11 July 2024

Thai security forces arrested 33 illegal migrants from Myanmar in a forest in Sangkhla Buri district of the western province of Kanchanaburi today (Sunday).

The Lat Ya Special Task Force said that the group slipped across the porous natural border, from Myanmar’s Mawlamyine province, with the help of a Myanmar-based human trafficking ring, and took shelter in the forest at Khao Singto, in Sangkhla Buri, waiting to be picked up by a Thai human trafficking gang, working in collusion with their Myanmar counterparts.

The illegal migrants arrested – 26 men and 7 women – were, however, intercepted by Thai border forces and taken into custody.

Some of those arrested told Thai officials that, once in Thailand, they were to be sent to work in Samut Prakan, Ratchaburi or Bangkok, and that they had already paid the agents 16,000-18,000 Baht per person.

To the south, security along the Thai-Malaysian border in Songkhla province has been also tightened, to prevent illegal entry by Thais who have been working illegally in Malaysia and who might be carrying the highly contagious South African COVID-19 variant, which has been detected in Malaysia.

In the northern province of Chiang Rai, the Pha Muang task force has stepped up foot patrols along the border in Mae Sai district after entertainment venues and casinos in Myanmar’s township of Tachileik resumed operations.

It was reported that several Thai tourists had travelled across the border to Tachileik to gamble and to visit the night spots.