Teen’s truckin’ troubles: Migrant worker smuggling ends in pickup predicament in central Thailand

Photo taken from Sanook.

A 19 year old man was apprehended for smuggling 13 illegal migrant workers in a pickup truck that he claimed to have borrowed from his father under the pretence of visiting his girlfriend. Phinwit Udomphon, an officer from the Ayutthaya Provincial Police, stated that efforts to curb the smuggling of illegal workers into Bangkok and its surrounding provinces continue unabated.

At 6pm yesterday, highway patrol officers in Ayutthaya were conducting a routine inspection on Phahonyothin Road when they noticed a grey Isuzu pickup truck with the registration number GN 7852 showing signs of carrying an unusually heavy load.

After signalling for the vehicle to stop and being ignored, a chase ensued, leading to the apprehension of the vehicle at kilometre markers 73-74 in Sanab Theb, Wang Noi district.

Upon searching the vehicle, officers discovered 14 Burmese nationals, including ten men and three women, crammed inside the vehicle. The driver, 19 year old Apivich Saewaeng, was a resident of Tak province. None of the passengers had legitimate travel documents.

Questioning revealed that another grey Isuzu pick-up truck, with the registration number BB 3118 from Tak, had been leading the way from Tak and had separated at Wang Noi.

Officers coordinated with other units and managed to apprehend that vehicle as well, discovering three additional occupants. Another driver, identified as 37 year old Go Saewaeng, also from Tak province, was arrested.

Teen's truckin' troubles: Migrant worker smuggling ends in pickup predicament in central Thailand | News by Thaiger
Photo taken from Khaosod

Apivich confessed that this was his first offence. He said he had been hired by an unidentified individual to pick up the migrant workers from the Wang Chao area in Tak and transport them to Bang Pa-In in Ayutthaya, where another vehicle was supposed to pick them up.

He was promised a payment of 10,000 baht for smuggling. The pickup truck he was driving belonged to his father, whom he deceived by saying he was going to visit his girlfriend in Bangkok.

Go, the scout vehicle driver, claimed that he and the three passengers were from the same hometown and were on their way to work in Rayong province. He had agreed to lead the way after being contacted to do so.

The migrant workers revealed that they had entered Thailand illegally via natural routes and crossed over in Mae Sot, Tak. They were guided to a pickup point by a broker who charged them approximately 10,000 baht each. They had been travelling for two days without food, prompting the highway patrol officers to purchase food and water for them.

All suspects were taken into custody and handed over to the Wang Noi Police Station in Ayutthaya for legal proceedings.

Teen's truckin' troubles: Migrant worker smuggling ends in pickup predicament in central Thailand | News by Thaiger
Photo courtesy of Khaosod
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Samantha Rose

Samantha was a successful freelance journalist who worked with international news organisations before joining Thaiger. With a Bachelor's degree in Journalism from London, her global perspective on news and current affairs is influenced by her days in the UK, Singapore, and across Thailand. She now covers general stories related to Thailand.

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