BANGKOK – More than 100 Cambodians were deported from Thailand yesterday after Thai security forces conducted operations over the weekend aimed at stemming the flow of illegal immigrants.
Net Sary, Cambodia’s consul-general in Thailand’s Sa Kaeo province, said yesterday that 120 Cambodians, including four minors, were deported after being detained at a market.
“Cambodian authorities also captured many people and advised them not to cross the border illegally to work in Thailand,” he said, adding that scores of Cambodians are deported from the province every day.
The workers, he said, were waiting for brokers to take them to their jobs when the police raided the market.
Hundreds of Cambodians hoping to cross the border were also turned back by local authorities in Battambang and Banteay Meanchey provinces, Sary added.
Rights groups have warned that the numbers of migrant workers heading to Thailand is increasing, as are the risks they face on arrival.
The bodies of eight Cambodian workers killed in two separate car crashes in March and April were repatriated on Saturday.
Seven of the workers were killed in a crash on Friday in Chonburi province while the eighth, a waste collector working in Pattaya, died on Friday after struggling to survive serious injuries sustained when he fell from a truck on March 30.
Twelve workers who were seriously injured in the two accidents were also sent home.
“We gave the bodies, and the injured people, to their families and relatives,” Sary said.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong said the government was in talks with Thai authorities to seek compensation from the companies that hired the workers.
A number of recent high-profile deaths of Cambodians in Thailand has underscored the dangers faced by migrants.
In early April, nine migrants died returning home for Khmer New Year in a car crash in Chanthaburi province and at least five Cambodians died the same month when a bomb exploded at a scrap metal warehouse in Bangkok.