Illegal labour crackdown in Phuket ensnares 30 Chinese men

Picture courtesy of Region 8 Police

Yesterday in Tambon Thepkrasattri, an enclave in Phuket, Thailand, police apprehended 30 Chinese men on charges of illegal labour. The detained, aged between 24 and 59 years old, were caught in the act, with 12 of them arrested at a construction site in Baan Pa Khlok Cheep, and the remaining 18 along Wong Chalerm Village Road. Now, further investigations are underway to determine if these men are victims of a more sinister scheme – human trafficking.

The scene at the Baan Pa Khlok Cheep housing construction site was a chaotic one as the officers from Thalang Police arrived. Witness reports suggest that several workers attempted to evade capture, but their efforts were in vain. The police, led by the Thalang Police Chief, Colonel Nikorn Chuthong, managed to round up all 30 men, despite their attempt to flee.

Upon interrogation, it was revealed that the 30 men had not snuck into the country but had entered Thailand legally. Their transgression, however, lay in their unauthorised employment. They had overstepped their visas’ boundaries, which did not permit them to work. Consequently, all 30 men now face charges of illegal labour.

The investigation did not stop there. Police have also apprehended an individual identified as the employer, though his name remains undisclosed in the official reports. This individual is currently being questioned to shed light on the employment of these foreign workers, reported The Phuket News.

This morning, the investigation shifted gears, focusing on potential human trafficking. Authorities from the Phuket office of the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, along with officers from the Phuket Provincial Labor Protection and Welfare Office, have joined forces at the Thalang Police Station.

To ensure effective communication during the investigation, an interpreter provided by the Tourist Police has been brought in. The Phuket Immigration Department will also be part of the inquiry team, along with investigators from Thalang Police. Their collective aim is to uncover the truth behind the illegal employment of these 30 men at a construction site in Phuket.

Colonel Nikorn has conveyed his commitment to justice, stating that if the detained men are found to be victims as per the Human Trafficking Act, they will receive appropriate assistance from a victim separation centre. Meanwhile, law enforcement agencies continue their vigilant pursuit of those involved in any form of human trafficking.

Phuket News

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.

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