The Lao nationals were returned to Laos without being jailed.
When: December 7th, 2020
Where: Khong Chiam district, Ubon Ratchathani
Perpetrators: 58 illegal Lao workers; smugglers
Victims: Thai society
What: The coordinated efforts of the Thai Royal Army saw a major bust today in the illegal smuggling of workers into Thailand. A total of 58 Lao nationals were brought across the Mekong into Ubon Ratchathani province. The intention was to have them work for a monthly wage of 5,000 baht in Bangkok and surrounding provinces.
The 58 Lao nationals included 27 men and 31 women. All were given temperature checks, which turned up normal. The Lao nationals were turned over to immigration and sent back to Laos according to agreements between the two nations.
Mr. Pornthep, the van driver, was hired for 3,000 baht to pick up the illegal laborers and deliver them to the province. He will be prosecuted according to the law.
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My take: The movement of people across the borders of South East Asia was normal before, during, and after this COVID-19 pandemic. Stories like this will be more frequent as enforcement efforts on the border are stepped up to appease the people of Thailand.
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