Thai Driver and 13 Illegal Migrants Detained in Songkhla

illegal migration smuggling

Migrants Caught in Rattaphum District

In a recent incident, a Thai driver and 13 illegal migrants from Myanmar were detained in the Rattaphum district of Songkhla, a southern province in Thailand. Immigration police followed and intercepted a sport utility vehicle on a highway at Khuha intersection in Rattaphum district on Thursday evening.

The Thai driver, identified only as Aphiwatthana, 46, faced arrest after 13 illegal migrant workers were discovered crammed inside his vehicle. The migrants, all from Myanmar, faced transport to Rattaphum police station.

Driver’s Motivation and Criminal History

During interrogation, Aphiwatthana admitted that he transported the migrants from Surat Thani to Songkhla for financial reward. He was hired at a rate of 2,500 baht per person. A criminal record check revealed that this was not Aphiwatthana’s first arrest for smuggling illegal migrants; he had been caught three times before. Aphiwatthana informed police that he continued to take the job due to the lucrative payment.

Migrants’ Journey and Promise of Work in Malaysia

The detained migrants shared that they paid a total of 12 million kyat, which is approximately 200,000 baht, to job brokers in exchange for the promise of work in Malaysia. Authorities have charged the driver and the migrants, and they are currently being held in police custody pending legal action.

Ongoing Issues with Illegal Migration

This case sheds light on the ongoing challenges faced by both Thai authorities and migrants in search of employment opportunities outside their home countries. Illegal migration remains a pressing concern, with individuals often risking their safety and well-being for the prospect of a better life in another country.