Police in Chiang Rai Province have arrested 3 Thai men and 9 illegal Chinese Nationals travelling in three cars in Thoeng district. A police spokesperson said officers stopped the three cars in front of Mae Loi Rai School in tambon Mae Loi in Theong district on Friday.
The arrests followed a tip-off that some foreign nationals were being brought into the country illegally, the police spokesperson told CTN News.
Chiang Rai police officers found nine Chinese men inside the three vehicles driven by three Thai nationals. Furthermore police also reported that the Chinese nationals had no entry documents or visas.
The Thai and Chinese nationals were taken to the Thoeng Chiang Rai police station for legal action. The Thai nationals were charged with human trafficking. The Chinese nationals were charged with entering and staying in the Kingdom without legal documentation. Furthermore the smugglers and the Chinese nationals will be put into state quarantine for 14 days.
The Chinese nationals will then be consequently handed over to Chiang Rai immigration officials for deportation.
Crackdown on Human Smuggling
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha this week vowed swift action to root out human smuggling, along with gambling dens. The gambling dens have also been blamed for the new wave of infections.
The recent surge in Covid-19 cases, believed to have originated among illegal migrants from Myanmar, has forced the government to concede that it needs to do more to stop human trafficking.
However controlling the Thailand’s porous borders is difficult, especially in the north. The problem is compounded by the alleged involvement of crooked police officers, soldiers and civil servants in smoothing the way for traffickers.
Meanwhile, Thailand’s health official reported a total of 212 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday. With 187 local covid-19 cases, 6 from active testing and 19 arrivals from abroad. The new covid-19 cases raised the cumulative total past 10,000 to 10,053, with no new deaths.
Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), urged people to download the Mor Chana contact-tracing app to help authorities keep the virus in check.
As of Saturday, a total of 1.68 million people had downloaded the smartphone app. The use of the Mor Chana contact-tracing app has also become mandatory in five provinces.