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Drive to keep illegal migrants out

BANGKOK: More than 30,000 illegal migrants have been deported since the beginning of the year with the numbers rising ahead of the country’s reopening today (Nov 1), the Defence Ministry said yesterday.

immigrationCOVID-19Myanmar
By Bangkok Post

Monday 1 November 2021, 08:37AM


Illegal Myanmar migrants captured at the border. The Defence Ministry warns any state official found to be involved in human trafficking will face severe punishment. Photo: Royal Thai Army

Illegal Myanmar migrants captured at the border. The Defence Ministry warns any state official found to be involved in human trafficking will face severe punishment. Photo: Royal Thai Army

Security authorities are stepping up efforts along the border to fend off illegal entry and other illegal transborder activities including drug trafficking, said Lt Gen Kongcheep Tantravanich, the ministry’s spokesman. The military is working with police and local authorities to suppress these activities, he said.

Employers are also being encouraged to cooperate by not hiring illegal migrant workers who may not have been tested for COVID-19 and carry the risk of causing more outbreaks, he said.

In past months, businesses had ordered workers from labour brokers, some of whom smuggle in unregistered workers from neighbouring countries, reports the Bangkok Post.

State officials have allegedly been involved in these human trafficking activities and intelligence authorities are tracking them to establish a link with the human trafficking rings, he said. Most of the 30,343 illegal migrants detained were caught along the Thai-Myanmar and Thai-Cambodian borders, especially in Chiang Mai, Tak, Kanchanaburi and Chanthaburi, he said.

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In Tak province yesterday, soldiers from a special operation unit of Naresuan Task Force and Mae Sot district police raided a resort in tambon Tha Sai Luat of Mae Sot and detained 31 illegal Myanmar migrant workers, said a source.

Another 45 illegal Myanmar workers were detained along with five smugglers in a crackdown carried out along a natural trail near the Thai-Myanmar border in Muang district of Prachuap Khiri Khan.

These migrant workers have been then sent to a local border police unit for COVID-19 testing.

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