23 people were detained yesterday as a result of a quick police operation against illegal immigration in the southern Thai province of Songkhla. The other 19 were recognized as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, while four of them were Thai citizens driving for hire.
The local law enforcement acted quickly after receiving a warning from an informant about the possibility of illegal immigration, believing that a group of illegal immigrants would be traveling from Samut Prakan to Malaysia via Songkhla. In response to this information, immigration police strategically followed five vehicles at around 5.30 p.m. and were able to stop them on the Asian highway between Rattaphum and Bang Klam districts: a black Toyota Innova, a grey Toyota Altis, a red Toyota Altis, a Toyota Fortuner, and a Toyota Camry.
Four Thai drivers—three men and a woman—who were operating the vehicle were detained right away. Falada Suriyachat, 48, a native of the region of Pathum Thani, was the woman. The guys were Kittisak Mangkorn, age 49, from Kanchanaburi, Rangsan Supan, age 27, from Yasothon, and Sunthorn Kanungnit, age 43, from Nakhon Ratchasima. Since they departed the scene, it is still unknown who the fifth driver in the illegal immigration operation is or whereabouts they are.
The vehicles that were seized included 19 Bangladeshi illegal immigrants. The Thai drivers acknowledged, when questioned, that they had been hired by a guy by the name of Somchai to transport the Bangladeshi immigrants from Samut Prakan to Songkhla. The price set for this illegal immigration crackdown operation was 2,500 baht per individual, reported Bangkok Post.