Illegal returnees with Covid-19 face charges after recovery

Illegal returnees with Covid-19 face charges after recovery

Police from Provincial Police Region 5 undergo a screening process for Covid-19 at a health centre in Chiang Mai. (Photo: Panumet Tanraksa)
Police from Provincial Police Region 5 undergo a screening process for Covid-19 at a health centre in Chiang Mai. (Photo: Panumet Tanraksa)

People who illegally slipped back into the country from Myanmar, found to be infected with Covid-19 and put in treatment are to be summonsed to hear legal charges after they have recovered from the illness, a senior police officer said on Tuesday.

Provincial Police Region 5 commissioner Prachuap Wongsuk said he had given the order to police at the Mae Sai station and the Mae Sai immigration office, and it would include the three people discharged from Nakornping Hospital in Chiang Mai on Tuesday.

The illegal border crossers with Covid-19 will be charged with illegal entry in violation of the Immigration Act of 1979; violating the emergency decree; and violating an order issued on March 21, 2020 by the Chiang Rai disease control committee that temporarily prohibited crossings at permanent and other points of entry along the border.

Offenders face a fine of up to 2,000 baht for violating the Immigration Act, and up to two years in prison and a fine of up to 40,000 baht for disobeying the emergency decree. The violation of the order prohibiting border crossings carries a penalty of up one year in jail and a fine of up to 100,000 baht.

Pol Lt Gen Prachuap announced the prosecution plans while visiting a health centre in Chiang Mai to give moral support for Region 5 police undergoing a screening process for Covid-19.

On Monday, the spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration had implored Thais returning home to use official border crossings. "We will not send you to jail. We will send you to state quarantine facilities," Dr Taweesilp Visanuyothin told them.

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