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Chiang Rai Police Bust Vans Transporting 42 Illegal Myanmar Migrants

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Police in Mae Chan, Chiang Rai have arrested 42 illegal Myanmar migrants and 2 Thai Nationals for entering the Kingdom Illegally.

Mr. Prachon Prachasakul, Governor of Chiang Rai Province and Lt Col Manop Senakul, deputy commander of Chiang Rai Provincial Police told the press briefing that the 42 Myanmar migrants were being transported to Bangkok.

Police have arrested the drivers Mr. Wichai Longthip and Mr. La An Kham who were paid Bt5000 per person to transport the Myanmar Migrants to Phayao province. They said they were ordered by Myanmar man (Also Arrested) to avoid police checkpoints along the way.

However unknown to the to the van drivers or the Myanmar man, Mae Chan Police set up a spot road-check after receiving at tip-off from an informant in Mae Sai.

Upon interrogation by Mae Chan police the Myanmar man who organized the smuggling operation said he had charged each person Bt10,000 to be smuggled into Thailand then transported to Bangkok where they were to be handed over to job brokers.

Chiang Rai Police Bust Vans Transporting 42 Illegal Myanmar Migrants

Stemming the flow of illegal migrants

He told police that they had all waded across the Mae Sai River from the township of Tachileik under the cover of darkness. Once across the border a compatriot Mr Chan- who has also been arrested, picked them all up in an empty cargo van. They were then transported to the two waiting passenger vans about 30 minutes away.

Lt Col Manop said all will be charged with violating the Communicable Disease Law Committee, Entering the Kingdom Illegally and the Thai men were also charged with Human trafficking.

Meanwhile, Thailand’s Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered security forces to “step up” surveillance along the country’s four borders – with Myanmar, Malaysia, Cambodia and Laos. They have been ordered to help stem the flow of illegal migrants entering into Thailand illegally.

Thailand shares a massively long 2,500 kilometer border with Myanmar, most of the area undefined and littered with walking tracks through dense rain-forest.

Gen Prayut also ordered authorities to provide local quarantine facilities and field hospitals to accommodate Thai returnees crossing the northern borders.

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