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Desperate Myanmar migrants hit dead end in Thailand

As more flee their war-torn country, they face detention and speedy deportation from an unsympathetic neighbor

UCA News reporter, Bangkok

UCA News reporter, Bangkok

Published: June 08, 2021 06:13 AM GMT

Updated: June 08, 2021 06:15 AM GMT

Desperate Myanmar migrants hit dead end in Thailand

A local official and military personnel look at Myanmar migrants found hiding in a water tank being transported via a vehicle in Sai Yok district, Kanchanaburi province, on June 6. (Photo: Royal Thai Army/AFP)

Many people in war-torn Myanmar are desperate to escape political repression and economic deprivation by seeking to cross illegally into Thailand, even via potentially dangerous means.

In one of the latest cases, nine migrants from Myanmar were caught hiding in plastic water tanks piled on the back of a pickup truck in Kanchanaburi province in central Thailand.

The migrants were discovered on June 6 after the driver of the pickup truck failed to stop at a checkpoint.

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A search of the vehicle uncovered five Myanmar nationals hunkering down inside a 1,000-liter plastic tank, with four others hiding inside two 200-liter barrels. Another two migrants were seated beside the Thai driver at the front. None of the migrants had travel documents.

The driver had reportedly been paid 1,500 baht (US$48) to transport the 11 migrants from near the Myanmar border to a province in central Thailand where they were hoping to find work.

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