By The Nation
Nong Khai Immigration Office inspector Pol Maj Thirapong Prachakjit said the arrests were made when Immigration police, acting on a tip-off, stopped a van carrying the foreigners in front of a petrol station in Nong Song Hong district at 5am.
They found the 16 Vietnamese crammed inside with passports indicating they’d overstayed their tourist visas by anywhere from 200 to 325 days.
Van driver Boonchai Phuphiewmek, 39, was also arrested.
The Vietnamese admitted they have been working illegally in Bangkok and other tourist-destination provinces and were returning home to celebrate Vietnamese New Year on February 15.
They said they’d taken a train to Kum Wapi station in Udon Thani and chartered the van to take them to the border in Nong Khai.