Songkhla man arrested on suspicions of trafficking Burmese migrants to Malaysia

Photo via Third Navy Area Facebook page

Following last month’s arrest of 31 Burmese migrants trying to cross through Songkhla province into Malaysia, police have now caught a man suspected of trafficking them. Yesterday, police in Sadao district arrested Saiyid Ratdaewa after finding him in a house he was renting. Police say they found that Saiyid was a job broker for migrants seeking jobs in Malaysia. Police also found a pistol and 33 rounds of ammunition, as well as a pickup truck and a mobile phone.

The alleged smugglers involved in the operation were Thai, Malaysian, and Myanmar nationals. The 31 migrants they tried to smuggle included 25 men and six women. Police found them hiding in a ditch on a rubber plantation in Sadao district, about one kilometre from the Malaysia border. The migrants said they first entered Thailand through a natural border crossing in Tak, a Northern province, and a pickup truck took them to Songkhla. Another pickup truck then took them to Sadao. Once in Sadao, they had been told to wait for help getting across the border into Malaysia.

Saiyid is from Padang Besar, a Malaysian town that borders Songkhla.

Migrants from Myanmar frequently try to cross into Thailand for jobs. They often pay job brokers a lot of money to find them jobs, from 5,000 to 50,000 baht. With the recent spike in Covid-19, Thai officials have warned people to “look out for” illegal migrants. They have also said they will crack down on smuggling gangs, and factories hiring illegal migrants.

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SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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