Late on Thursday night, soldiers arrested three Chinese nationals and their guides illegally entering Thailand, in Tak’s Mae Ramat district.
Officials received a tip-off that smugglers were bringing foreigners into Thailand over a mountain trail to avoid a checkpoint in Ban Phala village. A patrol from the Naresuan Task Force waited in hiding along the trail, in tambon Phra That.
At the Phala checkpoint, soldiers arrested a man, identified only as Ju, driving a black Toyota pickup truck registered in Bangkok.
He admitted he was going to collect illegal migrants who were on the mountain walking around the checkpoint.
Soldiers later saw a group of people coming down the mountain and intercepted them.
Three were Chinese, two men and a woman. They arrived with two guides, one of whom fled.
Soldiers also arrested two other people believed to be acting as lookouts and seized their motorcycles.
All the people arrested were taken to Mae Ramat Hospital for COVID-19 tests and would then face legal action.