11 July 2024

Police on the island province of Phuket have expanded their investigation into human smuggling activities, after rounding up some 28 Chinese nationals who exploited tourist visas to work at a construction site.

Acting on a tip-off about the presence of Chinese people in Thalang district, police raided a construction site in Ban Layan village yesterday and found Chinese nationals working there without appropriate documentation.

During the investigation, they told the police, through an interpreter, that they entered Thailand on free tourist visas. They identified a Chinese man, known only as “Heu”, who picked them up from Phuket International Airport and brought them to the construction site.

Some of the group worked on construction, while others worked as interior decorators, they claimed. They would start work at 8am, have a lunch break, and return to work at 1:30pm until 5pm.

They claimed that Heu promised to pay them a daily wage of Bt2,500-Bt2,800 (500-800 Yuan) and that they would receive their salaries every two months.

Police charged the Chinese nationals with working in Thailand illegally and they are trying to locate Heu.

There are reports of an increasing number of Chinese nationals entering Thailand to work illegally.On December 25, Highway police searched two pickup trucks, during a routine check in Tak province, and found 20 illegal immigrants. Four of them were Chinese nationals.