Bangkok airports scam alert issued by the Immigration Bureau. Beware of fast-track promises, they are a fraud. Immigration busts fake VIP offers. No fast lane for cash. Incoming travellers by air must be wary or else risk losing money.

Immigration Bureau police in Bangkok have warned travellers not to be deceived by a series of dishonest online advertisements. In short, fast-track services are being advertised offering expedited clearance through Immigration points at the capital’s busy airports. The service comes as part of an exclusive chauffeured VIP service on arrival in the Thai capital.

Police Major General Cherngron Rimpadee, commander of Immigration Division 2, issued the warning about the fake advertising on Wednesday last. He clarified that there is no commercial option allowing travellers to circumvent immigration clearance, which, in any event, only takes 15 minutes.

Senior police in Bangkok have issued a scam warning to incoming tourists or travellers to the capital. The warning applies to those flying into both Don Mueang Airport and the country’s largest flight point, Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok.

Immigration officers issued the stern warning to tourists on Wednesday last.

It asks incoming passengers to beware of fake pages which promise expedited immigration services.

The cautionary note comes after reports of a scam advertising fast-track access through immigration channels for a fee of ฿2,900.

Top Immigration Bureau police chief warns the service being advertised is a scam as this sort of service, reserved for exclusive groups, cannot be bought

Police Major General Cherngron Rimpadee, commander of Immigration Division 2, disclosed that a luxury car rental page named ‘Rich Cars Bangkok’ recently advertised such a service.

However, upon investigation, it was confirmed as a false claim. Major General Cherngron emphasised that no such service exists at Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports.

He clarified that during peak flight periods, waiting times at Suvarnabhumi Airport’s immigration hall are typically no longer than 15 minutes, rendering paid-for fast-track services unnecessary. 

Nonetheless, special immigration channels do exist.

These are designated solely for specific groups, such as disabled passengers, young children, the elderly, and diplomatic officials.

Only real commercial option is the exclusive Elite long-term multiple entry visa starting at ฿900,000, used by wealthy foreigners, expats and residents

In addition, there are also special privileges reserved for Elite visa holders flying into Thailand.

These are long-term visas which can be purchased. The visa is popular among affluent foreigners, investors and long-standing residents in the kingdom. This is a long day multiple-entry visa with special privileges.

The cost varies from ฿900,000 up to ฿5 million, the latter being a package by invitation only. Basically, it offers a 20-year multiple-entry visa with a range of perks.

Regarding departures, the Fasttrack channel mentioned in the advertisement at Suvarnabhumi Airport also exists. 

However, it is limited to a key cohort of travellers. In short, it is intended for business class passengers, smart visa holders, disabled individuals, elderly passengers, and crew members. 

Nevertheless, it is unrelated to immigration channels and only expedites access to the baggage screening point.

Immigration Bureau warning aims at saving flyers money

The Immigration Bureau cautioned against believing false information that could lead to financial loss.

An investigation into this and other potentially fraudulent pages is ongoing, with legal action to follow.

The bureau stressed its commitment to enhancing operational efficiency in line with government directives.

This includes increasing staff and streamlining procedures to expedite passport inspections. No special channels are required for immigration processing, contrary to the deceptive claims being made by the fraudsters.

Thailand faces an uphill struggle to become the aviation hub it once was before the pandemic era

In conclusion, tourists are urged to exercise caution. All travellers should verify information from official sources to avoid falling victim to scams.

Certainly, this is the case for offers promising expedited immigration services for a fee.

The Immigration Bureau remains vigilant in combating fraudulent activities and ensuring the integrity of immigration processes at Thai airports.

Top officials remain on high alert since the January 2023 scandal of elite police officers offering motorcycle escorts and motorcade services to VIP travellers

Undoubtedly, Thai authorities have been sensitive about VIP-type services since a January 2023 exposé. In brief, this revealed a clique of top police officers were found offering motorcade escorts.

In addition, they also managed to have their customers cleared quickly through immigration lines.

Previously, a group of elite police officers were found offering such services. These included a limousine service with a police motorcycle escort from Suvarnabhumi Airport into Bangkok and afterwards, on to Pattaya.

Viral Chinese video says VIP arrival with a police escort can be bought when holidaying in Thailand
Confidence and trust in Thailand damaged by Chinese VIP tourist services advertised online

One officer found involved in the racket was attached to the police escort assigned to Thailand’s former Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Latest offer appears to be just a scam advertisement

In contrast, these latest offers appear to be imitative rip-offs of the original service which was afterwards suppressed. 

However, the service appeared to be popular with Chinese tourists.

Unfortunately for the police officers involved, the Chinese customers were so delighted they posted video clips online. The policemen in turn faced disciplinary action.

In short, the videos subsequently went viral exposing the affair.

Initially, police looking into these new advertisements have linked them to business concerns offering limousine hire services in Bangkok.

Indeed, many genuine firms offer such services which are in constant demand, in particular after long-haul flights.

Join the Thai News forum, follow Thai Examiner on Facebook here
Receive all our stories as they come out on Telegram here
Follow Thai Examiner here

Further reading:

New self-service immigration exits twice as fast and allow for tighter incoming security checks at airport

Airports move to drive traffic with self-service for outbound travellers from December 15th

Thailand brings in elephant patrols to protect tourists in Ayutthaya as visitor numbers fall

Move to boost tourism sector with worrying signals near the start of the country’s high season

Tourism fee fund to be fast-tracked after payouts to families in the Siam Paragon mass shooting

New Tourism minister gung ho that 2019 records can be smashed in 2024 despite falling spends

Tourism to recover two-thirds of its 2019 income in 2023 with good news for Srettha on exports