Marine Department official allegedly smuggled Chinese nationals into Thailand

Ban Saeo Police Station, where the suspects were brought, photo by Emergency Thailand.

A Marine Department official allegedly smuggled eight Chinese nationals into Thailand. Police arrested the official in Chiang Rai last night.

A joint patrol led by the Deputy Chief of Chiang Saen Police Station, Kittiphum Kanjini, and Sub-Lt Vathit Thampradit of the navy’s Mekong Riverine Unit, discovered a suspicious vehicle near the Ban Sob Kok community in Chiang Rai’s Chiang Saen district last night.

The team approached the vehicle, a Toyota Fortuner, and found Korakot Chankaew, a 36 year old official working within the IT division of the Marine Department.

The car also carried eight male Chinese individuals between 21 and 33 years old, who allegedly did not possess identification documents such as passports or ID cards. In addition to this, a licensed 9 milimetre Sig Sauer pistol, two magazines, and seven bullets were discovered inside a tote bag resting on the passenger seat, according to Deputy Chief Kittiphum.

During questioning, Korakot reportedly admitted to picking up the eight Chinese nationals to transport them across a bridge over the Kok River in the Yonok sub-district within Chiang Saen. They were then scheduled to be driven to the Muang district by another driver.

Korakot was charged with assisting aliens to enter the country illegally under the Immigration Act and possessing a weapon in public areas without justifiable reasons. All eight Chinese individuals were charged with entering Thailand without a visa and were taken to the Ban Saeo Police Station for further legal proceedings.

Back in February, there was another incident involving Thais smuggling Chinese nationals into the country.

On February 22, police arrested two Thai men and a Thai woman on Phahonyothin Road in the central province of Nakhon Sawan for people trafficking. The group were spotted using three vehicles to smuggle 14 Chinese citizens without passports from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. Traffic officers from Mueang Nakhon Sawan Police Station stopped three sedans for a random alcohol test. During the stop, officers discovered the illegal foreign passengers and requested to see their passports and immigration documents. Unfortunately, none of them had the necessary paperwork.

Northern Thailand

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.