Illegal Vietnamese workers arrested in Thailand amid large-scale crackdown

By Minh Minh   February 6, 2018 | 11:23 am GMT+7

The group said they were on their way home for Tet after they were discovered crammed in the back of a van.

Immigration officers in Thailand arrested 16 Vietnamese nationals on Monday for overstaying their tourist visas to work in Bangkok.

Police in Nong Khai, a province 10 hours to the northeast of the capital, said they had acted on a tip-off and discovered the Vietnamese group crammed inside a van at a gas station at 5 a.m., The Nation reported.

Their passports indicated that they had overstayed their time in Thailand from seven months to almost a year.

The Thai driver of the van was also arrested.

The Vietnamese said they had been working in Bangkok and other tourist destinations and were returning home for the Lunar New Year next week, the report said.

They had been attempting to cross the border at Nong Khai into Laos before heading to Vietnam.

People in Southeast Asia can travel across the region without having to apply for a visa, but a tourist status only gives them permission to stay for 30 days.

Thailand announced late last month that it was hunting for more than 8,000 foreigners who have overstayed their visas.

The culprits mostly come from Asia, Africa and Europe, and may be involved in criminal activities that would damage the country's image, a defense ministry spokesman said, as cited by Xinhua.

 
 
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