55 Thais disappear from a tourist group in South Korea

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Fifty-five of the 280 Thais who flew to Jeju from Bangkok last Tuesday did not return to Thailand. (Bangkok Post file photo)

Fifty-five Thai people who flew to Jeju Island in South Korea with a package tour group last week have disappeared and are suspected to have been illegal job seekers, known as ” little ghosts”.

The Yonhap news agency reported on Sunday that 55 of the 280 Thai tourists who arrived on the resort island last Tuesday for three-day package tours did not return to Thailand on Friday with the others.

Immigration officers on the island were trying to locate them.

South Korean authorities denied entry to 417 of the 697 Thais visiting Jeju from Tuesday to Friday, including 112 on Tuesday, South Korea suspects they were job seekers and not tourists.

All flew to Jeju on Jeju Air, which operates direct flights from Bangkok.

Thais visiting South Korea do not need to apply for a visa, but Thailand is among 112 visa-exempt countries that must complete the Korean Electronic Travel Authorization (K-ETA) in advance to obtain the visa. authorization to enter the country if they wish to travel to the mainland. . Jeju is exempt from K-ETA to promote tourism.

Travelers visiting Jeju without the K-ETA document cannot travel to other cities on the Korean Peninsula.

Yonhap said the South Quran Justice Department is considering enforcing the document requirement for travelers to Jeju.

A high daily wage of 2,110 baht in South Korea has tempted many Thais to go there posing as tourists and working there illegally. They are known as “little ghosts”.

Thailand’s labor office in Seoul warned on Thursday that the South Korean government has no policy to legalize all illegal workers.

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