A tip-off led to police uncovering a van packed full of 39 illegal Burmese immigrants in the lower Northern province of Phichit. The van was stuffed tightly with 17 Burmese men and 22 Burmese women with one admitting that they had crossed the border illegally and were heading to Nakon Sawan to work at construction sites.
The police in Phichit had received a tip that Highway 115 was being used to move illegal Burmese migrant workers, and they pulled over the van on that highway in Sam Ngam province. The driver was arrested along with the 39 Burmese nationals.
They were put in isolation and tested for Covid-19 infections before being processed for criminal charges. The driver will be charged with allowing illegal entry into Thailand, while the 39 migrants will be charged with entering the country illegally.
Investigation into the driver revealed that he was from Sukothai and had been arrested 4 times previously, including 2 times for smuggling migrants. He allegedly confessed to picking up the illegal Burmese migrants in Phichit after being hired to drive them to Nakhon Sawan. His other 2 arrests were for illegal firearm possession and drug abuse.
The Burmese migrant workers said that they crossed the border from Myanmar into Thailand along the northern border in some of the porous natural channels between the 2 countries. Once across the border they caught a bus to the Phichit province and there they met the van driver who was supposed to transport them to their job sites in Nakhon Sawan about an hour and half drive away.
SOURCE: Nation Thailand
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