Thais arrest 100 undocumented Myanmar workers

About 100 undocumented Myanmar workers were arrested in a raid by Thai officials near the Myanmar-Thai border in Mae Sot, Tak province, on Thursday, officials and civil society groups said. 

A team of Thai immigration, police, army and Department of Employment officials conducted the early morning raid in an area known to have many Myanmar nationals working illegally.

“They didn’t have proper documents, so they were arrested and deported,” migrant rights volunteer Ko Saw Lin Aung said. “They will be banned from re-entering Thailand for up to two years, according to Thai immigration law.”

He said the Thai authorities released hundreds of workers who had the proper documents.

Ko Saw Lin Aung, who is also founder of the Labour Hittai news portal, said his group provides information to Myanmar migrants in the kingdom.

Many Myanmar nationals work illegally in Mae Sot by crossing the river from Myawady township in Kayin State, Ko Saw Lin Aung said.

Up to 18,000 Myanmar workers enter the kingdom monthly at Mae Sot from Myawady under an agreement between the two countries, according to Myanmar’s Labour Ministry.

Hundreds of Myanmar workers are deported by Thai immigration authorities to Myanmar every day through the Mae Sot checkpoint, according to Myanmar’s Ministry of Home Affairs.

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