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Migrants home after Thai jail stint

Two Cambodian migrant workers were repatriated on Tuesday evening after spending more than a month and a half in a Thai jail for unwittingly bringing one too many cartons of cigarettes into the country.

Cambodians Ngar Ros, 39, and Phea Tan, 22, were arrested in June while carrying three cartons of cigarettes each across the border to find work in Thailand, Sin Nam Yung, deputy director of migrant worker coordination at Poipet town, said yesterday.

“They were sentenced to 48 days in prison by Sa Kaeo provincial court after they realised that they are legal workers and had the light pink cards issued by Thai authorities, and had brought cigarettes in over the legal limit to use themselves while they worked in that province,” she said, adding that Thai law only permits visitors to bring in two packs of cigarettes.

Six more Cambodians were also repatriated on Tuesday after being allegedly made to pay 15,000 baht each (a little over $450) to authorities to avoid being sent to court for carrying expired work permits, according to Nam Yung.



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