More job seekers headed to Malaysia arrested in Songkhla

More job seekers headed to Malaysia arrested in Songkhla

Twenty-six Myanmar migrants are arrested near the Malaysian border in Sadao district, Songkhla province, early on Thursday. (Photo: Assawin Pakkawan)
Twenty-six Myanmar migrants are arrested near the Malaysian border in Sadao district, Songkhla province, early on Thursday. (Photo: Assawin Pakkawan)

SONGKHLA: Twenty-six illegal Myanmar migrants heading for promised work in Malaysia, after borrowing up to 50,000 baht to pay job brokers, were arrested near the southern border in Sadao district early on Thursday.

A patrol of soldiers, border patrol and local police spotted a group of men and women in forest near the new Sadao customs checkpoint at village Moo 7 of tambon Samnak Kham, around 4.30am.

The group tried to flee as the patrol approached them, but all were rounded up and arrested, said Col Thanitphon Hongwilai, commander of an army task force.

There were 17 men and nine women, and all had entered Thailand illegally from Myanmar. They were taken to Sadao police station for questioning and Covid-19 screening.

They told police via an interpreter that they had travelled from Dawei, Rakhine and other townships in Myanmar and were en route to jobs in Malaysia. They had set out on May 19 and crossed the border on foot into Prachuap Khiri Khan province on May 21. They hid in a forested area.

On Wednesday, two pickup trucks sent by the job broker arrived to take them to the Malaysian border in Sadao district. They were waiting for someone to guide them over the border when they were caught.   

They said they had to pay about 50,000 baht each to the job broker. Most of them had to borrow the money. Some were promised jobs at timber factories in Malaysia, while others did not know where they would be working. They all need the work to pay off their debts.

Arrested Myanmar job seekers board a police pickup truck, which took them to Sadao police station in Songkhla for questioning. (Photo: Assawin Pakkawan)


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