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Illegal border crossing on the rise along with tourism reopening

Neill Fronde



PHOTO: Illegal border crossing is on the rise. (via Flickr)

While Thailand is eager to see foreigners entering the country after Monday’s reopening, not all foreigners are as welcome as others. A crackdown on migrants crossing land borders illegally and entering the country without quarantine caught more than 3,000 people in this past week. A spokesperson for the Internal Security Operations Command correlated Thailand’s reopening to international tourism with the surge in illegal immigrant border crossing.

A spokesperson for the ISOC said they are seeing a flood of illegal border crossing in the Northeastern and Eastern borders of Thailand of people looking for migrant work. They stated that 3,160 migrants were arrested just this week alone after attempting to enter the country illegally, bypassing the quarantining that ensures public health safety.

Most of the people were caught nearby the Burmese and Cambodian border, and were said to have paid brokers to aid them in crossing into the country and travel to Bangkok and other provinces nearby for work. The ISOC stress the danger of the illegal border crossing as they are not tested for Covid-19 and do not do any sort of quarantine, risking exposing the communities to which they travel to virus outbreaks.

Of those captured crossing illegally, the majority were from neighbouring countries as 1,807 were Burmese, 996 were Cambodian, and 5 were Laotian. The captures also included 24 people from India and 11 from China. Authorities arrested a total of 91 people connected to smuggling or helping these 3,000 people enter the country illegally, with 63 Burmese people and 28 Thai nationals captured.

7 Burmese migrants caught in Chiang Rai by security officers on foot patrol in the Mae Sai district said that they had paid 12,000 baht each to a smuggling broker who had promised to help them get across the border and obtain jobs working as maids in Bangkok.

In Kamphaeng Phet, a group of 20 Burmese immigrants were caught and shared the story of paying between 7,000 and 23,000 baht to a broker to sneak into Thailand. 23 of them have been travelling in a pickup truck when it flew off the road and rolled down a hill in Tak. 3 people in the truck were killed and 4 others injured in the accident before later being picked up by the police as illegal migrants.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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