Thailand sees wave of illegal immigration

Since Thailand reopened to foreign tourists on November 1, more than 3,000 migrants have been arrested for illegal entry into the country. Most were heading to the capital, Bangkok, and surrounding provinces to look for work.

Security officials say most illegal crossers are from Myanmar and Cambodia. They were caught entering via the northern and northeastern borders without valid entry documents or proper COVID-19 screening.

The past weekend saw the arrest of over 40 Cambodian migrants in Sa Kaeo, a province east of Bangkok. Authorities say they paid a trafficker to help them enter Thailand. They were seeking jobs in factories near Bangkok.

Security officials fear entries without quarantine could trigger a spike of infections in the country. Authorities are stepping up checkpoints and foot patrols along the borders.