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73 Burmese and 4 ethnic Rohingya intercepted on their way to Malaysia

Tanutam Thawan

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PHOTO: Thai PBS

Two passenger vans have been intercepted by police along the Asian Highway in Surat Thani, southern Thailand. There were 42 illegal Burmese migrant workers travelling in the two vans. The vans were transferring the migrants, including three women, from the Prachuap Khiri Khan border crossing to Yala in Thailand’s deep south on the border of Malaysia.

The two drivers were arrested on suspicion of being involved in a human trafficking network. Under questioning, they’ve admitted that they were offered 25,000 baht including a 10,000 baht advance. Police have also questioned the passengers to find out if they were part of a larger human trafficking network.

Two days earlier (Wednesday) police and anti-human trafficking officials apprehended 31 illegal Burmese migrant workers and four ethnic Rohingya in an oil palm plantation in the southern province of Songkhla.

Police report the 35 illegal Burmese migrant workers, including 14 women, were preparing to leave their shelters to cross the border into Malaysia, with the help of human traffickers.

A Burmese man, who police say was responsible for the group, was taken into custody. Police allege the group had paid a human trafficking gang to take them to Malaysia in the hope of getting work or refugee status.

 

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