For those of you who prefer to drive to Thailand, you might want to opt for flying the next time.
Last month, a Malaysian took to Facebook to share his frustration of having to pay RM1,000 to Thai Immigration officers when driving across the border because his wife didn’t have her old passport with her while travelling.
The netizen recalls the experience in the post,
“Last year (2018), my wife and I went to Hat Yai, Thailand. My wife’s passport expired so we went to UTC to change it to a new one.”
As Thailand is a popular vacation destination, it’s no surprise that the couple decided to revisit the country again the following year. This time round however, the netizen said they were barred from crossing the border as “the customs officer said that my wife had no exit record of leaving the country the last time and said she had broken the law.”
No matter how many times the couple tried to reason with the officer, he said that the computer allegedly had “no record” of their departure from the country in their previous visit. The only way they could prove that they hadn’t broken the law was by showing the officer the passport stamp that proved their previous entry and exit from the country.
But this was not possible as the netizen’s wife had already renewed her passport. Nonetheless, the netizen felt like the officer’s behaviour was suspicious as “Who would ask someone for their old passport? Plus, why would you want to check the stamp if it was dated past a year ago?”
The officer then gave them three options:
“The first was a fine of RM1,600. The second was to go home. The third was a ‘special method’ that everyone knows about.” If you’ve had to get yourself out of a sticky situation with officers of the law before, you’d know of the ‘special method’ the netizen is referring to.
But having already made the trip there, the netizen said “there is no reason to ask my wife to go home. I chose the third option but it still cost me about RM1,000”.
When the netizen finally returned home to Malaysia, he went to check his wife’s old passport and sure enough, he found the stamp with the exit record. Sadly, it was too late and the netizen could only warn others to not fall under the same trap.
So the next time you’re considering a trip up North, be sure to pack all your passports, old or new just in case record documentation is suddenly expected of you. But if all else fails, you can just fly there instead.
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