05/14/2013 (press release: JaturontThan)
On 7 May 2013 General Klit Panthasa, the special commander of scout unit 35 in the Mae Sord district, Tak province, ran checkpoints around the area of Ban Ta Aumnaj Wangtakien, Mae Sord district. As a result of the investigation, the scout unit learned that many vehicles were trafficking humans into the area from Myanmar, and intended to redirect these Myanmar laborers to a shelter in the area of Mae Sord, after which the laborers would be transferreds with unregistered vans using the Tak–Mae Sord route.
The scout found a gray Toyota with license plate “GOR-KOR 5417” registered in the Tak province, in which were hidden child laborers inside with men and women—16 total people inside the pickup truck beneath a cloth sheet. The driver was Mr. Chuchep Rapeejitswat. The scout asked him for the papers to prove that the laborers are legal, but there were none, so the scout arrested him.
At the preliminary investigation, Mr. Chuchep confessed that he was transferring the laborers to Ms. Aun (not the real name), who is a prominent labor trader. She was waiting in Mae Sord, but Mr. Chuchep was arrested before he arrived. The officers transferred Mr. Chuchep to the police for further investigation.
According to Labor Ministry statistic, about 80 percent of migrant workers are from Myanmar, a figure that accounts for more than 2 million workers. Most of them do not have work permits. 9.2 percent are from Cambodia, and 8.4 percent are from Laos.
Workers from Myanmar usually find employment in low-paying jobs in Thailand, for example, as construction workers, housekeepers or various positions in the fishing industry.
The problem for these workers is that, to get a work permit with the visa to stay and work in Thailand, they have to go through a complicated and expensive process. However, employers who help migrant workers with the registration fees can deduct the money, thus they pay less salary tax.
To ensure that the workers will stay with them after paying the fee, employees can retain workers’ passports, thus ensuring that they will get the money back.
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