BANGKOK, April 30 (Xinhua) -- Over 20,000 migrant workers returned to Thailand from Myanmar on Sunday after they spent a two-week holiday in their home country, said a senior Thai official.
A large number of Myanmar migrants scrambled to return to Thailand via a border checkpoint in Mae Sot, about 480 km northwest of Bangkok, as it was the last day for each of them to be given exemption from the 1,000-baht (27.7-U.S. dollar) re-entry fee, said Pol. Col. Somchai Detpae, superintendent at Mae Sot immigration office.
Mae Sot is a major district of Tak province in northern Thailand which borders Myanmar.
An estimated 100,000 migrant workers had left for their native Myanmar to celebrate Songkran festival earlier this month. Given the exemption from the re-entry fee, an average of 8,000 migrants have returned daily since the last two weeks, the immigration official said.
However, the Sunday deadline for the exemption to the re-entry fee has seen more than 20,000 Myanmar migrants swarming around Mae Sot immigration office, Pol. Col. Somchai said.
Those who may return on Monday or at a later date is legally obliged to pay the 1,000-baht re-entry fee at Mae Sot border checkpoint.
Most Myanmar migrants have been employed in fishing industry and at manufacturing factories in Bangkok and Samut Sakhon, one of the Thai capital's outlying provinces.
Some labor-intensive factories will not open until Tuesday as the May Day, which falls on Monday, is also a holiday for laborers nationwide.