More Thais sneak back from Malaysia
published : 29 Apr 2020 at 14:21
writer: Waedao Harai
NARATHIWAT: Fifty more Thais waded across the Sungai Kolok river and back into Thailand from Malaysia on Wednesday morning, fully aware doing so was illegal.
They were met on the river bank near Buereng community by one of the six teams of soldiers from the 48th Ranger Regiment patrolling a seven-kilometre stretch of the Sungai Kolok river to intercept them.
A steady flow of stranded workers have resorted to crossing the border via natural channels, in defiance of the government's lockdown of the border, instead of queueing to slowly return through official border checkpoints.
The 50 border-crossers were taken to the Sungai Kolok border checkpoint. There, they were charged with illegal entry and fined 800 baht each.
After health screening, they were sent to their home provinces for a 14-day quarantine at locations prepared by local health officials.
The returnees said they were stranded in Malaysia without jobs or money because all business had been shut down.
Unable to afford the cost of travelling home through official border checkpoints, which requires embassy letters and costly health certificates, they opted for the illegal channel, willing to be arrested and placed in quarantine, they said.