Over 30,000 face illegal entry charge

Over 30,000 face illegal entry charge

More than 30,000 foreigners -- most of whom are from neighbouring countries -- have been arrested for attempting to enter the kingdom illegally in defiance of the travel ban imposed by the government to curb the spread of Covid-19.

The Defence Ministry yesterday revealed 32,423 foreigners, along with 282 human traffickers, have been arrested for illegally crossing the Thai border between July 1-May 30.

In total, 15,393 people from Myanmar, 11,011 Cambodians, 2,661 Lao and 92 Malaysians were arrested for illegal entry. The rest, the ministry said, hailed from other countries.

The ministry said that 1,945 Thais were also arrested for illegally entering the country.

Separately, an activist and lawyer from the Help Crime Victim Club yesterday lodged a complaint with the Anti-Corruption Division against local officials in Kanchanaburi's Sangkhla Buri district for releasing two migrant traffickers without charges.

Achariya Ruangrattanapong said the officials released the suspects, who were apprehended by soldiers for trafficking six migrants into the country, without going into further details of their arrest.

He said the suspects had already been sent back to their home country without being charged for immigration and human trafficking violations, adding several officials in the district allegedly forced the traffickers to pay bribes in exchange for their freedom.

Mr Achariya also said while the government has allowed some migrants stranded by the Covid-19 pandemic to work and stay for two years in the country with no charge, some officials in the district have asked foreign migrants for 30,000-100,000 baht to get their permits faster.

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