By The Nation
Wiroj Theppithak, chief of Tha Sae district, mustered the security forces including troops from the 44th Army Circle to check a wooded location where residents had seen a group of strangers in a makeshift camp.
The 33 men and four women had no travel documents and appeared exhausted in their rough camp behind a deserted factory off Phetkasem Road in the village of Moo 8.
They were taken to Tha Sae police station for questioning and claimed they’d come from Koh Song and were waiting to be driven to Hat Yai in Songkhla and then to be smuggled across the border into Malaysia.
They said they’d paid Bt25,000 each to a gang of smugglers. They’d spent five days crossing the sea and transiting forests before they were found.
They face legal charges and deportation.