Current News

Government move to help detained Rohingya

grow of US human trafficking downgrade

have pledged to look after the 704 Rohingya migrants rounded up in
two raids.

promise comes amid growing concerns that Thailand could face a
downgrade on a US human trafficking watch list and risk sanctions by
the US.

officers and police yesterday found a second group of 307 Rohingya
migrants including more than a dozen children in a warehouse on the
border with Malaysia.

were found in Ban Dan Nok in Sadao district of Songkhla and were
waiting to be transferred to a third country, authorities said.

Thursday, authorities rescued a different group of 397 Rohingya
migrants locked up at a shelter in a remote rubber plantation, also
in Sadao district.

group were staying in a makeshift shelter in the plantation where
they had languished for three months waiting to be trafficked to a
third country, police said.

on a tip-off, officials stormed the shelter on Thursday and found the

are now waiting for deportation which will be done by Thailand’s
immigration police,” Lt Col Katika Jitbanjong of Padang Besar
police said.

told officials they had volunteered to come to Thailand,” he
said, adding police were seeking an arrest warrant for the Thai
landowner on charges of human trafficking and sheltering illegal

Maj Thanu Duangkaewngam, the inspector at the Songkhla immigration
office, said police will investigate and find those responsible for
smuggling the migrants into the country.
migrants will have to be deported back to Myanmar.

Col Krisakorn Pleethanyawong, deputy chief of the Songkhla provincial
police, said officers had detained eight people – four Myanmar
nationals, two Rohingya and two Thais – who had smuggled the 397

have been charged with smuggling and sheltering people illegally, as
well as possessions of firearms.

will also summon two suspects for questioning. One of them is Prasit
Lemlae, deputy mayor of the Padang Besar municipality, who owns the
rubber plantation where the 397 Rohingya migrants were discovered.

police chief Adul Saengsingkaew yesterday told his subordinates to
visit the migrants and find ways to ensure they are well looked after
pending their deportation.

Social Development and Human Security Ministry will also allocate
money to help the migrants, Pol Gen Adul said.

police force’s anti-human trafficking division will send its staff to
work with local police to track down the human trafficking network
which links Thailand, Myanmar and Malaysia, he said.

704 migrants have now been separated into two groups.

group of 105 women and children have been sent to the Songkhla
Children and Family Shelter and the male migrants have been moved to
shelters at the Sa Dao immigration office, and nearby local police

Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung will take foreign diplomats
including those from the US and the Pacific region and the EU to
visit Samut Sakhon where many migrant labourers work.

visit is meant to assure foreign countries that the government is
making a serious effort to solve and prevent illegal human

has been on the US government’s Tier 2 Watch List in the Trafficking
in Persons Report for the past two years.

US will review the status again next month. If Thailand makes the
Tier 2 list for a third time, it will be automatically downgraded to
Tier 3 – the lowest classification and the same level with North
Korea – which could mean that non-tariff sanctions are imposed.