An officer speaks to a Myanmar woman after she and 18 other compatriots were arrested for illegal entry during a raid on a house in Sangkhla Buri district, Kanchanaburi on Saturday. (Photo: Piyarat Chongcharoen)
KANCHANABURI: Nineteen illegal job seekers from Myanmar and six Thai men were arrested at a house in Sangkhla Buri district on Saturday.
Police, soldiers and immigration officers searched the house in Tikhrong village in Tambon Prang Phle, following reports that a group of illegal migrants had been taken there while waiting to be transported to inland areas said Pol Col Thanakorn Rodthong, Sangkhla Buri Police Chief.
The arrest team found 12 men and seven women inside the house. All were illegal migrants from Myanmar. A Thai man, identified only as Pui, and his five assistants who took the migrants home have been arrested.
The team seized 53,660 baht hidden in a book, a motorbike and five mobile phones from the house.
During interrogation, Mr Pui admitted that he was a job broker and he and his five accomplices smuggled Myanmar nationals from Payatongsu, a border town opposite Sangkhla Buri.
Motorcycles and boats were used to transport migrants across the border. They were then taken to his home while waiting for vehicles to pick them up. The migrants were charged 32,000 baht per head, the suspect said.
The migrants told the arrest team that they had come from several provinces in their country to find work in Thailand. They said internal instability and a lack of jobs in their country led them to cross the border illegally to risk a better life in Thailand.
Authorities carried out temperature checks on the migrants and their temperatures were normal.
The migrants and Thai men were handed over to Sangkhla Buri for legal action.
A source said joint patrols by security bureaus and local officials on Friday arrested 37 illegal Myanmar border crossers and five guides at five locations in Thong Pha Phum and Sangkhla Buri border areas.
Nineteen Myanmar nationals arrested for illegal entry were taken to Sangkhla Buri police station on Saturday. (Photo: Piyarat Chongcharoen)