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job seekers arrested near Malaysian border

Fourteen illegal Myanmar migrants heading for promised jobs in Malaysia were arrested near the southern border in Sadao district in the early hours of Thursday.

A patrol of soldiers, border police and local officials found the 10 men and four women hiding in forest near Dan Nok village, Moo 2 in tambon Samnak Kham, around 3.30am, Col Thanitphon Hongwilai, commander of a military task force, said.

All had entered Thailand illegally and said they were waiting for someone to take them across the border to Malaysia.

Some could speak Thai. During questioning they admitted having travelled from Yangon and Rakhine in  Myanmar. They had contacted a job broker in Myanmar to get work in Malaysia and were told it would cost them each 30,000 baht.

They left by boat from Myanmar’s Kawthaung province on April 21 and landed in a forested area in Ranong province

On May 4, a pickup truck picked them up. They travelled for about 5 hours and were transferred to another vehicle which took them to somewhere they did not know. Another pickup truck then took them up to the spot in Songkhla where they were found by the arresting team. 

All were taken to Sadao Hospital for Covid-19 screening before being handed over to Sadao police for processing on charges of illegal entry.

Fourteen Myanmar nationals hold paper signs with their names and ages after being arrested near the border in Sadao district of Songkhla for illegal entry. (Photo: Assawin Pakkawan)

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