Bangkok, 12 August 2019 – Eighteen out of 42 Thai fishing crew members have returned to Thailand after their employer abandoned them on a vessel in the sea off Somalia. They will be taken for interrogation by Thai authorities before returning to their homes.
The 18 fishermen arrived at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Samut Prakan province at 6:30 a.m. Aug 12. The crew boarded Thai International Airways (THAI) flight TG 518 in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE). They were welcomed by officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Labor, the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Division, the Royal Thai Police, the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security and the Royal Thai Navy. The officials had provided them with assistance when they were stranded in Somalia.
13 out of the 42 fishermen are members of the Overseas Workers Welfare Fund of the Department of Employment. Five of the 18 crew members who returned this morning are members of this fund. They will receive compensation for their expenses related to traveling abroad, accommodation, meals, medical check-ups and other necessities. The compensations shall not exceed 30,000 baht.
The 18 workers will be taken to the Department of Employment for questioning about their working conditions. They will meet the Labor Minister, MR Chatumongol Sonakul, to express their gratitude for helping them return home safely.
The Department of Employment and the Department of Social Development and Welfare, under the administration of the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, have cooperated to transport the 18 workers to their home provinces. Eight of them are from Buri Ram, six are from Surin, two are from Phetchabun, one is from Samut Sakon and another is from Chaiyaphum.