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Burmese, Cambodian jobseekers caught entering Thailand illegally



An official from the Department of Disease Control at the Sa Kaeo border checkpoint. PHOTO: Flickr/WHO Thailand

Unscrupulous people smugglers are taking advantage of Burmese and Cambodian workers who are desperate to find employment in Thailand. With the re-opening of the country to international tourism, migrant workers are paying illegal brokers to secure employment and transport into the kingdom.

The Bangkok Post reports that yesterday, police in the western province of Kanchanaburi arrested 97 Burmese nationals who had crossed into Thailand illegally. The 54 men and 43 women were found at around 7am, hiding in a forest while waiting to be picked up and transported to their final destination. They had entered the country through a natural crossing and had been told to pay between 15,000 and 20,000 baht per person to job brokers at various work sites in Pathum Thani, Samut Sakhon, Nakhon Pathom, and Rayong provinces.

The arrests follow a similar development last Friday, when police in the eastern province of Sa Kaeo arrested 35 Cambodian migrants. Their illegal entry into the kingdom had also been facilitated by job brokers taking advantage of their desperation to find work. Thai Residents reports that each worker had paid between 6,000 and 9,000 baht to secure a job in Thailand. The 19 women and 16 men were caught around 4am as they crossed the border in the district of Aranyaprathet.

The migrants say they found agents on Facebook who offered to secure jobs for them and arrange their transport into Thailand. They’d been promised various positions in the hospitality and construction sectors, in Bangkok and Pathum Thani, Rayong, and Chon Buri. They’d crossed into the kingdom by using the Nam Sai Canal, which links Thailand and Cambodia. They were arrested while waiting to be picked up by the people traffickers.

Meanwhile, just 2 hours later, officials arrested another 11 Cambodian migrants in the nearby district of Khong Hat. The 6 men and 5 women had paid 7,000 each to an agent who had promised them work at a construction site in the central province of Nonthaburi.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post | Thai Residents


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