The man, Aow Mo, 49, also Burmese, told officers from Phuket City Police Station that he had been enslaving workers on his vessels for two years.
Alerted by labor rights officials in April, Phuket police eventually traced Mr Aow, who had told relatives of the men inside Burma that they could each be sent home on payment of 20,000 baht.
One of the relatives telephoned Mr Aow from Burma to say the money was ready and Mr Aow went to the Phuket bus station for a meeting with more ''relatives'' on Friday.
When the money changed hands, the four men were brought from their hiding place by an accomplice, and police immediately arrested Mr Aow.
After giving statements to police, the four unpaid workers were returned to Burma.
They said they'd been recruited and duped into signing on as fishing trawler workers in Burma then brought to Phuket as illegal immigrants.
Mr Aow said he had been working on Phuket for eight years and using slave labor for the past two years. He faces a heavy jail term.