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Thais sending migrant workers back to Cambodia despite border closure

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times Share:
Migrant workers detained for trying to illegally cross into Thailand in Banteay Meanchey province. Facebook

Despite Thailand having closed its borders to prevent crossings in a bid to tackle COVID-19, Thai authotiries are sending back hundreds of Cambodians migrant workers through Banteay Meanchey province daily.

Provincial governor Um Reatrey said in a press conference on the progress and further direction of the Banteay Meanchey provincial administration at the Council of Ministers today, that the Thai side sends around 200 to 300 laid-off workers migrant workers back to Cambodia through corridors in the province.

On March 23, the authorities in Thailand’s Sa Kaeo province, which borders Cambodia’s Banteay Meanchey and Battambang provinces, decided to temporarily close all border gates to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The closure was to stop people of both countries from crossing the border and only trucks transporting goods, with two people inside, are allowed to enter and exit Thailand after strict inspection.

Mr Reatrey said groups of between 10 and 30 Cambodian nationals also attempt to cross the border to find work in Thailand daily, but are blocked by the authorities of both countries.

Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy police chief Brigadier General Rem Virak, said provincial police forces have cooperated with relevant institutions to deploy security forces to strictly monitor the border to prevent the illegal border crossings of Cambodians into Thailand.

“Officers at all 32 police stations along the border have paid attention and cooperated with local authorities and border military officers to prevent illegal border crossings, and we have also participated in disseminating information for the people to be aware of measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” he said.

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