Suspected ‘little ghosts’ deported from South Korea back home safely
The Foreign Ministry said on Friday that all 112 Thai nationals deported from South Korea have returned to Thailand safely.
On Tuesday morning, a planeload of Thais arrived at Jeju Island, and 112 of them were denied entry as immigration officials suspected they had arrived intending to look for work.
“The immigration authorities interviewed 125 of the 184 Thai arrivals and concluded that 112 may have arrived to work illegally in South Korea,” Natapanu Nopakun, the ministry’s deputy spokesman, said. “The 112 persons were detained while waiting for a plane to return them to Thailand. As of now, they have all returned to Thailand safely.”
All foreigners are required to obtain a Korea Electronic Travel Authorisation (K-ETA) at least one week before arrival. This “visa” grants them a stay of no more than 90 days if their purpose for visit is tourism, business meetings, short-term courses etc.
“Thais travelling to South Korea are also required to prepare documents on their purpose of visit, especially the K-ETA document,” he said.
South Korea has been cracking down hard on illegal migrant workers since reopening to tourists on July 25. So far, as many as 10,000 Thais have travelled to South Korea and nearly half of them have been refused entry and sent home.
The country has had a long-standing problem with illegal migrant workers, referred to as “little ghosts”. They usually enter South Korea as tourists but pick up illegal jobs as labourers, which can earn them as much as 60,000 baht a month.
For more information visit https://www.immigration.go.kr/immigration_eng/index.do, or call the Thai Embassy in Seoul at (+82) 10 6747 0095 and (+82) 10 7275 2955.