The post circulating claims that the “Governor of Phuket Secretly is smuggling foreign Muslims into the country illegally”, said the Anti-Fake News Center in its release, which was shared by local government agencies and polcie stations in Phuket.
“The Anti-Fake News Center investigated the facts via the Phuket Provincial Public Relations Office and found that such information is false,” the warning said.
“In the case of posting a message with a picture that states that the Governor of Phuket is secretly smuggling foreign Muslims into the country illegally in the hope of proliferating and devouring [sic] the Thais to the end, the Phuket Public Relations Office reviewed the post and clarified that such information is not true, because the Governor of Phuket is Buddhist. In addition, there is no illegal smuggling of Islamic people into the country,” the Anti-Fake News Center said.
“Therefore, people are asked not to trust such information and [we] ask for cooperation not to send or share such information on various social media channels. People can receive more information from the Phuket Public Relations Office posted through the website https://pr.prd.go.th/phuket or [they can] call 076-216118,” the post added, using its standard reminder.
People were advised to report any reports or social media posts suspected of being “fake news” via:
LINE: @antifakenewscenter (http://nav.cx/uyKYnsG)
Hotline: Government Information Service Center for the People Tel: 1111 ext. 87
The post follows Phuket officials battling fake news posts spreading across Thai social media channels, including issuing a warning earlier this week about fake news circulating claiming that that thousands of of people who had arrived in Phuket through the Sandbox scheme had tested positive for COVID-19.
The latest warning also follows hundreds of people fleeing Myanmar being caught on the Thai side of the border in Kanchanaburi in recent weeks. The border is officially closed, but the area is rife with natural crossing points. Local business operators have been warned against harbouring any illegal immigrants.
Many of the people fleeing Myanmar have been promised work, mostly in areas around Bangkok.
One group hailed from Dawei, Bago and Mawlumyine townships in Myanmar ‒ having paid B17,000 to B20,000 each to brokers for jobs in Bangkok, Samut Sakhon, Nakhon Pathom, Saraburi, Chon Buri and Kanchanaburi. They will all be deported, police said. (See stories here, here and here.)