Cops catch migrants on dash to border

Cops catch migrants on dash to border

Forty-two migrant workers from Myanmar and a Thai man were charged with violating the emergency decree after they were arrested after curfew hours at a checkpoint in Prachuap Khiri Khan's Muang district on Sunday.

The migrants were travelling in a double-decker bus towards the Dan Singkhon border pass, according to authorities. They said 42 workers from Myanmar were arrested in total, including a four-year-old girl and a one-month-old baby.

Officers also arrested the driver, Pira Kerdsomboon, 62. He told police he was paid 12,000 baht by migrant brokers in Samut Sakhon to take the workers to Dan Singkhon border pass, where they would then cross the border.

All adults in the group have valid work permits, but they were keen to get home as they have been out of work in Thailand for some time. Mr Pira told police the workers paid up to 10,000 baht each to the broker so they can return to Myanmar.

The migrant workers, along with Mr Pira, were escorted to the 146th Border Patrol Police headquarters for Covid-19 testing and further questioning. Twelve of the migrants were found to be infected.

Mr Pira said while the migrants came from various provinces, including Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Chachoengsao and Samut Prakan, they stayed in Samut Sakhon as they waited for their transport to be arranged.

The driver was charged with violating the emergency decree by breaking the curfew and moving migrant workers without permission. The workers were charged with disobeying the decree and violating the travel ban.

Yesterday, Prachuap Khiri Khan reported 151 new cases, including 40 found at a fruit processing factory in Sam Roi Yot district. The factory, which accounted for 134 cases alone, has been turned into a field hospital.

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