81 Burmese arrested at Wat Chalong Fair

PHUKET: Immigration officers arrested 81 Burmese workers who broke the 8 pm curfew so they could attend the Wat Chalong Fair between February 16 and 22.

In December a provincial order was issued banning Burmese workers from leaving their homes after 8 pm without their employer. They are also not allowed to drive vehicles or possess mobile phones.

Pol Col Ittipon Atchariyapradit, Superintendent of Phuket Immigration, said, “During the seven days of the fair we arrested 81 workers and seized 47 mobile phones, in accordance with provincial law.

“If they have [mobile phones and vehicles], it increases the risk that they will commit crime. I’m not saying that only Burmese commit crimes, but it is the first thing we can do to help protect citizens,” Col Ittipon said

“After we arrested them, we contacted their employers and most of them were legal and had the correct documents, but two or three Burmese were illegal so we had to send them back to their country.

“If this happens again with this particular group, or with the employer they work for, we will prosecute and report the employer to the provincial office and send the laborers back to Burma,” he added.

The Wat Chalong raids followed an order announced February 15 by Phuket Vice-Governor Vorapot Rattasima for police to crack down on foreign laborers.

Last year 1,714 illegal workers were arrested and 2,315 deported. Burmese workers accounted for 1,687 arrests and 2,200 deportations.

This year there have been 516 arrests and 587 deportations, including one Russian, one Ukrainian, one Taiwanese and two Vietnamese nationals being deported.

Phuket News

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