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Migrant workers in Thailand instructed to wear ID wristbands

PATHUM THANI — In an effort to crackdown on undocumented immigrants, police in Pathum Thani have instructed migrant workers in a major market to wear wristbands indicating they have been properly registered.

Pol.Maj.Gen. Montri Yimyaem, commander of Pathum Thani Police, said that workers from neighboring countries who have registered with police will be required to wear the dark red wristbands in public places.

The market, Talaad Tai, has at least 3,500 vendors and is a particularly “risky area,” staffed by many unregistered foreign workers, Pol.Maj.Gen. Montri said during an inspection of the market today. Human traffickers are also known to be active in the vicinity.

“Talaad Tai is an area that has problems with human trafficking, uses of alien workforce, prostitution, and begging,” Pol.Maj.Gen. Montri told reporters. “We are issuing the wristbands as a model for other areas that have alien workers to reduce crime in the area, and increase security for the people.”

Since dispatching a task force to regulate foreign workers in Talaad Tai on 4 April, police have arrested 171 Burmese, Cambodian, and Laotian nationals on charges related to illegal entry and working without permit in Thailand.

Nine Thai employers have also been arrested for hiring foreign workers without proper permits, while six others have been arrested for providing shelter to illegal migrant workers, said Pol.Maj.Gen. Ake Angsananond, deputy commander of the Royal Thai Police.

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