Laos has reportedly detained and deported hundreds of Mainland Chinese who were heading for the country’s casinos, but entered illegally to avoid mandatory quarantine.
Most of the illegal border crossers are tourists bound for casinos in northwestern Bokeo province’s Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone, a gambling and entertainment district that caters mainly to Chinese tourists, RFA reported, citing unnamed sources.
“In July, almost 300 Chinese sneaked into Luang Namtha province without passports. They were going to the casino in Bokeo province,” A member of the Luang Namtha provincial Task Force Committee for COVID-19 Control and Prevention told RFA’s Lao Service.
“They came through a small road, not through any border checkpoint. When they arrived in Luang Namtha, they met middlemen who intended to take them to Bokeo,” the source said.
They were all caught at separate times and deported in July, according to the source, who said that they all tested negative for COVID-19.