Illegal Entrants Swimming Across Mekong Turn Out to be Floating Water Bottles

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Illegal entrants turn out to be water bottles

Authorities have clarified a rumor circulating in social media that a group of Lao laborers swam across the Mekong River from Thailand to Savannakhet Province illegally.

A video released on Social media last week depicted Lao laborers swimming across the Mekong River from Thailand to Kaysone Phomvihane District of Savannakhet on Friday.

Head of the Provincial Taskforce for Covid-19 Prevention and Control of Savannakhet Province, Brigadier General Sy Thavixay, says authorities were called to the scene, according to Lao National Radio.

“When we went to investigate we found empty 20-liter water bottles that fishermen had been using to counterbalance their fishing nets in the Mekong River. There were no people swimming as mentioned in the video,” said Brigadier General Sy Thavixay.

Head of Savannakhet Public Security, Colonel Sommay Phommachan, says authorities are now actively looking for the person who released the video.

May be an image of bottle, body of water and text

Authorities in Laos recently established a special taskforce to monitor and respond to illegal online media and fake news.

The newly formed taskforce seeks to tackle the use of social media for illegal means by both domestic and international groups, as well as clamping down on what the Party and government consider fake news.

Meanwhile, border patrols on the Mekong River are being tightened up in Champasack and Savannakhet provinces to prevent people from illegally entering Laos from Thailand, following a surge in Covid-19 infections in these provinces, according to Vientiane Times.

Authorities have been keeping an eye on boats crossing the Mekong River near the Thai border to prevent people from illegally entering Laos and avoiding Covid-19 screening.