Boat Driver Confesses to Assisting Infected Thai Men Flee Laos

Boat driver connected to Covid-19 cases arrested

A boat driver in Maknao Village, Pakngum District, has admitted to assisting two Thai men and a Lao woman return to Thailand after spreading Covid-19 in Laos.

According to a report by the Pakngum District Office of Public Security, a 46-year-old man and resident of Maknao Village, Pakngum District, admitted to taking two Thai men and a woman across the Mekong River to Thailand at 3 am on 17 April.

The man drove a pickup truck to collect the three from a resort in Nasone Village before driving them to Maknao Village. There he transferred them to his boat and assisted them in crossing the Mekong River into Thailand.

The man admitted to receiving a fee of baht 4,000 from the Thai men.

After smuggling the three across the border he returned to his home where he continued his ordinary routine.

On 21 April, at 2:30 pm, local authorities visited him at his home where he confessed to the crime.

The man has now been placed in a state quarantine center at KM 27 and will be tested for Covid-19.

It is expected that criminal charges will be made against the man after his quarantine period is complete.

The Thai men and Lao woman illegally entered Laos via Savannakhet on 6 April, starting a chain of events leading to the country’s second wave of Covid-19.

Several provinces have since gone into lockdown while the surge in cases continues.