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Government clamps down on surging illegal Thai migration

BANGKOK: The Labour Ministry is stepping up measures to curb the growing number of Thai nationals intending to live and work illegally in South Korea, as the number of illegal Thai immigrants in South Korea has soared to 140,000.

immigrationpolice
By Bangkok Post

Friday 17 May 2019, 09:35AM


Labour authorities inspect the registration of Thai workers who want jobs in South Korea, in Pathum Thani province last year. Photo: Pattarapog Chatpattarasill

Labour authorities inspect the registration of Thai workers who want jobs in South Korea, in Pathum Thani province last year. Photo: Pattarapog Chatpattarasill

The ministry’s Department of Employment has told officials at its checkpoint at Suvarnabhumi airport – set up to weed out Thais suspected of intending to work illegally overseas – to impose stricter screening measures for passengers flying to South Korea, department director-general, Phetcharat Sin-auy, said.

Despite the tough screening in place, between 100 and 150 passengers travelling to South Korea are denied entry each day and forced to return to Thailand on suspicion of intending to seek to work illegally, she said.

Many of them are well-dressed and too well-groomed to be suspected here of intending to sneak through immigration checks and live and work illegally over there, she said.

Some even have forged documents to back their claims that they were travelling to South Korea to attend professional training courses, she said.

Only when the documents were verified, did department officials at the Suvarnabhumi airport checkpoint discover they were totally fake, she said.

Labour authorities now find it difficult to strike a balance between barring passengers from travelling to South Korea if they suspect them of attempting to work illegally there and preventing themselves from being sued by passengers in the event suspicions prove groundless, she said.

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According to the Labour Ministry, the Thai labour attaché in South Korea has expressed concern over the growing number of Thai nationals intentionally living and working illegally in South Korea. As many as 140,000 such people are in South Korea where they can earn at least B50,000 a month, which is considered attractive to many Thai workers.

Many people dream of earning a high income such as this in South Korea. However, many of them end up becoming victims of work placement scams after being told by so-called agents to pay large sums of money for bogus work placement services advertised on social media, said Ms Phetcharat.

Her department has been monitoring these illegal work placement services, which has led to arrests in more than 20 cases, she said.

The department is screening work placement advertisements on sites such as Facebook and working with the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society and the police in both blocking these adverts and tracking down the people running them.

 

Read original story here.

 

 

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Kurt | 23 May 2019 - 14:10:49

And, day in, day out, many thai having been illegal staying/working in Korea of course return to Thailand at some moment. How are they welcomed by thai immigration? Unofficial, in a illegal' financial understanding matter', or with arrest + follow up?  Hefty fine or Court preceding according the thai laws?

Kurt | 23 May 2019 - 10:55:41

It all starts as a up to 150 thai 'problems' per day for Thailand, and for airlines who have to fly the refused thai lina recta back to Thailand. Indeed the 90 days Korea visa should be made 30 days, And Thailand could consider a 'exit permit issue' for thai going to Korea. That is what we call 'a plan of action'.  140,000 illegal Thai in Korea justifies that.

Jor12 | 23 May 2019 - 06:05:00

Correct Pascale, perhaps the K can re-formulate his plans to forward onto immigration officials.

Pascale | 22 May 2019 - 15:39:06

Thai's don't need a visa for Korea,as long as they don't stay longer than 90 days.Not much to check for Thai immigration except for a valid return ticket.Maybe Korea should rethink  their visa policy.

Kurt | 22 May 2019 - 12:14:39

A good 'plan of action' should be made by the highly decorated thai Immigration top officials. As long as the Korean Immigration refuse daily (!) up to 150 arriving thai to enter Korea, that long the thai Immigration has a certificate of incompetence for letting depart these up to 150 thai to Korea.Why not work intensive together with Consulair Dept of Korean Embassy in BKK?

Jor12 | 21 May 2019 - 06:30:07

Read the article as it points to fraudulent work placement advertisements and some with forged documents. It further points out that legal action can be taken against immigration if they get it wrong. Perhaps you could assist in formulating a plan of action?

Kurt | 20 May 2019 - 12:40:12

140,000 illegal thai workers in Korea. Wow. Obviously thai Immigration should check better on departing thai with illegal intentions as Korean Immigration do a better job than thai Immigration by catching 
 them and sending back daily 100-150 thai . When these illegal thai workers return to Thailand, what is their punishment? Confiscating passport, and never a passport again, a hefty fine?

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