Chiang Rai Police have detained a Mae Fah Luang district chief after he was caught transporting nine Chinese nationals that illegally entered Thailand from Myanmar.
On Monday afternoon at approximately 3:00 p.m., soldiers from the Pha Muang Force stopped a black Isuzu truck at a checkpoint in Mae Fah Luang district of Chiang Rai.
According to police, the pickup was driven by Mr. Thanapol, 48 (surname withheld), the district chief in Mae Fah Luang.
Chiang Rai police said nine Chinese men were on the back of his pickup truck.
They admitted to entering Thailand illegally via Myanmar’s Tachilek township, located directly across from Chiang Rai’s Mae Sai district.
The Pha Muang Force soldiers discovered 45 mobile phones, many credit cards, and cash in their possession.
Mr. Thanapol stated that an unnamed individual took the nine Chinese men to his home and requested that he transport them to Mae Sai district in Chiang Rai.
He was to be compensated 1,000 baht for each of them.
He told police that he believed the Chinese were holding passports but had no idea how they entered the country.
When questioned, the nine men revealed they solicited internet investments from a contact center in the Tachilek township in Myanmar.
They said they fled to Thailand to avoid Myanmar government action.
The nine men were sent to the immigration office in Chiang Rai for legal proceedings.
Mr. Thanapol was taken to the Mae Fa Luang police station, where he was initially charged with human trafficking.