Thai authorities intercept illegal migrant worker trafficking ring


RANONG, Jan 28 — A Thai army military task force has intercepted an illegal migrant worker trafficking ring in Ranong and detained 27 Myanmar nationals who were being smuggled into Thailand.

Col Uthit Anantananond, Deputy Commander of a special 25th Infantry Regiment task force said a patrol unit was sent to inspect the shoreline at Koh Chak in Ngao subdistrict of the Ranong provincial seat after receiving a tip that illegal immigrants would be smuggled into the kingdom.

The authorities found a longtail boat that was being piloted suspiciously, as it attempted to escape into a mangrove forest near Khlong Ton Son in Ngao subdistrict. The patrol unit intercepted the boat, stopping it, finding 27 Myanmar men and women.  Two Ranong natives, identified as Suracha Klasuek and Adul Chualchart, were arrested.

They said they were hired to smuggle the migrants into Thailand and the group had entered Thailand on Saturday and were waiting to transfer them to Songkhla by car.

Col Uthit said legal action would be taken against the pair for helping the migrants to illegally enter Thailand while the 27 Myanmar nationals would face illegal entry charges.