400 Thai workers trying to sneak in from Malaysia detained

Thailand has reopened land border checkpoints between Thailand and Malaysia. — Reuters pic
Thailand has reopened land border checkpoints between Thailand and Malaysia. — Reuters pic

NARATHIWAT, April 19 — Thai authorities arrested more than 400 of its citizens for attempting to sneak into the kingdom from Malaysia after it re-opened five land border checkpoints yesterday.

Deputy Commander of Fourth Army Region, Maj Gen Kriangkrai Srirak said about 300 Thais crossed the border today without registering with the Royal Thai Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Consulate-General in Penang or Kelantan, or for not having travel documents and ‘fit-to-travel’ documents.

Yesterday, he said 130 were arrested after crossing natural borders into the kingdom  

“All of them were fined 800 baht and sent to state facilities for 14-day quarantine,” he said.

The Thais, who mostly work in oil palm and rubber plantations as well as fishing vessels in Malaysia returned home after Malaysia imposed the Movement Control Order on March 18  and after the closure of border checkpoints between the two countries since March 23.

Meanwhile, Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) spokesman Thaweesilp Wissanuyothin said a total of 2,548 Thais stranded in Malaysia have registered to return home as of this month.

He said since the reopening of the land border checkpoints of Thailand and Malaysia yesterday, the relevant authorities limited the number of returnees to about 350 every day.

“On the first day of re-opening of the land border checkpoints, 266 Thais registered to return home while it was 303 today,” he said at COVID-19 daily briefing in Bangkok today.

He said the Thai embassy in Kuala Lumpur and Consulate offices in Malaysia have provided assistance such as care packages, food and essential items to 10,396 Thai people in Malaysia. — Bernama 

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