49 Myanmar Nationals Arrested for Illegal Entry
On the early morning of May 24, 2023, forty-nine Myanmar nationals were arrested in Thong Pha Phum district, Kanchanaburi, and charged with illegal entry. Acting on a tip-off, soldiers from the Surasee Task Force and Thong Pha Phum police discovered the group hiding in a teak forest near Moo 1 village in tambon Tha Khanun. The group comprised of 29 men and 20 women, all undocumented.
Migrants’ Origins and Trafficking Fees
According to the arrested individuals, they hailed from Mawlamyine, Yangon, Bago, and Rakhine townships in Myanmar. Each of them had paid between 20,000 to 30,000 baht to brokers who promised them jobs in Samut Sakhon, Rayong, Kanchanaburi, and Bangkok. These brokers facilitated their illegal crossing into Thailand.
Awaiting Transportation to Promised Jobs
The apprehended migrants revealed that they had crossed the border into Thailand and were waiting for transportation to the locations where they were promised jobs. Following the arrest, they were handed over to Thong Pha Phum police for legal proceedings and will be repatriated soon.
The Ongoing Issue of Illegal Migration
Illegal migration remains a critical issue in the region, as individuals seeking better economic opportunities often fall prey to human trafficking networks. These networks exploit vulnerable people by charging exorbitant fees and subjecting them to dangerous journeys. The arrest of these 49 migrants highlights the need for continued vigilance and cooperation among regional authorities to combat human trafficking and protect the rights of migrants.