Cambodians arrested after crossing border
Forty-four Cambodian migrant workers were arrested on Monday in Thailand’s Sa Kaeo province while trying to cross the border illegally.
The Royal Thai Police website said police working with border patrol soldiers caught two overloaded vehicles and found the undocumented workers.
“One of the Cambodian migrants, Pak Thong, 24, from Siem Reap province, said he had paid 2,500 baht [$70] to brokers to transport him to look for a job in Bangkok,” the website said.
Bun Sok Vibol, a Cambodian consular official in Sa Kaeo province, confirmed the Cambodians had crossed into Thailand illegally to seek employment.
“They were arrested for not having legal documents to travel in Thailand,” he said.
He said that normally after Thai authorities caught Cambodians, consular office staff contacted Thai authorities to secure their release.
“Those Cambodian workers were allowed to return home and they were sent back to Cambodia by Thai authorities through border checkpoints, primarily at Poipet in Banteay Meanchey province on Monday,” Mr. Sok Vibol said, adding that the Thai side always agreed to Cambodia’s requests.
Mr. Sok Vibol said that on average about 100 undocumented Cambodian workers were deported from Thailand every day.
In recent years, reports of Cambodian nationals being killed, seriously injured or detained by Thai soldiers while attempting to illegally cross the border into Thailand have become commonplace.
From 2010 to 2015, at least 143 Cambodians were killed by Thai soldiers and several hundred were seriously injured along the nearly 800-kilometer border.
Often the victims are people fleeing poor living conditions, lured by the promise of riches from brokers operating illegal rosewood logging operations. Others, however, are merely looking for honest work.
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