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.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia’s image problem

    In opening remarks at a recent event, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Luy David said information can be a double-edged sword. He told a European Institute of Asian Studies (EIAS) briefing seminar that the media has unfairly presented

  • PM Hun Sen says dangers averted

    Delivering a campaign speech from his home via Facebook Live on Thursday, caretaker Prime Minister Hun Sen said his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) had carried the country through danger in its latest mandate. He was specifically referring to the threat of a “colour revolution”

  • Kingdom's trade deal with EU questioned before poll

    A European Union (EU) mission met with senior government officials at the Ministry of Interior on Tuesday as the 28-member bloc monitors an agreement under which Cambodian goods reach the crucial European market tariff-free. Some 10 commissioners are in the Kingdom as part of a seven-day

  • A new carrier takes off in capital

    Cambodia Airways, the latest passenger airline to enter the Kingdom, launched its first domestic flight on Tuesday. Flight KR801, carrying 145 passengers, left the Phnom Penh International Airport at 9:50am and landed in Siem Reap at 10:35am in an Airbus A319. Cambodia Airways marketing and branding