Driver arrested for attempted smuggling of 32 Cambodian migrants to Bangkok
A Thai man was arrested Monday morning after the authorities intercepted his van and found 32 undocumented Cambodians jam-packed inside in Sa Kaeo’s Aranyaprathet district.
Acting on tips-off, rangers and immigration police patrolled a road along the border in the area and spotted a speeding van coming from the direction of Khok Sung district.
They signalled the driver to stop but he failed to slow down, so they used a prepared pickup truck to block the entire road, forcing the van to come to a halt.
The authorities found Usaman Sulong, 36, a resident of Pattani, behind the wheel and 19 Cambodian men and 13 women sitting and standing inside the van.
None of the Cambodians were carrying travel documents.
The driver and the migrants were taken to the 12th Ranger Regiment in Tambon Mueang Phai in Aranyaprathet for interrogation.
Usaman told the interrogators that he was hired for between Bt1,500 to Bt2,000 per trip to drive smuggled Cambodians from Khok Sung to Bangkok.
The Cambodians said they had each paid a Cambodian broker Bt3,000 and been promised jobs in Bangkok.
The Thai authorities alerted the Cambodian consular office in Aranyaprathet to interview the detained Cambodians in an attempt to gain information that could lead to action being taken against other Cambodians involved in the smuggling ring, before the 32 illegal migrants are deported to Cambodia.