12 July 2024

Thai security officials seized about 8 million baht in cash from three Chinese nationals today. They had slipped across the porous Thai-Myanmar border, in Mae Sot district of Thailand’s northwestern province of Tak.

The man and two women were spotted by a Thai patrol unit, after they crossed the Moei River from Myanmar’s Myawaddi Township with a Myanmar porter, who is believed to be a member of a human trafficking gang.

The officials then searched a cardboard box and found bundles of 1,000 baht banknotes, altogether worth about eight million baht. All three illegal immigrants and the Myanmar porter were taken to the district’s immigration police office for COVID-19 screening before questioning.

The trio told the officials, through an interpreter, that they decided to escape to Thailand because they were afraid of becoming infected with COVID-19, which is spreading rapidly in Myanmar.

They said they were expecting to be picked up by a Thai national, who would arrange for their travel deeper inland to seek permanent refuge.