Police catch Myanmar workers being smuggled into Thailand
Ten Burmese workers were caught allegedly being smuggled by land into Thailand.
Thai police arrested two taxi drivers who after their vehicles were stopped at a checkpoint where they were found to have transported the illegal immigrants from Malaysia into Songkhla province on May 9.
The drivers Abdulroman Khongkhalihmin, 47, and Siriwat Suwanmanee, 51, were allegedly hired by a woman to take the workers from the border into a drop-off point at a market in the city in exchange for 1,500 baht per trip.
Following strict Covid-19 protocols in the border, the drivers and the immigrants were immediately quarantined and tested for coronavirus especially the Indian and South African strains.
Police Colonel Ayupan Karnasuta said the drivers might have been hired by an illegal worker smuggling network that operated in the region.
He said: ‘Abdulroman confessed that this was the second time that he smuggled illegal immigrants into the country after successfully bringing in four labourers while Siriwat reportedly did it for the first time.
‘They were hired by a female agent who told them to pick up Burmese workers from the Malaysia-Thailand border to drop at a market in the city. They didn’t know who she was but received 1,500 baht each trip.
‘The workers had to pay 30,000 baht to the agent in their home country as well as some people who will help them in Thailand. They said they were struggling in Malaysia as the government tried to push the illegal foreign workers out of the country.’
The drivers will be investigated for their connection to an illegal worker smuggling network while waiting for their Covid-19 test results.