Returnees from Malaysia jump queue

Returnees from Malaysia jump queue

Officials process the 94 Thai workers who illegally returned from Malaysia on Thursday morning, at the border in Sungai Kolok district, Narathiwat. (Photo: Waedao Harai)
Officials process the 94 Thai workers who illegally returned from Malaysia on Thursday morning, at the border in Sungai Kolok district, Narathiwat. (Photo: Waedao Harai)

NARATHIWAT: About 100 Thai workers stranded in Malaysia have illegally crossed back into the country, saying they would have starved while waiting in the queue for their turn to come home.

Roongruang Thimabut, chief of Sungai Kolok district, said on Thursday that officials arrested 94 people who crossed the Sungai Kolok river from the Malaysian bank.

They were fined 800 baht each and placed in local quarantine facilities for 14 days of monitoring, to ensure  they do not spread the coronavirus disease.

Some of the workers told officials they travelled on Thursday morning from Pahang State, about 300 kilometres from the frontier, to return to their homes in the three southern border provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala.

They had heard the government would limit the number of returnees each day from this Saturday on, and decided to take their chance instead of waiting for their turn and starving in Malaysia.

The government announced it would allow up to 200 returnees from Malaysia a day, limiting the number to ensure effective Covid-19 control based on the facilities available. It was concerned that returnees could be carrying the disease.

About 14,000 Thai people stranded abroad have registered to return home.


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