World, Asia - Pacific

Thailand arrests 21 migrants from Myanmar

Thai authorities arrest local human trafficker involved in smuggling of migrants from Myanmar to Malaysia

Riyaz ul Khaliq   | 10.06.2019
Thailand arrests 21 migrants from Myanmar


The Thai army and police Monday arrested at least 21 migrants from Myanmar in the country's south, local media reported.

Among the migrants was a sick person who had not eaten food for the last few days, The Nation, a Bangkok-based daily, said.

The joint operation of Thai forces was carried out at a resort in Tambon Patong of Songkhla’s Hat Yai district in Southern Thailand, the report said.

They also arrested Pongpipat Suwanraksa, a local who was involved in trafficking of the migrants.

The investigations led Thai authorities to search a forest in Moo 1 village of the same area where they found 13 more Myanmar men and one woman.

“They looked tired and hungry. None of them had eaten in three days and some had fallen ill as a result,” it added.

Thailand has been mostly receiving displaced Rohingya population from Myanmar who flee state-led persecution from their country.

Ethnic Rohingya, who are mostly Muslims, cross over to Thailand in order to reach Muslim-majority Malaysia where they intend to live in peace and manage their livelihood.

Amnesty International has estimated that more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women and children, fled Myanmar and crossed to Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017. The total number of persecuted Rohingya living in Bangladesh is greater than 1.1 million.

Since Aug. 25, 2017, nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed by Myanmar’s state forces, according to a report by the Ontario International Development Agency (OIDA).

More than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others were beaten, said the report, titled "Forced Migration of Rohingya: The Untold Experience".

Some 18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar’s army and police and over 115,000 Rohingya homes were burned down and 113,000 others vandalized, it added.

The UN has also documented mass gang rapes, killings – including of infants and young children – and brutal beatings and disappearances committed by Myanmar state forces.

In a report, UN investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity and genocidal intent.

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