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Phang Nga police closing in on Rohingya traffickers

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phang Nga police closing in on Rohingya traffickers | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: Immigration Police say they know who was behind the mass escape of 18 Rohingya from the Phang Nga shelter on July 21 and are closing in to arrest them.

The news follows Phang Nga Immigration and Ranong Immigration officers taking into custody a Rohingya woman and four children on Wednesday night while they were on a train bound for Bangkok (story here).

“The woman was assisted by people outside the shelter. They told her they were sent by relatives and were there to help,” Phang Nga Immigration chief Neti Khanboon said.

“They convinced her to go to Bangkok, where they said relatives were waiting for her,” he added.

“At this stage we know of two to three gangs who do this. They always pretend to be relatives or claim to be helping and that relatives were waiting for them.

“Once the Rohingya have left the shelter, the gangs have networks to smuggle them to other provinces,” Lt Col Neti explained.

“We already know who these gangs are and we will arrest them soon,” he said.

The four children and the woman have been returned to the shelter.

Col Neti told the Phuket Gazette that he understood why the Rohingya woman might have felt compelled to flee the shelter in Phang Nga, located just north of the international beach holiday destination Khao Lak.

“They have been kept there a long time, about eight months. That could be making them feel uncomfortable and decide to flee the shelter,” he said.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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