11 July 2024

About 20 police officers and 10 officials from other state agencies are suspected of being involved in the smuggling of illegal migrant workers from Myanmar into Thailand, said Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittipraphat, the deputy national police chief, told the media today.

Police alleged to be involved rank from non-commissioned officers to a deputy commander of provincial police, he said, adding that he will submit a detailed report about this case, and a recommendation that a fact-finding panel to be set up to explore legal and disciplinary actions against those implicated, to the national police chief, Pol Gen Suwat Chaengyodsuk,.

The report on the involvement of officials from other state agencies will be referred to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, the deputy national police chief said.

He disclosed that he will seek court warrants for the arrest of eight civilians suspected of involvement in the smuggling, allegedly with the help of police and other government officials.

Illegal migrant workers from Myanmar, who were unknowingly infected with COVID-19, are believed to have spread the contagion among their countrymen in their cramped dormitory and to Thais working at the central shrimp market in Samut Sakhon province, an outbreak which eventually spread to many other provinces across Thailand.