Nearly 200 Cambodian migrant workers who were scammed by their broker and then abandoned south of Bangkok earlier this week are among the latest victims falling between the cracks of an ill-defined labour registration system, according to rights experts.
The 180 Cambodian migrants were taken to southern Thailand on Tuesday by a broker promising factory jobs for 300 baht ($9) a day, Thai media reported.
Told they were en route to register for employment documents, the workers were instead dumped in a field around 2am on Wednesday morning, said Sim Sam Arth, chief of the Poipet immigration office.
Some of those defrauded held passports, and thought they were migrating legally to Thailand. But the neighbouring countries are still at odds about the legal system, and while they signed a memorandum of understanding in June, the announced process is still not in place, monitors said. Instead, workers are entering a risky grey area reliant on their employer registering them for temporary work and residency cards.