The Immigration Bureau arrested a 55-year-old Thai woman at a hotel in the Aranyaprathet district of Sa Kaeo province on Tuesday for allegedly trafficking illegal immigrants into Thailand during the covid-19 lockdown.
The woman, an employment agent, was identified as Patcharat Sathon and had set up a Facebook page to advertise her services to migrant workers from neighboring countries.
The page “Je Petch Poipet” was used as a means to communicate with people who wanted to enter Thailand and bypass the strict entry rules in place, including mandatory quarantine and covid-19 checks.
The suspect had been forthright about her Facebook page services, leading to the Immigration Bureau discovering the social media page and tracking her down.
Ms. Sathon claimed on her Facebook account that she could bring people into Thailand without them requiring a health check or a 14-day stay in quarantine.
She charged prospective customers 4,000 baht for the service, with 500 baht paid upfront and the remaining 3,500 baht paid after crossing the border into Thailand.
Once the immigrant workers had arrived in Thailand, an unknown accomplice collected them and brought them to their destination. The name and nationality of the accomplice is not yet known according to Immigration Bureau Commissioner, Pol Lt Sompong Chingduang.
It is also unknown how many migrant workers successfully used the service to enter Thailand and bypass covid-19 preventative measures illegally.
Last weekend, 88 illegal workers from Cambodia were caught in Chachoengsao, along with five Thai traffickers.
Pol Lt Chinduang said that an investigation is underway to discover who else was involved in the trafficking network.
Source: Bangkok Post