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Lao fishermen arrested in Thailand after crossing illegally from Malaysia December 24,2020   |  Source: BenarNews

Police in southern Thailand’s Narathiwat province on Tuesday arrested 32 Lao fishermen who had crossed illegally from Malaysia in the latest attempt by Lao workers stranded by COVID-19 travel restrictions to get home.

The fishermen walked out of the woods in the province’s Tak Bai district and asked for help from local villagers, but were pushed away by local authorities, an officer in the district police station told the Lao Service of Radio Free Asia (RFA) on Tuesday after their arrest. RFA is a sister agency of BenarNews.

“A villager reported the intruders to [the military], and soldiers drove over here, picked them up, and handed them over to us at the police station,” the officer said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

During an initial questioning, the detained fishermen were unable to produce passports, visas, or other documents, the officer said, adding that under an agreement signed between Thailand and Laos, the detainees will be deported to Laos after being tested for COVID-19.

On Monday, a group of 20 Lao fishermen who had crossed earlier from Malaysia were found guilty of illegal entry at the Narathiwat Provincial Court and fined 4,000 baht (U.S. $132) each, an officer at the Muno district police station said.

“We are sending a letter to

 

© BenarNews

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