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Ministry moves to catch illegally working Africans

May 12. 2017
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By The Nation

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The Labour Ministry plans to launch a screening process to catch Africans who are working illegally in Thailand with only a tourist visa.

Department of Employment Director-General Waranon Pitiwan said on Friday that the move was in response to many reported cases of Africans with tourist visas being caught trading jewellery, particularly in Chanthaburi.

He said the department will check trading companies’ registration and work permits to ensure they are abiding by the law.

Citing a Chanthaburi Immigration Office report, he said 700 African nationals entered Thailand via the eastern province and obtained a tourist visa or non-immigrant visa type O. 

There are 306 jewellery trade companies in Chanthaburi which have 562 African employees who obtained proper work permits. They included 442 workers from Guinea, 72 from Mali, 12 from Gambia, 11 from Ivory Coast and 537 from other African nations such as Ghana, Kenya, and Nigeria, he said. 

Officials also found that 14 Africans – 12 from Cameroon, one from Ghana and one from Zambia – worked as English language teachers.

Waranon said the department’s Chanthaburi office would discuss the issue with related agencies to find further solutions.

Waranon warned that immigrants wishing to work in Thailand must obtain proper work permits from the department or its branch offices, or face up to five years imprisonment and/or a fine of Bt2,000 to Bt100,000. People could also call the department’s hotline 1694 for more information.

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