Authorities arrest illegal migrant labourers; 35 Laos, 39 Cambodians detained


BANGKOK, May 7 – Thirty-five Laotian workers and a Thai national were arrested in Nakhon Nayok Monday while the workers hid in two pickup trucks trying to return to their home country, and 39 Cambodian workers were intercepted at Aranyaprathet while trying to enter Thailand under false pretenses.

In Nakhon Nayok, Uthai Saengchompou was apprehended with 15 Lao men and 20 Lao women — including four under 18 years old, according to the Thai Police Department’s Anti-Human Trafficking Division (AHTD).

The Thai man is suspected of involvement with an organised human trafficking ring.

Investigators said Mr Uthai confessed that the vehicles, stopped by police in the central province of Nakhon Nayok, were carrying the foreign workers to a Mekong River port in the northeast’s Ubon Ratchathani province. The labourers had entered Thailand illegally, Mr Uthai said, and some had worked here for more than three years in factories, construction sites and restaurants.

Meanwhile, in Sa Kaeo province, 39 Cambodians were arrested at the Poi Pet-Aranyaprathet checkpoint for entering Thailand illegally to find jobs.

Local authorities said the Cambodians were holding one-day passes to visit Thailand’s Rong Kluea Market from 7am-8pm, but their names and photos on passes did not match.

Investigators found that the Cambodians pay Bt300 to a trafficker for each one-day pass to cross the border, intending to illegally move on to work in Bangkok and the eastern province of Chonburi.

The Thai authorities charged the Cambodian nationals with illegal entry and said they will cooperate with Cambodia’s authorities to press charges against the real ticket holders.