Thai authorities yesterday arrested 80 Cambodians suspected of illegally crossing the border in Banteay Meanchey province into Chachoengsao province.
A Thai online media portal reported that a raid was carried out after a Thai citizen reported the presence of a group of Cambodian migrants in a forest in the province’s Bang Khla district.
It said military officers, in collaboration with district authorities, raided the area and found 80 men had entered Thailand illegally.
“The Cambodian migrant workers confessed that they had crossed into the district yesterday morning to wait for a van to transport them to work in different provinces,” the news report said. “All of them are being detained at Bang Khla district hall.”
Brigadier General Neth Sam Ath, acting director of RCAF Cambodia-Thailand Border Relations Bureau, yesterday said that he did not have any information about the arrests yet.
“I have not received any information but I will check on the report,” he said.
Major General Ath Khem, Banteay Meanchey provincial police chief, could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Last month, Interior Minister Sar Kheng expressed concern that some Cambodian illegal workers sent back from Thailand had been injured while working there.
“Whether they were undocumented or not, they were sent home through an international checkpoint and were disabled. This is an issue that we regret, and is very painful,” Mr Kheng said. “They leave the Kingdom physically able, but when they return, they return with broken legs, broken hands, or injured eyes. So it’s a tragedy that we cannot ignore.”
He added that the government has to investigate the issue because injured returnees pose a burden to their families and the state.