Thai immigration refutes Malaysian media report on proof of cash

BANGKOK: Thai Immigration Police have refuted a media report in Malaysia alleging that its officers had barred Malaysian travellers from entering the kingdom because they did not have at least 10,000 baht (about RM1,240) in their possession.

Its Songkla acting chief, Col Chutareth Yingyongdumrongsakul said that to his knowledge, no Malaysian travellers at the immigration checkpoints in southern Thailand were asked to show their money to prove their financial ability before being allowed to enter the country.

"During the new year period, I was at the checkpoint everyday and I did not see any Malaysian being asked to show their cash. They (officers) only stamped their arrival, no one asked the Malaysian travellers to show their money," he told Bernama when contacted today.

Chutareth who assumed his current post about a month ago, also expressed surprise over the Malaysian media report.

However, he clarified that according to the country's immigration law, travellers who intend to enter Thailand must prove their ability to financially sustain themselves throughout the duration of their stay in the kingdom.

The law was enforced randomly on all travellers from all countries, he said.

"The law is to prevent some travellers who intend to work illegally in Thailand. The immigration officers only randomly check (asking the visitors to show their travellers cheques or cash, indicating their financial ability) from certain target countries," he said.

The media report in Malaysia quoted a blog posting on Malaysians complaining they were denied entry into the kingdom because they did not have an adequate amount of money with them.

About three million Malaysians visited Thailand last year, mostly via the land border. — Bernama