Myanmar job seekers caught in Hat Yai
published : 6 Jul 2022 at 11:08
writer: Assawin Pakkawan
SONGKHLA: Forty-one illegal migrants from Myanmar were caught on Tuesday as they boarded pickup trucks in Hat Yai district to take them to the southern border with Malaysia, where they had been promised there would be jobs.
The action followed informants' reports that a large group of people who had entered the country illegally had arrived in the area on Sunday night and were hiding in forest near Moo 1 village in tambon Khuan Lang of Hat Yai district. They were waiting for vehicles to take them to the border.
From 6pm on Monday, Hat Yai district officials, with support from local and immigration police, set up an ambush, lying in wait in the forest near where the illegal migrants were taking shelter.
They waited throughout the night and well into the next day. About 2pm on Tuesday two pickups arrived and the migrants came out of hiding to board the vehicles.
The trap was sprung and 41 illegal job seekers arrested, 37 men and four women. Three others fled into the forest.
The Thai drivers of the two pickups were arrested. They said they were being paid 7,000 baht each by a man called Bang to take their passengers to Tak Bai district in Narathiwat. From there, they would be helped across the border into Malaysia, they said.
Speaking through interpreters, the job seekers said they illegally crossed into Thailand in Prachuap Khiri Khan province. Some had paid 50,000-60,000 baht each to job brokers, while others said they were to make the payment on arrival at workplaces in Malaysia.
They were handed over to police for legal processing pending repatriation.
An investigation was underway into the illegal labour-smuggling network.