CHIANG RAI – Immigration officials in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai handed 22 migrant workers from Burma over to their Burmese counterparts in Tachilek on Tuesday following their arrest for working in Thailand with invalid documents.
The handover took place at around 3pm Tuesday on the Thai-Burma Friendship Bridge between Tachilek and Mae Sai in northern Thailand’s Chiang Rai Province.
The deported workers included 17 men and five women, sources said.
They were arrested for a variety of document-related offenses, including using expired border passes, working in Thailand without official work permits, and working for employers or in locations other than those specified on their work permits.
According to labor activists, the number of migrant workers arrested in Chiang Rai has increased in recent days.
Most of the detained migrants were found to be working in Thailand without passports or other official travel documents.
“There have been many arrests in the past few days. Most were migrant workers without passports. Some of them were under 18 years old,” said a woman who works as an interpreter for detained migrants from Myanmar.
The woman urged Burmese nationals seeking employment in Thailand to ensure that they have official travel documents and work permits. She added that it was also important to make sure that the information on these documents, including the name and address of employers, was accurate.
Earlier this year, Thai authorities deported 896 migrant workers from Burma, including 592 men, 273 women and 31 children.