Thailand questions over 100 migrants found in South

Police say migrants have been left alone in the jungle after suspected human traffickers fled

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

More than 100 suspected Rohingya migrants from Bangladesh and Myanmar have been found and questioned in Thailand's southern Songkhla province, Thai police have said.

Thai authorities say they are trying to determine whether they were victims of human trafficking.

The latest discovery of suspected migrants comes just after thirty-three bodies were found in shallow graves over the past week in the same province. Police also discovered three suspected trafficking camps in the area.

Thai police said migrants have been left alone in the jungle after the suspected human traffickers who brought them there fled.

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha announced a 10-day deadline to crack down on the illicit trade in people. He also called for a three-way meeting with neighbours Malaysia and Myanmar to resolve a regional human trafficking crisis following the discovery of mass graves in the country's south.

The 117 migrants were found in Rattaphum district and most of them were from Bangladesh. The group includes three children.

Some Thai villagers came to donate water and food to the migrants, according to a Reuters reporter at the scene.

Tens of thousands of migrants have made the dangerous sea crossing to southern Thailand, on the way to Malaysia and beyond.

The exodus of Rohingya, described by the UN as one of the world's most persecuted minorities, has followed deadly communal unrest in western Myanmar's Rakhine state since 2012.

An estimated 25,000 Rohingya Muslims and Bangladeshis boarded people-smugglers' boats in the first three months of the year, double the number a year earlier, the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said on Friday.


TRTWorld and agencies