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Bangkok Post (22/5/99)

<center><bold>Thousands of illegal alienssent back after factory raids


Managers arrestedat garment plants

Supamart Kasem

<<Picture>Burmese immigrants are sent back across Moei River in Tak
following a major crackdown on illegal workers. Some 6,000 Burmese
immigrants were rounded up in Mae Sot during the operation yesterday.
-SUPAMART KASEMMore than 6,000 Burmese illegal workers were repatriated
after their arrest from garment factories in four border districts

They were rounded up by a 200-strong joint police-military force which
raided six garment factories in Mae Sot, Mae Ramat, Tha Song Yang and
Phob Phra. The force was led by Pol Maj-Gen Chanvut Vajrabukka, deputy
chief of the immigration police.

All the arrested were questioned and fingerprinted at the provincial
immigration office before they were sent back to Burma through the
Myawaddy border checkpoint.

Six factory managers, three of them foreigners, were also charged with
sheltering and employing illegal aliens.

Pol Maj-Gen Chanvut, who said the raids followed tips from local people,
warned of further action against illegal employment of aliens in border
areas in the North and the East.

The government, in a bid to stem the influx of foreign labourers, had
allowed only registered aliens with work permits to continue working
until April 4.

A survey by the Thai Chamber of Commerce carried out in April showed that
only 90,000 of 988,669 foreign workers nationwide were properly

So far, some 300,000 foreign workers have been repatriated.

told to pay compensation 


The Foreign Ministry yesterday demanded that Burma pay more than 300,000
baht in compensation and investigate three incidents in Mae Hong Son last

Nyan Lynn, Burmese embassy minister, was given a protest note which
called on the authorities in Rangoon to find those responsible for the
three incidents.

They were the loss of four boats, the bombing of a pick-up truck, and the
armed raid at a police station near the border.

The boats were taken from their mooring on the Mae Saw U river on April
28, a week after the owner was approached by an unidentified Burmese who
had asked to borrow the boats. On April 30, a pick-up truck was bombed,
and on May 1, the police station at Ban Nam Pieng Din was attacked.

The ministry demanded 50,000 baht for the boats, 80,000 baht for the
damaged truck, and 200,000 baht for the damaged police station.

U Nyan Lynn was quoted as saying Rangoon had no information about the
incidents and did not always know what was happening in remote areas.