Phuket expels illegal immigrants

PHUKET TOWN: A total of 72 illegal immigrants – 28 Burmese laborers and 44 Cambodian beggars – were sent back to their countries from Phuket today. The Burmese were sent to Ranong while the Cambodians were trucked to Aranyaprathet. All the Burmese were adults, but 30 of the Cambodians were children, and many of the 14 adults were handicapped. The Commander of the Phuket Immigration Police, Pol Col Phairojana Paresakul, said that on November 4 the government and the Police Department launched a new policy on illegal workers. Those expelled today were caught in the space of just two days. He explained that since Thailand is in an economic slump, unemployment has been rising. Illegal workers coming into the country mean more unemployment for Thais. In addition, he said, illegal workers create many problems for Thailand, including health problems, crime, and social instability. Next week, he added, the Immigration Police will start to work together with the Marine Police, the Frontier Police, and the Provincial Police to catch and expel more illegal immigrants. The crackdown will include stricter checks at the Ta Chatchai checkpoint, just south of the Sarasin Bridge. The action against Burmese and Cambodian illegals coincides with a wider crackdown against foreigners staying in Thailand illegally. As reported in the Gazette Online on Monday, Immigration Police have already begun checking foreigners’ documents in Phuket. Bangkok Police Chief Pol Lt Gen Wannarat Kojcharat was quoted by The Nation this morning as saying that “decisive measures…will be taken against illegal immigrants of all nationalities, and the major crackdown will begin on November 12.” He added: “I want to stress that this is not targeting only illegal Burmese or Cambodians, but people from everywhere.” The Nation also quoted Supreme Military Commander Gen Mongkol Ampornpisit as saying the military was ready to assist in deporting illegal migrant workers. “Thailand is for Thai people,” Gen Mongkol was quoted as saying. “I have heard that in many factories neither the owner nor the workers are Thai. It’s an illegal activity. Nobody in Thailand can work outside rules or regulations.”

Phuket News

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

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