122,000 Cambodians flee from Thailand, fearing crackdown
Published on Jun 16, 2014 9:38 AM
BANGKOK (THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - More than 120,000 Cambodians have fled Thailand to return home in the past week, fearing a crackdown on migrant workers after last month's military takeover, an official said.
The mass exodus of labourers - who play a key role in Thai industries such as seafood and agriculture but often lack official work permits - comes amid a junta warning of arrest and deportation for illegal foreign workers.
"They're returning en masse like a dam collapsing. They've never come en masse like this before in our history," Mr Kor Sam Saroeut, governor of the northwestern province of Banteay Meanchey where the main border crossing is, told AFP.
Around 122,000 Cambodians have returned from Thailand in the last week after being transported to the border by Thai military trucks or making their own way, he said late on Sunday.
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