PHUKET CITY: Following a crackdown ordered by new Phuket Immigration Police Superintendent Pol Col Chanatpol Yongbunjerd on April 10, more than 100 illegal aliens found working in the province were arrested and deported before the start of the Songkran holidays.
News of the arrests was distributed to the media during a special “meet the press” karaoke event hosted by Phuket Immigration at the Ba Le, opposite Phuket Immigration headquarters, on the night of April 12.
A nationwide crackdown was ordered by Immigration Police Bureau Commissioner Lt Gen Chatchawan Suksomchit on April 9, the same day 54 illegal immigrants suffocated in a truck while being transported to Phuket.
Phuket Immigration Deputy Superintendent Lt Col Chayawuth Chansomboon and Inspector Pol Maj Neti Khanboon were assigned to organize the Phuket sweep, which resulted in the arrest and subsequent deportation of 107 Burmese, including 43 women.
Also released to the press at the event were arrest and deportation statistics for 2007, during which Phuket Immigration arrested 3,622 illegal aliens, of which 96% were Burmese. Deportations numbered 4,923 in 2007, with more than 95% of those deported being Burmese.
From January 1 to April 9, 2008, Phuket Immigration arrested 2,923 illegal aliens and deported a total of 3,362 people, including some arrested by other police units on the island. Again, the vast majority of deportees, more than 98%, were Burmese.
Col Chanatpol said that the influx of illegal alien workers was especially difficult to solve in a province such as Phuket, which has a high demand for low-wage workers in many fields.
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