials of their travel history and present a fit-to-fly document from the Thai embassy in their respective country upon arrival,” he said.

The deputy chief added that from April 4 to September 13, more than 49,000 Thais have returned home, while only 12,000 foreigners have entered the country between July 1 and September 13. Hence, he said, the claim that 80 per cent of incoming passengers are foreigners is wrong, as foreigners only accounted for 24 per cent of total arrivals.

“Of the 12,000 foreigners, 367 were medical tourists,” he said. “On September 10, our records show that 690 Thais and 479 foreigners entered the country, and only 10 said they were here for medical treatment.

“The social-media poster may not understand the immigration procedures or may have simply posted the comment for fun. However, messages like this can cause panic and affect people’s confidence in public health and immigration systems, therefore suing this person is necessary,” he added.

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