Units of a newly deployed, 100-strong military police force stationed around Banteay Meanchey province’s Poipet town after Pchum Ben snared 23 workers seeking to illegally cross the border into Thailand for work on Tuesday.
Twenty mobile, five-man units were patrolling in rotating day and night shifts to detect illegal cross-border activity, Ham Muth, Poipet’s deputy military commander, said.
The teams found the 23 would-be migrants waiting in the jungle for brokers to take them to Thailand, Muth said.
“We stopped them and educated them about the risks to illegal migrants who cross the border, then released them to return home,” he said, noting that migrants could be shot or jailed by Thai authorities, or mistreated by employers.
In the past 20 days, Poipet authorities had stopped 113 migrants coming from Siem Reap, Kampong Cham and Oddar Meanchey provinces with the intent to cross the border into Thailand, he said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Vong Sokheng at [email protected]