Police confirm handover of 95 Rohingya near Phuket to Thai Army

PHUKET: Police in Kuraburi, Phang Nga province, have confirmed that 95 Rohingya landed on the island of Koh Phra Thong on Thursday morning. The island lies in the Andaman sea about 110km north of Phuket.

“We received a call from local villagers on the island saying that a boat full of Rohingya people had landed on the shore there, but by the time I got there the Army was already there,” Lt Col Akekachai Pueakmanee, Deputy Superintendent of Kuraburi Police Station, told the Phuket Gazette.

“The Army had already assembled all 95 of them at the Tung Laong Pier on the mainland,” he added.

Lt Col Akekachai did not specify how many of the refugees were men, women or children.

“An Army officer told us that all Rohingya of the ‘captured’ will be taken to the 2nd Infantry Battalion, 25th Military unit, Rattanarangson Camp, in Ratchakud District, Ranong province,” he said.

“I’m not sure if they will be sent to a third country or if they will remain in the camp,” he added.

The Gazette was told to call the Thai-Burma Border Patrol Police headquarters in Surat Thani, which is responsible for border patrol in the area where the Rohingya landed.

However, the officer the Gazette spoke with said he was unaware of the case and referred our reporter back to the police involved.

Lt Col Songsak Chanthep, who accompanied Lt Col Akekachai to Koh Phra Thong on Thursday, told us that, “The local villagers told me that Rohingya land on the shore of Koh Phra Thong every year.

“They seem to know that they will be safe if they make it to that spot,” he said.

— Chaiyot Yongcharoenchai

Phuket News

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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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