Police suspected that the group escaped from their cell through the ventilation system after cutting off the iron bars late last night and that the group should be heading for the Thai-Malaysian border.
The migrants illegally entered Thailand from Myanmar and were arrested with many others in a police crackdown on a human trafficking racket in a rubber plantation in Sadao district in January, police said.
Their escape coincided with yesterday’s riot by more than 260 Rohingya people at a detention centre in Phang-nga province. They have been put behind bars for over seven months and have repeatedly asked to be sent to a third country.
Most of the Rohingya minority detainees fled suppression in Myanmar arriving in Thailand by sea and they had hoped to disembark in Malaysia.
Paveena Hongsakul, Social Development and Human Security minister, today called on Army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha to discuss measures to help the Rohingya people who have been confined in crowded detention centres.
The army chief proposed that they be allowed to stay at temporary shelters in Mae Sot district of Tak and in Ratchaburi province, both under army supervision.
He said the two centres could accommodate 2,200 people and translators would be provided for better communication with them.
Cabinet approval will be sought Tuesday to relocate the Rohingya people.