Smugglers' route revealed, Myanmar illegals caught

Smugglers' route revealed, Myanmar illegals caught

Eighteen illegal migrants from Myanmar and their Thai guide are arrested at a boat landing at Vajiralongkorn Dam reservoir in Sangkhlaburi district, Kanchanaburi. They were hoping to find work in the Bangkok area. (Photo: Piyarat Chongcharoen)
Eighteen illegal migrants from Myanmar and their Thai guide are arrested at a boat landing at Vajiralongkorn Dam reservoir in Sangkhlaburi district, Kanchanaburi. They were hoping to find work in the Bangkok area. (Photo: Piyarat Chongcharoen)

KANCHANBURI: Eighteen Myanmar nationals were arrested for illegal entry, along with a Thai helper, in Sangkhlaburi border district of this western border province on Tuesday.

Pakorn Kanwalee, the Sangkhlaburi district chief, said the migrants sneaked across the border and arrived about 5pm at a rubber plantation near Moo 3 in tambon Nong Lu.

They were met by a Thai woman, Kornnipa Amorndechakorn, 49, who was waiting for them with a Toyota Vivo pickup .

Ms Kornnipa took them to a boat landing at Ban Lang Khao at Vajiralongkorn Dam reservoir. 

There, two territorial defence volunteers who were posing as fishermen identified themselves and apprehended the entire group.

Police and administrative officials soon arrived and took all of them to the Sangkhlaburi police station for questioning.

Ms Kornnipa was charged with helping aliens illegally enter the country and providing transport for them in violation of an announcement of the provincial communicable disease control committee.

The migrants were charged with illegal entry. They said they entered Thailand through a natural border crossing near Phra Chedi Sam Ong village. They were led by a local man on a walk lasting several hours to Vajiralongkorn Dam reservoir. They were taken to the rubber plantation where they were met by Ms Kornnipa.

They said they had paid 7,500 baht each to be smuggled into Thailand. They expected to find work in Bangkok or nearby provinces.

Ms Kornnipa said she was to be paid  800 baht for each illegal migrant she took to the landing, where they were to continue on by long-tail boats. 

Mr Pakorn, the district chief, said two defence volunteers had been in the area for five days, disguised as fishermen and waiting to catch the smugglers. 

He said the smugglers planned to take the illegal workers by boat across the dam reservoir to avoid the checkpoints on Highway 323 between Sangkhlaburi and Thong Pha Phum. 


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