BANGKOK, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- Thai official warned women from Thailand's southern border areas to never get illegally employed in Malaysia as they may be put in jail or forced into prostitution.
Department of Employment Director General Singhadej Chu-amnat said on Friday that an estimated 50 Thai females, being natives of the southern Thai border provinces, were recently arrested by the Malaysian authorities for being employed without work permits inside that country.
Another 21 females from the three southernmost border provinces earlier were also arrested after they were lured to work in Malaysia illegally, according to the official.
Most had been allegedly hired as old-fashioned masseuses in Malaysia, Singhadej said.
Most of the culprits, who had been allegedly lured by some job agents into entering Malaysia with the use of their tourist visa, came from Thailand's southern border provinces of Songkhla, Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and Satun, according to the department head.
Those Thai masseuses might otherwise have been forced into prostitution inside Malaysia, he said. Such illegal workers are subject to a maximum of six months in prison or a maximum of 1,000 ringgit (about 225 U.S. dollars) in fine or both under the Malaysian law.
He called on any Malaysia-bound job seekers from southernmost Thailand to obtain official permission and avoid dealing with private job agents who might possibly be involved in human trafficking business.