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Do you really want to invest in Thailand after reading this?

This is a really sad but true story that is in some ways connected to my friend destiny in Pattaya. But this story has a twist. His employees/partners are cheating on him with the help of the immigration officer in Phuket. This was the main reason why I left Phuket a few years ago that you are so easy to target in a small town. You have a much bigger chance to get your voice heard in Bangkok if you are mistreated by the Police and others.

Read and learn from the story it might be you next time and please don’t give me the it never happened to me talk.


German to be deported over no work permit

PHUKET CITY: German architect Frank Witzel is awaiting deportation following his arrest on June 22 by Immigration officials. He had been arrested in February as well, for working without a work permit while on a building site in Patong, and for performing work prohibited to foreigners.

Witzel had pleaded guilty to the charges in court in February. He was fined 1,000 baht and handed a one-month jail sentence, which was suspended for two years.

Witzel explained to the Gazette that the events that led to his deportation began with his company, Modern Architecture & Design, and its Patong View Talay project on a Patong hillside.

The project, built on land that Witzel owned on the hill opposite the Esso gas station on Phra Barami Rd, consists of 14 apartments priced from 4.2 million to 18.6 million baht.

Witzel, 52, had designed the project, but when it came time to renew his work permit at the beginning of this year, he ran into problems. He first tried to go to the Phuket Provincial Labor Office to renew the permit, he said, but it was closed due to a holiday.

He said that when he returned, he was told that the work permit had expired on the holiday that the office was closed, and that he would have to apply for a new permit.

He relayed the information to his staff, who failed to submit the application, he said.

On February 3, he was asked to go to the construction site by his development partner to answer questions about where pipes should be laid. At first Witzel declined since he had no work permit, he said. But his partner assured him it would be a fast job, so he drove out to the site.

Once there, he pointed out where the pipes should be laid, but suddenly found himself confronted by Immigration officers who had driven out to the site to do a “spot inspection”. Unable to produce his work permit, Witzel was taken to the Immigration Office in Phuket City and charged with working without a permit.

He was also charged with performing work prohibited to foreigners – specifically, working as an engineer and architect.

Witzel faced a penalty of a 2,000-baht fine and two months in jail, but when he pleaded guilty his penalty was reduced to 1,000 baht and one month in jail.

Since he had no criminal record his month in jail was suspended for two years, so he paid the fine and was released. He thought that would be the end of it, but he was unclear about other implications in the court’s decision, he said.

It developed that he still had to deal with Immigration regulations which state that any foreigner convicted of a crime is subject to deportation. According to the Immigration Act, B.E. 2522, Section 12, any foreigner who violates Ministerial regulations can be prevented from re-entering the Kingdom after being deported.

Witzel said he was never made aware of those regulations and was surprised when he was arrested again on June 22, thrown in the Immigration detention facility, and told that he would have to remain outside the country for at least two years.

His lawyers – he has gone through three so far – have been in negotiations with Immigration officials to try to reduce his time out of the country, and Witzel has been told that he may be barred from entering Thailand ever again if the Immigration officials in Bangkok so rule.

In the meantime, Witzel, who had a heart attack and bypass operation in Germany last year, was transferred out of the Immigration jail, after spending six days there, then into Mission Hospital, and finally released on bond. He now awaits deportation.

Witzel’s German business partner has bought out most of his interest in the Patong project and his architecture firm. Witzel told the Gazette he stands to lose a large investment if he is forced to stay out of Thailand.

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15 Responses to “Do you really want to invest in Thailand after reading this?”

  1. Well if Thailand politicians stop thinking about their own pockets maybe Thailand would be a better place?

    February 3, 2010 at 14:13
  2. Saowanee #

    Sorry…What I want to say…I want every good foreigner can stay in Thailand without any problem, good luck.

    I just read yesterday coz I try to advertise my project management coaching company and post in any website. And I saw this story and think not so good that people met bad situation here.

    February 3, 2010 at 09:38
  3. I do not know really what you mean?

    February 2, 2010 at 20:45
  4. Saowanee #

    I don’t know what to help you, but time was pass, I hope everything will be ok for you. Everywhere have good and bad people mix. I want good foreigner can stay in Thailand without any good luck.

    Best wishes,

    February 2, 2010 at 14:43
  5. Brett #

    I am not really interested in going to the police. But thanks for the input.

    October 23, 2009 at 08:08
  6. k i got you now, well that’s fraud even in Thailand. Do not even have to ask another lawyer just go to the police and report it. If you have the proper documents i can recommend a translator i know and lawyers that not care if he is a lawyer.

    October 23, 2009 at 01:13
  7. Brett #

    Mr Vicha was hired by me to import a Harley engine from the middle east and a frame from New york, He contacted me on a web forum and I met him in Bangkok, where he had done some of the paper work. I paid him some fees once in Bangkok and just before the shipping paid him the total into his bank account, Then the guy just disappears. With the other guy that contacted me about his problem with Mr dog Vicha is pretty pissed as he has caused him a lot of heart ache. I did have a friend contact him to try and catch him in a sting operation but he didn’t show. The fax he uses is from a major import company in Thailand, who I also e mailed and faxed with no reply.
    Anyway I don’t want the money back I just want to see him spit teeth.
    Mindstream do you live in Thailand ?

    October 22, 2009 at 19:33
  8. Well believe me most lawyers are scared being sued by another lawyer if they really did something wrong. They do not want negative press but just writing he is a dog does not help. Telling the story from start to end might help better.

    October 22, 2009 at 19:04
  9. Brett #

    Funny things happen to people in Thailand that sue people, Most end up dead after a drive by. Just look at the lady that was sueing her doctors for messing up her breast implants, shot while getting in her car days before the case. Same thing happens to deals that go bad in relastate. Why would the lawers follow the law as police and 90% of Thais dont give a stuff about law

    October 22, 2009 at 17:39
  10. Every lawyer in Thailand needs to follow the law as everybody else if he not finish is work then sue him. Ask the law council for help how to sue a lawyer.

    October 22, 2009 at 17:10
  11. Brett #

    Mr dog Vicha has been busy as I just got a e mail from a guy who he took for 80,000 baht and has caused a major problem in his life

    October 21, 2009 at 19:06
  12. Brett #

    Mr Vicha is a con and runs away with any money that you give him

    August 2, 2008 at 10:20
  13. Brett #

    Mr Vicha Sritongma is a con man and has just run off with a large some of money. If anyone know or has had dealings please reply

    August 2, 2008 at 00:55
  14. admin #

    Your are a funny guy Mr Vicha, spam a forum does not get your more clients. You can advertise by click on the Google logo.

    July 1, 2008 at 22:47
  15. Mr.Vicha srithongma #

    Get his money back.do not use local lawyer.mail to :xxxxxx told me what you want to do next.

    July 1, 2008 at 06:14