Thai immigration police apprehended 251 Cambodians in an illegal-alien dragnet last week, according to a Thai news report.
The Bangkok Post reported Friday that the Cambodians, along with 195 Laotians and 125 Burmese, had failed to apply for Thai work permits and were rounded up after a July 31 deadline.
The Cambodians will be repatriated en masse through the border checkpoint at Poipet in Banteay Meanchey province, The Post reported.
But Banteay Meanchey border officials said Monday that they had yet to receive notice from the Thais about the 251 Cambodians being sent back.
However, Pich Saron, immigration police chief in Poipet, said Monday that Thai officials frequently deport Cambodians who lack proper documentation.
“At least 20 people are sent back each day” through the Poipet border, he said.
“Everyday we receive our people who are sneaking into Thailand for illegal working and begging, because our people have no jobs to do in Cambodia. They will go back to Thailand again,” the immigration police chief said.
O’Chrou District Police Chief Noth Ly said Monday that Thai border authorities deported 850 Cambodian men, 179 women and 70 children last week.
Most of them returned from jobs on sugar farms or construction sites, he said.
Noth Ly added that many Cambodians are duped into crossing the Thai border by human traffickers who promise good pay but later cheat them.