Connect with us

Phuket

Illegal aliens: 50,000 workers register in Phuket by deadline

Published

 on 

Illegal aliens: 50,000 workers register in Phuket by deadline | Thaiger

PHUKET: More than 50,000 illegal workers from neighboring countries were registered with the Phuket Provincial Employment Office during the grace period that ended on July 30.

However, scores more still working illegally on the island, and an Immigration crackdown looms.

Phuket Provincial Employment Office chief Thanawan Tongsukchote announced that 7,790 Thai employers registered their desire to employ a total of 109,389 foreign workers before the deadline.

Of these workers, the vast majority were Burmese (108,847), followed by Lao nationals (503) and Cambodians (39).

The announcement came at a meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall on Monday chaired by Phuket Governor Wichai Phraisa-ngop.

About 50,000 illegal alien workers successfully passed the first step in the registration process.

The campaign has raised the number of workers registered with the employment office to about 74,000.

Newly-registered workers will now have until August 29 to become completely legal by submitting health clearance certificates and having ‘work passports’ issued by their home countries.

Claiming to care about the huge illegal migration of its people into Thailand, the Burmese government has set up ‘ID centers’ at three of its checkpoints along the Thailand border to issue the passports.

After the work passports are issued, workers will be allowed to re-enter Thailand by having 2,000-baht ‘work visas’ stamped into their passports.

The disparity between the number of workers now registered with the employment office and the number sought by employers provides a rough estimate of the number of illegal low-wage workers that are still working in Phuket, Mr Thanawan said.

Given the shortfall, the Thai government has already contacted the governments of Burma, Laos and Cambodia about ways to register more low-wage workers sought by prospective employers.

The reason for the disparity, at least 30,000 workers, is likely due to the fact that the workers fear their home governments will not be able to verify their citizenship or will use the information against them, such as imposing taxes on the wages earned.

Others may simply be having problems coming up with the 2,000 baht fee for the work visa, Mr Thanawan said.

“Personally I would like all of them to become legally registered,” he said.

However, if the number of workers from those countries hits the 100,000 mark it would mean there would be about one for every five Thais who call Phuket home, he said.

“That’s a very high ratio. It would be better if we could find Thai people willing to fill these positions,” he said.

“In the past, migrant workers from other parts of the country, especially Isarn, were willing to do this kind of work. But now we are unable to find workers who are willing to do manual labor, so we have to rely on foreigners. Where would we be without them?” he concluded rhetorically.

In a related story, Phuket Special Branch Police chief Maj Arthit Suesattabongkot told the Gazette last month that there are about 50 stateless ethnic Rohingyas living on the island.

Spread out across the island, most of them sell roti and claim to be Burmese, he said.

However, as the Burmese government fails to recognize the ethnic Muslims as its citizens the Rohingyas face an uncertain fate when the promised crackdown begins, he said.

— Atchaa Khamlo & Stephen Fein

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Video12 hours ago

Siam Paragon Bangkok International Fashion Week 2022

Thailand14 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Flash flooding to hit every region of Thailand

Thailand14 hours ago

Off-duty officer fires shots & fights with Bangkok cabbie

Sponsored22 hours ago

Starting a business and obtaining SMART Visa in Thailand is easy with Startup Booster

Thailand14 hours ago

Venomous snake emerges from parcel at sorting office in Thailand

Technology15 hours ago

Line Man Wongnai now Thailand’s largest tech startup

Thailand15 hours ago

Customer buys brand new Honda PCX motorbike with coins in eastern Thailand

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Drugs15 hours ago

Drug chase ends in flipped car, 6 million spilled Yaba pills

Thailand16 hours ago

169 Thai police officers dismissed for serious violations

World16 hours ago

Edward Snowden received Russian citizenship

Thailand17 hours ago

American told to stop riding go-kart in Chiang Mai

Thailand17 hours ago

Thailand legalises abortion up to 20 weeks

Coronavirus (Covid-19)18 hours ago

Nasal spray to prevent Covid hits stores October 1

Crime18 hours ago

China backs Philippines online gambling crackdown

Crime18 hours ago

Foreign gang allegedly extorts Russian couple of crypto worth US$50k in Thailand

Events20 hours ago

Meatfest will host meat cooking and eating contests in Pattaya

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending