not his first! driver arrested for smuggling illegal myanmar migrants into thailand
Aphiwatthana, 46, has been arrested for the fourth time in Songkhla for smuggling illegal Myanmar migrants into Thailand. The driver was apprehended along with the migrants being transported in his sport utility vehicle.
All 14 of them are now in police custody, facing charges and waiting for legal action, a report in Bangkok Post mentioned. Following a police pursuit along a highway, the arrest eventually took place at the Rattaphum district’s Khuha intersection.
Upon questioning by officials, the driver admitted to smuggling the migrants from neighbouring Myanmar to Songkhla for 2,500 baht per person. His criminal record revealed his previous arrests for the same crime.
He tried to justify his continued involvement in smuggling by calling the financial reward the primary reason. Meanwhile, the illegal migrants said they had paid a total of nearly 200,000 baht, or equivalent to 12 million kyat, to job brokers who had promised them work in Malaysia.
In another incident, a pickup truck smuggling illegal Myanmar migrants overturned last week in Kanchanaburi’s Sangkhla Buri district, resulting in a fatality and ten arrests. A police officer also sustained injuries in the incident as he was struck by one of the three trucks involved.
Police officers, soldiers and local authorities in a joint team noticed suspicious pickup trucks speeding along a local road at Sanehpong village, Moo 3, in the sub-district Nong Lu. When the vehicles were signalled to stop for a search, the drivers attempted to escape, speeding up.
While the pursuit was in progress, one of the trucks hit Pol. Capt. Pathiphan Yawan, deputy crime suppression chief at Sangkhla Buri station, injuring him. He was rushed to Sangkhla Buri Hospital for medical attention.
Both incidents bring the ongoing issue of human smuggling and illegal migration in Thailand under the spotlight.