Singaporeans enjoy easy travel

September 1, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Singapore

SINGAPORE, 1 September 2017: Singaporeans have the most powerful passports and enjoy the highest level of mobility as far as visa-free entry is concerned.

Singapore and Germany share the top rank both with a visa-free score of 158 according to Passport Index 2017 ranking.

No surprises. Singapore was top of the ranking last year too,  along with Germany and ahead of Sweden and South Korea that shared second place with a 157 visa-free score. Read more

Singaporeans fast track immigration

August 21, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Thailand

BANGKOK, 21 August 2017: The first automated passport checkpoints opened at the weekend at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport in a bid to reduce long queues at immigration checkpoints.

The automated channels are now open to Singaporean travellers in the first phase of a project to introduce automated checks for foreign passport holders.

Thai nationals have been using automated checkpoints for more than five years, but the at least one official is on duty to assist travellers who are not confident with the automated process. Read more

North Korea: Tourists welcome

August 8, 2017 by  
Filed under News, North Asia

SEOUL, 8 August 2017: North Korea’s doors are still open to US tourists, Pyongyang said at the weekend, despite Washington banning its citizens from travelling there following the death of a US student who had been jailed in the country.

The US prohibition, which comes into effect 1 September was introduced after officials said the “serious risk” of arrest by Pyongyang authorities during tourist travel presented an “imminent danger to the physical safety” of its nationals.

The move was triggered by the death of 22-year-old Otto Warmbier, who was sentenced to 15 years’ hard labour in the North for trying to steal a propaganda poster during a tourist visit, but was released in a mysterious coma in June and died soon afterwards. Read more

Five month figures slow

June 14, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Thailand

BANGKOK, 14 June 2017: Ministry of Tourism and Sports reports international visits to Thailand exceeded 14.61 million, a slight increase of 3.20% during January to May, this year.

Released Monday, the ministry’s data showed the country attracted 14,612,150 international visits for the first five months of this year compared to 14,158,649 visits during the same period last year.

The data is based on foreign passports and ID holders, passing through international checkpoints (land, sea and air).  Read more

Australian paedophiles lose passports

May 31, 2017 by  
Filed under News, PACIFIC

SYDNEY, 31 May 2017: Convicted paedophiles will have their passports cancelled to prevent them travelling overseas to offend again under tough new laws which Australia hailed, Tuesday, as a “world first”.

Legislation will be introduced to parliament this month making it illegal for registered offenders to leave or attempt to leave the country as part of a crackdown on child-sex tourism.

“The new laws will prohibit registered child sex offenders from leaving Australia or holding Australian passports,” Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said. Read more

Cambodia tops welcome rank

March 15, 2017 by  
Filed under Cambodia, News, Thailand

BANGKOK, 15 March 2017: If you judge the quality of the welcome mat by the number of nations that enjoy easy-visa entry then Cambodia is top of the class.

Cambodia tops Paspport Index’s ‘Welcoming Countries Rank’, 2017 with a score of 198 passports that it accepts for visa-on arrival, visa-free or electronic visas (eTAs) travel.

It shared the top rank with 13 other nations all scoring 198 passports eligible for easy entry. Read more

Fall of a passport forger

August 1, 2016 by  
Filed under News, Thailand

BANGKOK, 1 August 2016: For a few thousand dollars “The Doctor” opened doors to the world, supplying pristine fake passports to gangsters and rebels, refugees and migrant workers — all from an unassuming, scruffy house in the Bangkok suburbs.

But this Iranian master forger now languishes in a Thai jail after a rare slip unspooled a criminal enterprise that helped thousands of people to sidle into Europe and beyond.

Last week Thai police said they had finally dismantled his network following a five-year probe, dealing a hammer blow to a gang that supplied “Triple A” quality forgeries to global trafficking syndicates. Read more