AN elderly gay foreign couple was arrested by Immigration police today (June 11) for overstaying in Thailand after having been embroiled in a conflict with the owner of a luxury apartment block in Sathorn area over not paying their rent with arrears amounting to almost a million baht, Siam Rath newspaper said.
Pol. Lt. Gen. Sompong Chingduang, head of the Immigration Bureau, and his team gave details of this case at a press conference with the arrested couple only being identified as Mr. Ross and Mr. Reese.
They related that the owner of the luxury apartment building, where units are rented out for 50,000 to 100,000 baht a month, had filed a complaint against the two of them after they stopped paying rent for months.
Upon being asked numerous times to either pay up or move out, the two elderly men refused to do either citing various reasons including the coronavirus pandemic, their age and on humanitarian grounds.
The apartment owner added that the two tenants had got permission to retire in Thailand but they should have a spending plan with the rent of the apartment they are living in being very high. He is willing to negotiate rent payment and compromise.
The owner first contacted the Immigration Bureau in March last year about this case. Police then checked and found out that the two of them had just got permission to stay in Thailand with this due to expire on May 22 this year.
They adviced the owner to file a case against the gay couple. The owner did so in the civil court which ordered the two men to vacate the apartment and pay up the almost one million baht in overdue rent.
However the two men still stubbornly refused to move out. The owner then contacted the Legal Execution Department about the case but there is a delay in posting a notice at their apartment because of the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
However today an Immigration Bureau police team went to their apartment and upon ascertaining that they had overstayed in Thailand took them to Thung Maha Mek station for further legal action.
Immigration Bureau Chief Pol. Lt. Gen. Sompong and his team giving details about this case today. Photos: Siam Rath