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Undocumented Cambodian workers arrested after trying to flee Thailand over Omicron fears


Border patrol soldiers from the Royal Thai Army’s 13th Ranger Regiment arrested seven Cambodian migrants on Tuesday as they tried to cross the Sa Kaeo border in Aranyaprathet district in an attempt to go back into Cambodia.

“Officers spotted the group of suspects, comprising four men and three women, as they waded through a sugarcane field in Pa Rai subdistrict, which shares the border with Cambodia,” said one of the soldiers.

“A preliminary investigation showed the seven had entered Thailand without any documentation to work in Sa Kaeo province.”

Undocumented Cambodian workers arrested after trying to flee Thailand over Omicron fears

One of the migrants reportedly said that the group hailed from Battambang and Siem Reap provinces in Cambodia and intended to go back home after hearing that the first Covid-19 Omicron case had been found in Thailand. They were afraid a new wave could emerge in the country.

The migrants also said they had received a warning shared among Cambodia workers in Thailand that the Omicron variant is extremely dangerous and easily transmittable, prompting them to quit their jobs and attempt to flee the country.

Undocumented Cambodian workers arrested after trying to flee Thailand over Omicron fears

Thailand’s first Omicron case was detected in a 35-year-old American businessman on Friday (December 3). He had travelled from Spain on November 30 after living there for a year.

The Department of Disease Control said the patient had no symptoms and was not in close contact with many people.

The detained migrants were tested for Covid-19 before being taken to Khlong Leug police station to be charged with entering and trying to leave the country without any documentation.

Published : December 08, 2021

By : THE NATION