Myanmar workers from Malaysia caught in Sungai Kolok

Myanmar workers from Malaysia caught in Sungai Kolok

Soldiers patrol the border along the Sungai Kolok River in Sungai Kolok district of Narathiwat, as it is used by people illegally entering Thailand from Malaysia. (Photo: Wadao Harai)
Soldiers patrol the border along the Sungai Kolok River in Sungai Kolok district of Narathiwat, as it is used by people illegally entering Thailand from Malaysia. (Photo: Wadao Harai)

Seven Myanmar nationals who said they had been working in Malaysia have been arrested in Sungai Kolok district of Narathiwat, Department of Special Investigation deputy director-general Traiyarit Temahiwong said on Wednesday.

Mr Traiyarit, currently acting DSI chief, said the two men and five women, two aged only 15 and 16  years, were arrested at a rented house in Soi Saithong 17 in Sungai Kolok district by a team of DSI officials and immigration police.

They told arresting officers they had been taken to work in Malaysia by Thai and Myanmar job brokers.

After Malaysia went into lockdown because of the Covid-19 pandemic, they illegally crossed the border back into Thailand, with help from the same job brokers, avoiding the screening process.

In the house, officers also found about 100 Myanmar passports and gear for using crystal methamphetamine.

The seven Myanmar nationals were handed over to Sungai Kolok police and initially charged with illegal entry.

Mr Traiyarit said the DSI was investigating whether they had been involved in human trafficking. If so, they would face additional charges.

The arresting team was led by Pol Maj Siriwit Tantechasitkul, director of the DSI's Bureau against Human Trafficking.


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