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15 illegal migrant workers, smuggler arrested in Hat Yai

Bangkok Post, Thailand, 1 May 2019 - Fifteen illegal Myanmar workers crammed into a pickup truck were arrested along with their Thai driver after the vehicle evaded a checkpoint and plunged into a median ditch in Hat Yai district early Wednesday morning.

Police officers manning a road checkpoint on Asia Road in front of Khuan Luang municipality office in Hat Yai district signalled a Isuzu D-Max pickup truck with Bangkok licence plates to stop for a search at around 5am on Saturday.

Instead of stopping, police said, the driver made a sharp U-turn, but the pickup truck plunged into the ditch dividing the road, which was being expanded.

The driver opened the door and ran, but police managed to arrest him.  He was identified as Sulak Chaosuankluay, 40, of Ranong province.

Fifteen illegal Myanmar workers -- 14 men and one woman --  were found crammed inside the cab and lying down on the bed of the pickup truck underneath a tarpaulin.

Mr Sulak told police that he had picked up the illegal migrant workers from Phatthalung province and was transporting them to tambon Ban Phru in Hat Yai, where someone would drive them to a border area to cross into Malaysia.

The driver said he had been paid 3,000 baht per head. He and the other illegal migrant workers were held in police custody for legal action.


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