Myanmar illegal migrants, their guide caught near border

Myanmar illegal migrants, their guide caught near border

Illegal migrants from Myanmar, claiming to be from Rakhine state, arrested near a reservoir in Bang Saphan district, Prachuap Khiri Khan, close to the border on Tuesday. (Photo by Chaiwat Satyaem)
Illegal migrants from Myanmar, claiming to be from Rakhine state, arrested near a reservoir in Bang Saphan district, Prachuap Khiri Khan, close to the border on Tuesday. (Photo by Chaiwat Satyaem)

PRACHUAP KHIRI KHAN: Sixteen illegal migrants and their paid guide were arrested near a natural border crossing to Myanmar in Bang Saphan district on Tuesday.

Soldiers, border patrol police and village defence volunters on patrol spotted a group of people walking down a mountain towards Khlong Loy reservoir in tambon Ron Thong, Bang Saphan district. They  detained  17 of them. All were from Myanmar. None had any entry documents.

Under questioning, all 16 claimed to be from Rakhine state in western Myanmar. They had crossed the border via Nam Yen village in Myanmar's Kawthaung province, into Khlong Loy in Bang Saphan district.

A 59-year-old man admitted he was paid 300 baht per head to guide them illegally into Thailand.

They were supposed to hide near the reservoir, and then Thai traffickers would send a pickup truck to take them to Malaysia. They must pay 20,000 baht per head to the Thai gang.

Col Chalermphol Sangtong, deputy commander of Jong Angsuek special task force, said smugglers were using natural border passes to bring illegal migrants into the country. The migrants were later supplied to agents in a third country where there was a shortage of labour in some sectors that were expanding. 

The task force would increase patrols along the border and natural border passes, he said.


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