Have you seen this man? Thai police have placed a 10,000 Baht bounty (about $334) on the head of this German who escaped custody while in transit at Suvarnabhumi Airport. His name is Carlo Konstantin Kohl. He had just served a three year sentence in Australia and was being escorted back to Germany by two private security guards from Australia. They arrived in Thailand on 15th May but as their flight to Germany was delayed to the following day they waited in the transit lounge. Somehow the German prisoner was able to evade not only his guards, but also the airport security, bypassing both Immigration and customs in the process. As far as Thai Immigration Police are concerned, the German has already left the airport and is somewhere inside Thailand.
Obviously this is very worrying. It is very clear here that any foreigner could enter Thailand illegally if they so wish. And if he can leave the transit area so easily, what’s stopping people going the other way and getting on a plane without being screened first? And this is not the first time people have bypassed airport security in Thailand. A French couple accidentally turned a wrong corner at Phuket airport recently and entered Thailand without going through Immigration (full story here).
Presumably Carlo Kohl doesn’t have a passport. Even if he can get a fake passport he still has to get entry stamps. For the French tourists this is the problem they faced when they went back to the airport where they were promptly arrested. For Carlo Kohl, this may be relatively simple to get fake visas, but when he tries to leave, Immigration will try to match visa details on his passport to records on their computer. Not so easy to do that. The best way for him to leave the country would be through unguarded checkpoints along the border with Burma, Laos or Cambodia. I have heard of foreign tourists who have done this before by accident. It is not that difficult.
Full story on Carlo Kohl’s escape can be found here: Thai anger over airport escape