21 illegal Myanmar migrants caught in Songkhla

21 illegal Myanmar migrants caught in Songkhla

Myanmar illegal entrants emerge from the packed rear of a pickup truck intercepted by immigration police in Rattaphum district in Songkhla on Tuesday. (Photo: Assawin Pakkawan)
Myanmar illegal entrants emerge from the packed rear of a pickup truck intercepted by immigration police in Rattaphum district in Songkhla on Tuesday. (Photo: Assawin Pakkawan)

SONGKHLA: Immigration police arrested 21 Myanmar nationals in Rattaphum district of this southern province on Tuesday, Pol Maj Gen Prapansak Prasansuk said.

Police, acting on a tip-off, intercepted an Isuzu D-Max pickup at Khuha intersection on the Asian Highway in tambon Kamphaeng Phet, Rattaphum district, said Pol Maj Gen Prapansak, commander of Immigration Police Division 6. 

In a search, police found 18 men and three women, all Myanmar nationals, packed in the rear of the pickup, which was covered with a black canvas sheet.

Saranyu Kaewmora, the driver, a 23-year-old Thai man from Kanchanaburi's Si Sawat district, was also arrested.

Information he gave led to the arrest of Sopon Saengwiwek, 23, the driver of another pickup from Kanchanaburi's Lao Khwan district, at a resort. Mr Sopon had kept a lookout by driving his vehicle a distance ahead of the other pickup.

The two drivers told police they were hired by a man for 10,000 baht to transport the Myanmar migrants from Prachuap Khiri Khan province to the Thai-Malaysian border.

The migrants said they were from Yangon, Myawaddy and Mawlamyine townships in Myanmar. They sneaked across the border into Thailand in Prachuap Khiri Khan province and hid in a forest before being taken in a pick-up to Songkhla, from where they would cross the border into Malaysia for jobs.

The job seekers said they were to pay 40,000 baht each to job brokers. They had paid the first half to the brokers and would pay the other half on arriving at workplaces in Malaysia.

The migrants were charged with illegal entry and would be deported after going through legal proceedings.

A police investigation was continuing to find the culprits behind their smuggling.

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