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Human Traffickers Turn to Smaller Vehicles for Migrant Smuggling

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Border security officials report human traffickers have turned to smaller vehicles to smuggle migrants into Thailand. Three Thais driving separate vehicles were arrested and a total of seven illegal migrants taken into custody at road checkpoints on Friday.

Job brokers awaiting delivery of the illegal workers were also arrested.

Officers manning a checkpoint in Kanchanburi Province stopped a white Toyota Yaris car with Kanchanaburi plates for a search. The car was driven by a  44 year-old Thai woman. Inside were four Myanmar nationals – a 43-year-old man, two women, aged 33 and 17, and a 9-year-old boy. All were illegal migrants.

The woman confessed to taking them from Sangkhla Buri district to meet job brokers. The brokers supplied migrants to employers in Bangkok, she told police. The job brokers were later also arrested, but police gave no details.

Police said Ms Sasiphen was the wife of a tambon administration organization official in Sangkhla Buri district. She had a gem trading business in the border district, and a tourism  business in Myanmar’s Phyathonzu border town.

Human Traffickers Turn to Smaller Vehicles for Migrant Smuggling

Smuggled Migrants had Jobs Waiting

Also on Friday, police, soldiers and local officials manning a road checkpoint at Rantee bridge in Sangkhla Buri district of in Kanchanaburi Province stopped two Toyota Fortuners.

Officers initially saw five Thai passengers sitting in the first vehicle. A closer check revealed two illegal Myanmar migrants, women aged 30 and 18, hiding in the back.

The man confessed he was smuggling them from Phra Chedi Sam Ong village, or Three Pagodas, in Sangkhla Buri district to Bangkok. According to the Bangkok Post a job was waiting for them.

A search of the second Toyota Fortuner, uncovered a 42-year-old Myanmar man hiding under a blanket in the third row of passenger seats.

The woman driver told police the man was a former employee. She had picked him up at a market in Sangkhla Buri and taking him to work at her shop in Ratchaburi.

Officials checked the temperatures of all occupants of the three vehicles. All were below 37.5°C. They were handed over to police at Thong Pha Phum and Sangkhla Buri districts.

An official at the checkpoint said smugglers had switched to using personal vehicles to bring in a few illegal workers each time, instead of using vans or trucks carrying many of them into central Thailand.

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