Yangon – A record number of 759 Myanmar nationals has been arrested by Thai authority in the last four days between 15 January to 18 January 2022 in the provinces of Chaing Mai, Kanchanaburi, Phetchaburi and Tak.
Thai media have reported people from Dawei, Bago, Magway, Mandalay and Yangon regions have paid fees up to 20,000 baht as a broker fee to enter Thailand to find a job.
A person familiar with the matter has confirmed that agents have brought hundreds to the borders and left them stranded in the jungles and ultimately arrested by the Thai authority.
Myanmar has been plunged into a chaotic civil war, sending its economy to the point which appears to be extremely difficult for quick recovery, the healthcare system and education collapsed subsequently following the military coup on 01 February 2021.
The heightened armed conflicts have sent thousands to cross the border into India at the west and Thailand at the east, seeking shelters and protection after Myanmar’s military junta intensified its air bombardment campaign against civilians and targets of local rebellion forces.
However, the arrivals from Myanmar to Thailand are a mix. Genuine refugees from Kayah, Karen and Taningtharyi regions have reportedly flocked to the border and crossed into Thailand due to the continued junta’s operations in the regions.
In early January, local media in Karen State reported about the deportation of genuine refugees by Thailand authority while the villagers on the borderline were fleeing their village because of the junta army’s air bombardment in the area.
Since the middle of December 2021, the armed conflicts have been intensified between Myanmar’s junta army and ethnic armed groups and People Defense Forces, with no sign of slowing down.
The war has displaced more than 300,000 thousand inside the country to date.
Notwithstanding, many are still economic migrants attempting to cross the border to seek better opportunities.
Amid the report of Thailand deploying its Royal troops and security cameras on the border with Myanmar, people from Myanmar continue to enter the provinces of Kanchanaburi and Prachuap Khiri Khan that share borders with the Tanintharyi region of Myanmar.
So far, Chindwin has learned more than 40,000 of Myanmar citizens have been arrested by Thai authorities – of whom many will face jail terms for a couple of years. Even at the end of their jail sentence, they are likely to be deported to Myanmar, according to people who help Myanmar migrants in Thailand.