Illegal job seekers from Myanmar caught in Kanchanaburi

Illegal job seekers from Myanmar caught in Kanchanaburi

Eighty-three migrants from Myanmar are found hiding in a cave in Kanchanaburi province on Thursday. (Photo by Piyarat Chongcharoen)
Eighty-three migrants from Myanmar are found hiding in a cave in Kanchanaburi province on Thursday. (Photo by Piyarat Chongcharoen)

KANCHANABURI: Eighty-three people were arrested after crossing the border illegally from Myanmar into Thong Pha Phum district on Thursday, police said.

Thong Pha Phum police chief, Pol Col Santi Pithaksakul, said the army’s Surasee Task Force together with police officers found 60 men and 23 women hiding in a cave near Vajiralongkorn Dam. They were taken to Thong Pha Phum police station via 10 pickup trucks for questioning. 

Previously, police arrested pickup truck driver Asanai Praikaew, who allegedly told investigators that he was hired to bring drinking water to those in the cave. The suspect was told to lead the patrol to the hiding place.

The border crossers were from Payathonzu, Mawlamyine, Yangon, Bago and Dawei townships in Myanmar and were heading for workplaces in Samut Sakhon, Ratchaburi, Kanchanaburi and Bangkok. Some had paid 10,000 to 25,000 baht each to job brokers.

The illegal migrants were handed over to police for legal proceedings, pending deportation.

Border security has been beefed up in recent months to deter border crossers who might be transmitting the coronavirus. But illegal crossings remain frequent, especially from Myanmar where economic conditions have deteriorated considerably since the military seized power last February.

At least 68,000 illegal border crossers, most of them from Myanmar, were caught from January to November last year, estimated Adisorn Kerdmongkol, a representative of a migrant labour development network.

The monthly total jumped to 10,870 in November when the country reopened to tourism, and climbed further to 12,000 in December, he said, adding that as many as 100,000 had probably slipped past the authorities and were now employed in major provinces.


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