More than 100 Lao migrant workers have been apprehended by Thai authorities after entering the country illegally.
Matichon reports that the group had been spotted by a local resident hiding in a forested area near a motorway tunnel. They appeared in desperate need of food and water.
The workers later identified themselves as citizens of Laos, saying that they had been contacted by an agency that had offered them work in Bangkok.
Members of the group, who originated in Champasack and Savannakhet provinces, had paid the broker agency BTH 8,000 to 9,000 each to be transported into Thailand.
Mayor of Seemamongkol Municipality, Nakhon Ratchasima, along with officials and police, provided food for the group, as well as testing them for Covid-19.
Seven members of the group tested positive for the coronavirus.
They have been placed into police custody and will be repatriated to Laos.
Authorities in Thailand recently stated they will fine migrant workers who enter the country illegally and deport them back to their home countries.
The Lao Embassy in Bangkok has urged the government of Laos to collaborate in preventing the smuggling of Lao migrants into Thailand.