Burmese migrants trafficked through Thailand caught by Malaysian border

Another group of migrants detained this month | Photo by Third Navy Area

Last night, Thai soldiers caught 31 Burmese migrants on the Thailand-Malaysia border, illegally passing through Thailand and hoping to work in Malaysia. The migrants were found hiding in a ditch on a rubber plantation in Sadao, a district of Songkhla province. The group 25 men and six women had reportedly travelled from Myanmar’s Myawaddy township. After they crossed into Tak province, a driver picked them up and drove them to Songkhla province in a pickup truck, according to officials.

Once in Hat Yai, another driver took them close to the Malaysian border in Sadao district. There, they were instructed to wait for help crossing the border. The migrants had each paid 50,000 baht each to job brokers, who promised them occupations in restaurants and construction, among other places. Police believe Thai, Burmese, and Malaysian nationals all played roles in the labour trafficking and vowed to extend the investigation of the smugglers’ networks.

Several similar cases with Burmese migrants have occurred this week, with migrants caught on Thailand’s Northern and Western borders in Chiang Mai and Kanchanaburi provinces. These migrants paid job brokers from 5,000-20,000 baht. Police also arrested two Thai men for driving and assisting the migrants. Myanmar is a major country from which people attempt to illegally enter Thailand, due to a number of reasons involving economic disparity as well as the recent coup and political and ethnic persecution.

Source: Bangkok Post | Thai Law Forum

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