Cambodian exodus from Thailand jumps to nearly 180,000
Published on Jun 17, 2014 12:05 PM
POIPET, Cambodia (AFP) - The number of Cambodians fleeing Thailand over fears of a clampdown on illegal migrant workers rose to nearly 180,000 on Tuesday, as the two countries were expected to hold talks on the crisis in Bangkok.
The mass exodus of labourers - who help keep major Thai industries such as agriculture afloat - comes after a warning from Thailand's new military regime that illegal foreign workers face arrest and deportation.
"The number of Cambodians returning from Thailand into Poipet (the main Thai-Cambodian border crossing) in just over a week reached 157,000 by this morning," said Mr Kor Sam Saroeut, governor of north-western Banteay Meanchey province where the checkpoint is based.
Around 20,000 others have crossed the border at O'Smach, a checkpoint some 250 kilometres north-east from Poipet, according to the governor and a senior Cambodian police official.
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