SONGKHLA: Ten Myanmar migrants were arrested on Sunday morning at a rubber plantation near the border with Malaysia in Sadao district while seven others escaped, police said.
A team of provincial and immigration police moved in on the rubber plantation near Dan Nok village in tambon Samnak Kham, opposite Malaysia’s Kedah State, when a van arrived at about 7am with the migrants.
Ten migrants were rounded up, but seven others managed to escape, fleeing into the forest.
Athiwat Siwasutham, 35, the van driver who was from Phuket, was also caught.
Mr Athiwat said he was hired by a Myanmar job agent to transport 17 Myanmar job seekers from a rented house at Ban Rai in tambon Phatong of Hat Yai district to the rubber plantation in Sadao district. They left the house at about 4am and arrived at the plantation at about 7am when they were immediately caught.
He said the migrants were to be led across the border into Malaysia by another man. He had been paid 1,500 baht for each of the migrants transported to the border.
The migrants told the police they were all from Rakhine State in Myanmar. They had paid 20,000-30,000 baht each to job brokers for jobs in Malaysia.
The arrested migrants and the Thai van driver were handed over to Sadao police for legal proceedings.
The police were looking for the seven other migrants who escaped.