Taxi driver abandons illegal migrants after blowout

A taxi driver in West Thailand panicked and fled after a tyre on his pickup burst carrying 33 illegal migrants. Police reported they want to talk to the driver and have launched a search for him.

The Thai driver fled after a left rear tyre burst leaving 33 illegal migrants from Myanmar abandoned in a pickup truck in Muang district in the early hours this morning.

According to police reports, two local leaders of tambon Kaeng Sian, Rassamee Silatham, head of village Moo 9, and Thanakorn Kasemsot, head of village Moo 2, alerted the police around 3.30am about a suspicious pickup truck with an enclosed box parked on the Kanchanaburi – Sai Yok Road.

When officers arrived at the scene, they found the pickup truck with Kanchanaburi license plates parked on the shoulder of the road, Bangkok Post reported. Upon opening the enclosed box, they discovered 33 men and women packed inside, all of whom were illegal Myanmar migrants. The driver was nowhere to be found.

During interrogation, the migrants informed the police that the pickup truck was being driven by a Thai man and was travelling along Rajabhat – Kanchanaburi Road, heading towards a bypass road in Muang district. They further revealed that they illegally entered Thailand through a natural border crossing and were waiting for the driver to pick them up.

Upon reaching the Kaeng Sian intersection, the driver noticed a road checkpoint nearby and immediately made a U-turn. After driving for about 2 kilometres, the left rear tyre suddenly burst, following which the taxi driver abandoned the pickup truck and fled the scene.

The migrants were taken to Muang Police Station for legal proceedings, while the police launched a search for the absconding taxi driver. The driver’s statement is crucial to the investigation, and the police are appealing to the public to come forward with any information that may lead to his whereabouts.

Illegal migrants from Myanmar is a familiar theme in Thailand.

Only two weeks ago, police discovered 106 illegal migrants crammed into a truck in Prachuap Khiri Khan province, western Thailand, yesterday. The driver was nowhere to be found.

These incidents highlight the ongoing issue of illegal migration in the region and the challenges faced by authorities in curbing it.


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Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.