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59 Rohingya dumped on island off Satun

BANGKOK: Police are trying to find out who abandoned 59 Rohingya boat people, including five children, on an island off mainland Satun - and told them they were in Malaysia.

By Bangkok Post

Sunday 5 June 2022, 05:59PM

Assistant national police chief Pol Lt Gen Surachate Hakparn has been assigned to travel to the southern province to help investigators shed light on the case, reports the Bangkok Post.

Deputy police chief Roy Inkhapairoj, who gave Lt Gen Surachate the travel order, said police had no clue about who transported them into Thai waters.

They could be the victims of human traffickers, said Gen Roy,  director of the Child Protection and Anti-Human Trafficking Centre.

A Royal Thai Navy coast guard boat found the 59 Rohingya  ‒ 31 men, 23 women and five children ‒ on Koh Dong, about 20 kilometres from Koh Lipe, on Saturday (June 4) after a tip-off.

Satun Governor Ekkarath Leesen said on Saturday preliminary questioning indicated they had travelled by boat from Bangladesh and were headed for Malaysia.

The boat dropped them on the island about a week ago and then sailed away, he said, adding that the Rohingya will be sent back to Bangladesh.

Navy spokesman Vice Admiral Pokkrong Monthatphalin explained on Sunday they had left Bangladesh on a trawler and the skipper ordered them to alight on the island after telling them that Koh Dong was in Malaysian territory.

V/Adm Pokkrong said all were transported by the Tor 996 patrol boat to mainland Satun and were charged with illegal entry into Thailand at Langu police station in Langu district. They were later detained  at the 436th Company of the Border Patrol Police in Muang district, he added.

He said the navy would step up patrols on the Andaman Sea and islands near the border with Malaysia as Thailand expected more boat people sailing to the neighbouring country.

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Kurt | 06 June 2022 - 11:57:10

Prove that Thai Navy is not patrolling the Thai territorial waters good enough. Perhaps they thought is was a scheduled inbound drugs transport boat? Were perhaps informed to stay out of the way? Disappointing 'cargo' this time.

JohnC | 06 June 2022 - 09:18:05

[They could be victims of human traffickers] LOL.. Gee, do you think? When you track down which corrupt Thai officials helped make this happen please publish the details for all to read.


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