171 Rohingya refugees arrested north of Phuket

PHUKET: The flow of Rohingya fleeing Myanmar continues unabated with Border Patrol Police in Phang Nga, the province immediately north of Phuket, today taking into custody two boats carrying 171 Rohingya men, women and children.

Today’s apprehension follows 73 Rohingya being arrested off the southern coast of Phuket on January 1. Those refugees were subsequently deported back to Myanmar (story here).

Today’s events also follow reports on Monday of hundreds of Rohingya being seen in boats off the coast of Lam Kaen in Phang Nga’s Tai Muang District (story here).

Today, at 1pm, more than 20 officers from the Takua Pa Border Patrol Police along with Kuraburi District Police Superintendent Col Weerasil Kwanseng arrested the 171 Rohingya offshore from Koh Phra Thong.

“We were told by fishermen there were two boats with many people on board floating in the sea 10 nautical miles west of Koh Phra Thong,” Col Weerasil said.

“On the boats, we found 171 Rohingya from Rakhine State. They were 139 men, 12 women and 20 children between 2-8 years old,” he said.

“They were on their way to look for work in Thailand or Malaysia. All of them were tired and hungry. We gave them food and water and turned them over to Phang Nga Immigration,” he added.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

Phuket News

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