Myanmar suspects wanted for Rohingya migrant trafficking


SONGKHLA, Jan 21 – More arrest warrants will be issued for Myanmar suspects involved in the smuggling of over 800 Rohingya migrants into Thailand, according to police in this southern province.

Songkhla police earlier released three warrants for the arrest of two Thais and Myanmar national on charge of  illegally arranging the Rohingya migrants’ trip to Thailand and confining them on Thai soil.

The three suspects were identified as Prasit Laemlae, former deputy mayor of Padang Besar municipality, Sarote Kaewmaneechote, former operator of a cock-fighting den, and Jama Nadin, a Myanmar citizen.

Police said the trio will surrender to the authorities soon and information from them should lead to more arrests.

An ethnic Rohingya man identified as Muhammad Alla led police into a forest near the Khao Kaew mountain range in Hat-Yai’s Chalung sub-district close to the Malaysian border to search for more migrants suspected to be in hiding.

Police found no migrants but saw broken branches pointing to the Malaysian border as if giving directions to illegal migrants trekking from nearby Satun province.

Songkhla health officials gave medical checkup to Rohingya migrants at different temporary shelters yesterday and said they mainly suffered from dehydration, malnutrition and malaria.

Psychiatrists said many were stressed in fear that the Thai government would repatriate them to Myanmar.