The General Department of Immigration said Thai authorities deported 44 Cambodian workers via the borders in Banteay Meanchey and Battambang provinces on Monday and Tuesday.
According to a GID report published yesterday, ten Cambodians, including five women and one child, were arrested by Thai authorities on Monday and sent back via the Poipet International Checkpoint in Banteay Meanchey.
On Tuesday, Thailand sent back 34 Cambodians via the border at Battambang, GID said in the report.
It added that border police received the 34 Cambodian citizens who were detained in the Thai border town of Chanburi after Thai immigration officers refused them entry.
“The police questioned them and they said that Thai immigration authorities did not allow them to enter the country,” the report said. “They said they were trying to travel to Malaysia through Thailand.”
After questioning them, police told them that although the Cambodian authorities do not prohibit them from travelling abroad, the Thai authorities had the right to deny them.
Rain Sey, a Poipet border police officer, said Thailand usually deports Cambodians who work illegally.
“We do not know exactly why the 44 were repatriated from Thailand, but normally those who go to Thailand to work or stay illegally are sent back,” he said. “There are workers who are repatriated via the border every day.”
Mr Sey noted that the number of Cambodian workers repatriated from Thailand now has gone down from more than a hundred previously to only 20 to 30 workers daily.
On February 10, eight out of eleven Cambodians who were arrested last month by authorities in Thailand’s southern Pattani province over suspected links to a Muslim militant insurgent group in the country, were sent back to Cambodia.
On January 29, Thai authorities arrested 11 Cambodian students during a raid on a pondok, or Muslim religious school in Pattani province’s Ma-Yor district. Nine of them were living in Thailand with expired passports and one had no identification documents.
Othsman Hassan, a senior Minister and also President of Muslims Development Foundation said that eight of the eleven Cambodian Muslims were sent back and three are still detained in Thailand.