Early morning raid captures illegal foreign workers at a Pattaya market

Migrant workers are taken into police custody at Amon Nakhon market in Pattaya on Wednesday morning. Picture courtesy of Chaiyot Pupattanapong.

An early morning raid at Amon Nakhon fresh market in Pattaya by Chon Buri Immigration officials and Bang Lamung Police Station led to the capture of seven illegal foreign workers.

Police reported the surprise raid was conducted at 6am on Wednesday and seven illegal migrants were arrested.

Officers searched the market and nearby shops which saw workers from Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos scatter in all directions to escape arrest.

The police managed to catch 30 of the workers, out of which 23 were found to have valid work permits. However, the remaining seven workers had neither travel documents nor work permits and were therefore deemed to be in the country illegally, Bangkok Post reported.

The seven illegal foreign workers were taken into custody by the Bang Lamung Police Station and charged with illegal entry. They were to be deported after going through the legal process.

Foreigners working illegally in Pattaya and Thailand have become a problem over the past couple of years, according to a report by the Department of Employment (DoE). The report covered the period from October 2022 to March 2023.

The report revealed that 685 employment venues were prosecuted and 1,550 people prosecuted. The majority of people prosecuted were economic migrants from Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos who had entered Thailand without registration. There were also many Indian and Vietnamese nationals prosecuted.

The director-general of DoE, Phairoj Chotikasatien, said that foreign workers were subject to changes in regulations in 2017, which listed 40 employment skills strictly reserved for Thais and mandated fines and deportation for foreign defaulters.

Fines for businesses that offer employment without authorised permits vary from 10,000 baht to 200,000 baht per worker. Phairoj said there were inspections across Thailand, including in Bangkok, Phuket, Samui, Chiang Mai, and Pattaya.

In February, it was reported that many foreigners, particularly Russians, were working illegally in Phuket. Phuket Information Centre Facebook page shared with its followers on February 5, that…

“A lot of foreigners stay and work in Phuket, both legally and illegally. Recently, a group of foreigners started a car rental business. They offered both cars and minibuses and also served tourists as chauffeurs. They steal jobs from Thai people!”

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Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.