SAMUT PRAKAN — Police on Wednesday said they are gathering evidence to press charges against individuals who drove a group of migrant workers from Samut Sakhon and left them on the roadside outside Bangkok.
Fourteen Myanmar nationals were found by locals with their luggage on Bangna-Trad Road on Tuesday night. The group said they were employees of STI Precision plastic factory in Samut Sakhon province, prompting security officials to investigate the factory on Wednesday morning.
“They’re not involved with the seafood industry in Samut Sakhon province,” head of Samut Prakan provincial police Chumpol Phumphuang said. “Six of them have passports, while the remaining do not.”
Calls to phone numbers listed in the company’s contact information went unanswered as of publication.
Maj. Gen. Chumpol said the individuals who led the group out of Samut Sakhon could be charged for violating the Governor’s order on travel restrictions of migrant workers. The order, which was imposed under the emergency decree, carries a maximum penalty of 2 years in prison and a 40,000 baht fine.
“The workers said they didn’t know where they would be heading to and they were just following their employer’s order,” he said. “We will take legal action against anyone involved without exception.”
Police have expressed concerns that some migrant workers could be abandoned by their employers, either out of fear of the crackdown on undocumented workers, or fear of coronavirus infections.
PM Prayut Chan-o-cha said the authorities will allow undocumented migrant workers to obtain a temporary ID card in order to offer them a reprieve during the ongoing virus outbreak.
One of the workers abandoned in Samut Prakan last night told Khaosod that a total of 23 people were fired from the factory last night because the executives fear a police raid. Most of them were able to find relatives to stay with, but the remaining 14 people were refused by their families and left abandoned in front of a factory.
The workers were sent to a hospital for checkup, though none of them show signs of infection, police said. They are now under quarantine at a stadium in Samut Prakan.