Forty-eight Cambodian workers have been detained and immediately deported after they were caught while entering Thailand illegally yesterday, said a marine navy team member.
All have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and they intended to work in a longan plantation in Chanthaburi’s Pong Nam Ron district, said Capt Sarawut Butserichai, head of the team.
According to the vaccination certificates, the workers — 18 men, 23 women and seven children — were injected with either Johnson & Johnson, Sinopharm or Sinovac Covid-19 vaccines and were able to provide proof they had received the jabs.
The workers said they had sneaked into Thailand through a nature trail about 4am after crossing a canal that serves as the borderline, said Capt Sarawut.
They agreed to pay their smugglers between 4,000 baht and 5,000 baht each for the illegal service, he said, adding that a 1,000 baht down payment was required for each worker before they actually left Cambodia for Thailand.
Previously, only about four to five such workers have been detained in each crackdown, he said.
Now that the demand for labourers has grown with the start of the longan harvest season, many more workers in the neighbouring country now want to cross the border in to work, he said.