Thai police, on Thursday, arrested a 25-year-old UK national, Mr Jabran Elahi, in Ko Phangan for leading a tour without a work permit. The tour, part of an 18-day excursion by Thai Intro, was halted. Mr Elahi now faces a spell in detention, fines and deportation.

Thai police on Thursday smashed a small online firm aimed at providing tours of the kingdom to tourists. A 25-year-old UK national leading a party of foreign tourists was taken into custody at a hotel in Ko Phangan. The resort hotel was being used by the tourist party in the middle of an 18-day excursion. This had begun days earlier in Bangkok as part of an online service called Thai Intro. Tourist police on the island confirmed that Mr Jabran Elahi had been detained. In brief, he was charged with working as a tour guide without a work permit. The foreign national now faces deportation from Thailand.

Tourism and Immigration police confront Mr Jabran Elahi on Thursday. He was arrested at the Sarana Bungalows Hotel in Ban Tai Subdistrict in Ko Phangan. The UK entrepreneur was a third of the way through his 18-day tour for international visitors to Thailand, doing a circuit of the country. The tours were marketed through his website Thai Intro.

An 18-day tour for foreign tourists in Thailand was rudely interrupted on Thursday when the tour leader was arrested by police in Ko Phangan.

The idyllic island is a key attraction for visitors to Thailand, being home to the famous ‘Full Moon Party’.

In short, it is renowned for its wild beauty and laid-back lifestyle.

In particular, it is a firm favourite with younger twenty-something ‘backpacker’ tourists to the country.

However, in recent months it has seen a large parade of foreigners arrested for breaking the kingdom’s strict labour laws.

UK man taken into custody at a local resort hotel while leading a holiday tour of foreign tourists on an 18-day excursion for travellers around the country

On Thursday, the person taken into custody was a UK national identified by police as Mr Jabran Elahi.

Police located him acting as a tour leader or guide of a holiday group. At length, he was taken into custody at the Sarana Bungalows Hotel where the tour group was staying.

This is located in Ban Tai Subdistrict, Ko Phangan District, Surat Thani Province.

Indeed, Mr Elahi was not just a foreigner seeking casual work.

The enterprising 25-year-old had established a website called Thai Intro.

In brief, it offered planned trips within Thailand ranging from 9 to 12 or 18-day excursions.

For instance, on Thursday, the tour party was on days 5-8 of the tour on Ko Phangan.

Previously, they were in Khao Sok in Surat Thani, an area of unrivalled natural beauty. Before that, the tour party had spent three days in Bangkok.

Carefully planned itinerary and experience over 9, 12 and 18-day periods offered by the UK man’s foreign tourism enterprise aimed at international tourists

Indeed, their three-day visit to Ko Phangan included a massage on the beach, a barbecue, and a bonfire party.

Following this, there was a Muay Thai event on the third day.

The package included lunch and dinner for all foreign tourists.

Nevertheless, on Thursday, all Immigration officers and local police were concerned about was gathering evidence. Mr Elahi faces prosecution under a legal provision introduced in 2017.

The then-junta government introduced the Emergency Decree on the Administration of Foreigners’ Work 2017.

In effect, Mr Elahi is guilty of illegally working as a tour guide. In addition, he was also found working without a work permit.

Consequently, he faces deportation and being barred from applying for a work permit for 2 years. 

UK man faces being detained at the infamous Immigration Detention Centre (IDC). Even with money, it can take time to be released from here and deported

The concern for the young UK national is he presently faces imprisonment at the Immigration Detention Centre (IDC). The infamous facility is located in the Sathon area of Bangkok.

Visitors warned of the deadly danger of working in Thailand without a proper visa and valid work permit 

This overcrowded prison in central Bangkok is notoriously difficult for foreigners to extricate themselves from, even with the necessary funds to pay for a fully-priced ticket for a flight home.

At the same time, Mr Elahi will face a fine of between ฿5,000 to ฿50,000.

Tourist police in Ko Phangan told reporters that they received a tip-off about the UK national.

He was reported to be conducting himself as a tour guide.

UK man questioned at Ko Phangan Police Station

Police learned that the UK entrepreneur had hired two silver vans to ferry his guests around the island.

Mr Elahi followed a strictly defined itinerary and visited a number of locations, including the Chinarat Boxing Stadium.

Police understood that the UK man had been working on his foreign tourism enterprise for just over a week before his arrest.

In the meantime, police noted the schedule and dates from his website as evidence in the case.

The tours advertised on the website Thai Intro were marketed by a firm called Intro Travel Co. Ltd. The 18-day tour package cost £1,499. In short, approximately ฿70,000.

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Following his arrest, Mr Elahi was taken initially to Ko Phangan Police Station. Under questioning, he admitted the charges laid against him.

Police confirmed the charges as ‘being a foreign person working as a tour guide without permission.’ In addition, he was charged with ‘being a foreign person working without a work permit.’

In the meantime, it is not known what happened to Mr Elahi’s foreign tourist party on Ko Phangan.

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