The Rohingya were found in the back of an enclosed 10-wheel truck, registered in Phatthalung province, at a checkpoint in Ban Khok Mafueng of tambon Sala Mai in Tak Bai district about 1:30am today (Mar 17). The 27 illegal migrants included three women and two children.
Police and soldiers had tracked his vehicle, driven by Somrak Pinsang, from Thung Khru district of Bangkok to Narathiwat.
The 43-year-old native of Nakhon Sri Thammarat said the truck belonged to his employer. He had told his boss he was hired to transport a cargo from Bangkok to Narathiwat, but actually he wanted to pick up the migrants from Bang Mod area of Thung Khru.
He said he was to be paid B30,000 for the trip, and had done it three times previously.
One of the Rohingya said through an interpreter that they had crossed the border from Myanmar to Mae Sot district of Tak. They had each paid B15,000 to traffickers for their trip to Malaysia.
They had travelled on a six-wheel truck from Mae Sot to Bangkok, where they boarded the 10-wheeler. They planned to take a boat to cross a river in Waeng district of Narathiwat to the Malaysian state of Kelantan, where they would meet their Malaysian job broker.
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