Narathiwat – Thais workers stranded in Malaysia are still keen on returning home by natural routes with 25 more caught wading across a shallow point of Sungai Kolok River this morning (26.4.2020) and although immediately rounded up by Thai officers, they thanked them for taking good care of them, PostToday reported.
Early this morning Colonel Ekapol Leknok, task force commander of 48th Ranger Regiment, together with other senior officers patrolled and laid in wait at the three-kilometre-long Bureng community on the Thai bank of Sungai Kolok River after being tipped off that more Thai workers stuck in Malaysia are going to cross over via natural routes after Malaysia extended the coronavirus lockdown.
They spotted the group of 25 Thais as they waded across the river and took them to the Sungai Kolok border checkpoint to be fined 800 baht each after which liaised with various provincial officials to transport them back to their home towns.
The provincial officials will be quarantining them for 14 days at local quarantine stations to prevent the spread of Covid-19 infection and they will be facing legal action for illegally returning to Thailand.
Mr Sukiplee Masaree, a Thai who worked in Kuala Lumpur said he was very hungry and just got a chance to have his first meal after leaving the Malaysian capital at midnight last night (April 25). He added that he had no money and was very happy to be back home.
Mr Sulkiplee Madaree said he had worked at a restaurant in Malaysia for 10 years but after the pandemic spread he suffered a lot of hardship so decided to return home via a natural route.
He added that he knew that it was illegal to do so but was very eager to return home with this also being the Ramadan period. He had spent a lot of money on this journey back to Thailand, which was quite difficult and broken up into many stages. However upon getting across he was met by Thai officers, both soldiers and policemen, who took good care of him for which he was thankful.
Top: Two Thai men easily crossing the shallow Sungai Kolok River this morning.
Below: Some Thai women who had succeeded in crossing the border river home this morning sit by the roadside with a few officers looking on. Photos: PostToday