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"Influential" Nigerian man arrested for overstaying visa by nine months in Thailand

Police have arrested a 35-year-old Nigerian man, Benjamin Chiemelie Ene, on the tourist island of Koh Phangan, Surat Thani Province, for overstaying his visa by nine months. 

Pol Lt Col Winit Bunchit of the Tourist Police in a statement on Saturday, June 1, 2024, said officers were acting on complaints from local residents that a foreigner claiming to be an influential person from Nigeria was asking for free food and accommodation.

When police located the suspect he tried to run away, but they pursued and arrested him

Officers found that Ene had overstayed his visa by 276 days. 

He was taken to the Koh Phangan police station for further legal action.

The fine for a visa overstay is 500 baht per day, up to a maximum of 20,000 baht.

Meanwhile, residents of Koh Phangan expressed relief following Ene’s arrest, as they claimed his behaviour had caused significant concern in the local community. 

Many local businesses said they were wary of his intimidating tactics, particularly his assertions of possessing influential connections in Nigeria to gain free services.

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