A border-based rights group has accused Thai immigration authorities for extorting and mistreating Myanmar migrant workers on the Mae Sot-Bangkok expressway.

Immigration officers at each of seven toll gates were asking migrant workers to pay Baht 100 each [Ks 3200], often confiscating their documents and treating them rudely.

“I found that the immigration officers threw the passports of Myanmar workers and used abusive words at them. Moreover, they turned off phones owned by Myanmar workers,” said Moe Gyo, Chairman of Joint Committee for Movement of Myanmar Citizens’ Affairs.

On May 5, Mo Gyo was stopped at a toll gate on the expressway and had his passport confiscated. The explanation was that it had expired which, according to him, it had not.

He had to return the following day with the Migrant Rights Promotion Working Group and Thai lawyers to retrieve his documents.

Myanmar migrants returning home after the Thingyan Water Festival on April 17 staged protest against the abuses of Thai immigration officers.

Link: http://www.elevenmyanmar.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6072:thai-immigration-accused-of-extorting-myanmar-migrants&catid=44:national&Itemid=384