Here's an entry of another interesting character I met here in Maesai. We met at the cafe and chatted. He used to stay in Singapore and he's here in Thailand because he run into the law in Singapore.
He has been doing Visa runs for almost 2 years and now due to the new visa regulation, he might be going back to Malaysia. In Singapore, he used to have a start up with a few other Malaysian friends in doing carpentry. And he was making money in early 1990s from Punngol 21 project. But after the collapse of property market in Singapore due to financial crisis. They got piratically no job (very little people want to spend so much on renovations) and as they are compulsive gamblers. Which means he has to find new ways to make more money. "And the easiet way to make money is to make it illegally" he said. So that's what he did precisely, go into illegal business, smuggle cigarettes!
Things was fine when they started as they even got Lobang from the Custom officers to Kua Chui or give them the time(when there will be no checks) for them to come in. Money flowed in and they gambled it mostly away. Things turn sour when one day, the driver got caught and gave them the names of all the accomplices. They fled. My friend here was the first to bail with 2 more of his buddies. He fled to Thailand here as he has a girlfriend here.
So I wonder, is the police in Singapore still searching for him and he said most probably not as his friends already returned. And they did not catch them at the customs.
I have talked to him and he's around my age. He is a very nice and down to earth guy and works hard. (Now he's helping out in his girlfriend's restaurant in Chiang Rai) . He still likes to gamble (though he confide to me that nowadays he's not as heavy as he used to be) but he did told me he never regret his decision in smuggling. "I need the money and I choose to risk it." Importantly, he is the first person to prove to me that our police or custom officers still have people in our law enforcments that are actually corrupted.
The good thing about being in a tourist area like Maesai and working in a cyber cafe. You get to meet lots of interesting people.