Boonwat Ngamroop, mother of deceased Katnipa Boontien who died in suspicious circumstances in Bahrain, seeks help from the Pavena Foundation for Children and Women with the investigation into her death. (Bangkok Post file photo)
A special cyber unit has been set up to clamp down on online overseas job placement scams as part of measures to prevent Thais from working abroad illegally.
Department of Employment (DOE) director-general Varanon Peetiwan yesterday said the agency has established the unit to suppress overseas job recruitment scams that exploit social media to lure Thais to work in foreign countries illegally.
The unit focuses on the suppression of all online patterns of illegal overseas job placement, particularly through Facebook and Line.
Anyone found to be linked with the scam will be charged with illegally procuring workers to work overseas without permission from central employment registrars, in violation of Section 30 of the Employment and Job-Seeker Protection Act.
The DOE’s move came after a growing number of Thais have been detained and deported from South Korea as authorities there feared they may overstay their visas or look for work.
The practice will also focus especially on Thai tourists departing for South Korea since Thais now enjoy a 90-day visa exemption.
The Royal Thai Embassy in Seoul earlier warned those who are caught working illegally will be deported, blacklisted or banned from visiting South Korea for up to five years.
Mr Varanon also instructed authorities attached to the department’s labour control checkpoints at Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi airports to tighten measures to crack down on illegal overseas job placement networks, particularly in South Korea.
According to the department’s figures, the labour control checkpoint at Suvarnabhumi airport barred 55 Thai workers from flying to South Korea in February, 60 in March and 19 in April.
Mr Varanon also warned Thais not to fall for overseas job recruitment advertisements on social networks as some Thai workers have been conned out of money and stranded abroad after they entered the countries illegally.
People who are aware of examples of illegal overseas job recruitment can make a report or seek advice from labour officials at the DOE, the Labour Ministry, the Central Employment Registration and Workers Protection Division and provincial employment offices nationwide.
They can also call labour hotlines, 1694 or 02-245-6763, or visit the website, www.doe.go.th/helpme.
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