BANGKOK — Fourteen people were arrested Saturday evening as raids targeting a specific racial group continued across Bangkok.
Sweeps for people of African origin were conducted in 32 areas including the Bang Na, Udomsuk and Lat Phrao areas. They resulted in the arrests of nine people, seven from Somalia and two from Nigeria, accused of being in the kingdom illegally. Another four Nigerians and an American were charged with overstaying their visas.
The raid was headed by the same police commander who last week arrested 52 people in a raid targeting black people. The authorities have acknowledged they are identifying potential suspects by race.
Surachet Hakpan, head of the 191 emergency response unit, said the operations were being carried out at the government’s behest. He said they were aimed at cracking down on criminals involved in currency counterfeiting, online romance scams and credit card skimming.
Fingerprints and DNA were collected from the suspects, and they were barred from reentering the country.
Room owners at The IRIS Rama 9-Srinakarin condominium, where many of the suspects were staying, will be charged with sheltering foreigners without notifying the authorities
After the Oct. 16 raids, Surachet said it was part of the tightened security measures ahead of the royal cremation ceremony.