Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Thailand arrests, repatriates 100 workers

Thailand arrests, repatriates 100 workers

Thailand arrests, repatriates 100 workers

More than a hundred illegal Cambodian migrant workers smuggled into Thailand were arrested and sent back home yesterday, according to Cambodia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Thai media reported the Cambodians had been hiding in forest near the border town of Aranyaprathet waiting for traffickers to take them to Bangkok.

But the traffickers – who Thai police suggested had heard of an impending crackdown – never showed up, leaving police to arrest the migrants en masse.

Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong said the migrant workers, 86 men, 42 women, and a boy and a girl of unspecified age, were arrested yesterday morning and eventually transferred to Cambodian authorities, arriving back in the Kingdom in the afternoon.

“[They were arrested] only yesterday, [and stayed] not even a day in Thailand,” Kuong said.

The workers then separated and started making their way home. None were charged or punished in any way on arrival in Cambodia, Kuong said.

Thai media reported the migrants had paid 2,500 baht ($77) each to a Cambodian trafficker to take them to Bangkok.

Cambodians are allowed to work in Thailand by registering with a list of approved agencies that legally send them to the country, but some avoid the agencies due to high fees and a lack of transparency.

Last month, police arrested the owner of a phony work agency in Phnom Penh after workers protested they had arrived in Thailand with no jobs on location, despite paying a hefty $350 finder’s fee.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all