• Tuesday, Sep 28, 2021
  • Last Update : 01:18 am

Thailand arrests 19 Rohingya for illegal entry

  • Published at 08:31 pm January 9th, 2021
Thailand Rohingya
Rohingya, who illegally entered Thailand after being smuggled overland from Rakhine state and were bound for Malaysia AFP

The group was smuggled into Thailand overland from Rakhine state and was bound for Malaysia

Nineteen Rohingya and a Thai woman accused of housing them have been arrested for illegal entry to Thailand, police said on Saturday, as concerns grow about trafficking routes for the Muslim minority fleeing Myanmar.

The embattled Rohingya have long faced persecution in Myanmar, where they are denied freedom of movement and citizenship, and lack access to work, healthcare and schools. 

A 2017 military crackdown in western Rakhine state sent almost 750,000 fleeing across the border to Bangladesh, while many choose to embark on treacherous journeys with human smugglers to reach Malaysia and Indonesia, sometimes going through Thailand. 

Thai police said the latest trafficking operation was discovered this week when 19 Rohingya were found in a house in Bangkok's Don Mueang district.

"Police also managed to arrest one Thai woman in Pathum Thani province (near Bangkok) on the charge of providing shelter to the Rohingya," Colonel Kissana Phathanacharoen, the deputy police spokesman, told AFP. 

The group was smuggled into Thailand overland from Rakhine state and was bound for Malaysia, said an immigration officer who declined to be named.

"They didn't know what kind of work they would find in Malaysia, they just wanted to get out of Rakhine," he said, adding that the Thai woman's husband -- still at large -- had promised them jobs.

Out of the 19 Rohingya, seven tested positive for coronavirus and are being treated, said the officer, while the rest are being kept in quarantine as a precaution.

Thailand was thrust into the international spotlight in 2015 during the so-called "boat crisis", which saw desperate Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants stranded at sea and abandoned by their traffickers. 

Police officers, a high-ranking general and several politicians were among scores convicted for their role in the trafficking network, which spilled into full view after officials found dozens of shallow graves in hidden camps near the Malaysian border.

Kissana said the latest discovery of the 19 Rohingya -- along with the threat of the coronavirus spreading -- has authorities worried.

"The chief of Thai police has expressed his concern over the issue of police being potentially involved with the smuggling scandal, so he has ordered subordinates to strictly follow the law," Kissana told AFP.

Earlier this week nearly 100 Rohingya bound for Malaysia were arrested in a raid in Yangon. Authorities are still investigating if the smugglers are part of a wider network.

64
Facebook 62
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail