Couple arrested for smuggling 32 immigrants in truck compartment

Image courtesy of Khaosod

Following a tip-off about an immigrant smuggling operation, military and police officials arrested a husband and wife yesterday for smuggling over 32 illegal immigrants hidden in a modified six-wheel truck loaded with old goods.

Commander of the Lat Ya Task Force, Military Colonel Phongphat Hongsinlak, along with Police Colonel Paitoon Sriwilai, head of the Sangkhla Buri Police Station, and other officials were alerted to the operation.

The immigrants were reported to be hidden in a six-wheel Isuzu truck loaded with old sacks, using Route 323 towards Kanchanaburi city.

Acting on this information, the Thai authorities set up a close watch at the Rantee Bridge checkpoint in Sangkhla Buri. At 4am, they spotted a white Isuzu truck, loaded with large sacks of old goods.

Related news

Upon reaching the checkpoint, officials called for an inspection. Aware of the truck’s concealed compartment beneath the floor, they did not need to unload the sacks.

Instead, officers knocked and shouted that the destination had been reached, prompting the hidden immigrants to emerge from the secret compartment.

A total of 32 individuals were found: 19 men, 10 women, and three children. The authorities arrested the driver, 49 year old Ploen, and his 36 year old wife, Natthaphon.

The couple were taken to the Sangkhla Buri Police Station for further questioning.

During the investigation, it was revealed that the immigrants were from various cities in Myanmar, looking to work in Thailand, said an official.

They had to pay a fee of 15,000 to 25,000 baht to a broker, depending on the distance. Some had already paid, while others were to pay upon reaching their destination.

“The initial questioning suggests that the immigrants had arranged to pay brokers for their passage. The fees varied, and some payments were deferred until after they arrived in Thailand.”

The Thai authorities are currently questioning the couple who led the operation before proceeding with further legal action. They face charges of aiding and abetting illegal immigrants to evade arrest.

Meanwhile, the immigrants are charged with illegal entry into Thailand, reported Khaosod.

The Thai authorities have intensified their efforts to crack down on human smuggling operations. The incident underscores the lengths to which smugglers go to evade detection, including modifying vehicles with hidden compartments.

The officials’ swift actions and strategic inspection methods were crucial in uncovering this operation and ensuring that those involved faced justice.

Crime NewsThailand News

Ryan Turner

Ryan is a journalism student from Mahidol University with a passion for history, writing and delivering news content with a rich storytelling narrative.

Related Articles