Religious rites were held this week for Kriengkrai Eiayabut, who died in South Korea age 43 after living and working there illegally for 14 years.
Kriengkrai’s Korean employer sponsored the cremation last week to save the family the Bt300,000 cost of transporting the body home to Muang Udon Thani.
Co-workers who attended the cremation raised Bt30,000 to help pay for the funeral in Thailand, according to Kriengkrai’s mother, Sodcheun Laknongbu, 62.
Sodcheun and Kriengkrai’s common-law wife, Aim-on Dankham, 38, brought his ashes back to Thailand on Tuesday evening.
The two women said Kriengkrai was a diligent worker and had been the family’s primary breadwinner since his father died a decade ago.
Even before that, Kriengkrai had been sending money back to his family from South Korea and bought them a pickup truck, they said.
He was saving money for his wedding and a house. Aim-on had lived with him throughout his time in South Korea, only recently moving back to Thailand.
Provincial labour official Ampan Ekkathat, welfare and labour protection official Nopparat Nipattheeranan and others visited the family on Thursday to offer moral support and present funds towards funeral costs.
Ampan said his agency had advised Udon Thani people wishing to work aboard to proceed according to the law, arranging jobs through the provincial employment office or a proper work agency.
If they’re legally working overseas and fall seriously ill, as Kriengrai did, the Labour Ministry can provide aid, including welfare and other compensation.