Police in southern Thailand have arrested a Thai pickup driver and his cargo of 15 Bangladeshi workers, bound for Malaysia. The Bangkok Post reports that the arrests took place in the southern province of Songkhla at around 11.00pm on Tuesday, December 19.
It’s understood the pickup truck was stopped at an intersection while travelling south through the Rattaphum district on the south-bound Asian Highway 2.
A search of the vehicle found 15 Bangladeshi migrants hidden under a tarpaulin. They are understood to have entered Thailand illegally and were being transported to Malaysia for work.
The 15 workers were arrested, as was their Thai driver, named as 28 year old Saifa Chinnaket. Songkhla immigration inspector Phongsiri Phitak, who led the operation, says Saifa told officers he’d been hired to drive the workers from Chachoengsao in eastern Thailand to Songkhla.
He says the men had been smuggled into the eastern province of Sa Kaeo, via a natural crossing at the Cambodian border. He was being paid 2,000 per person to transport the workers, some of whom had paid up to 120,000 to “brokers”.
The Bangladeshis were taken to Rattaphum district police for legal processing and will likely be deported back to Bangladesh.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post