Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has thanked Laos for cooperating with authorities in cracking down on transnational crimes and scam operations.
Bangkok Post reports that Gen Kongcheep Tantravanich, spokesperson for Thailand’s Defence Ministry, said yesterday that Gen Prayut had welcomed Laos National Defence Minister Gen. Chansamone Chanyalath to Government House for a meeting of the Thai-Lao General Border Commission.
The prime minister praised a coordinated operation conducted by Laos and Thailand against call center scam groups based in the Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone (SEZ) near Bokeo Province in northern Laos.
Gen Prayut also said Lao troops would be welcome to receive military training from Thailand, as part of closer collaboration between the two respective armed forces.
He stated that the Thai army is willing to support Lao counterparts in boosting border village security in order to strengthen bilateral ties and foster peace.
Gen Chansamone said Laos in turn appreciated Thailand’s help in enhancing peace along the border by tackling drug trafficking, illegal migration, and strengthening defense cooperation.
The discussions come after Thailand requested assistance from Laos in March to free Thai citizens trapped in the Golden Triangle SEZ.
Governor of Chiang Rai Province, Phassakorn Boonyalak, told Thai media he had requested assistance from the Governor of Bokeo Province, where the Thais were located.
According to reports, the Thai nationals were smuggled across the Mekong River to work in the Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Bokeo Province.
They told Thai authorities that they had been forced to work 15 hours a day for a skimming operation, while their living quarters were enclosed with electrical wires to prevent them from escaping.