Thais arrest Myanmar migrants near Malaysian border

06 August 2016
Thais arrest Myanmar migrants near Malaysian border
Flashback - Ethnic Muslim Rohingya migrants, believed to have come from Myanmar and Bangladesh, on an abandoned boat drifting in the Andaman Sea close to Malaysia, southern Thailand, 14 May 2015. Photo: EPA

Thai authorities said they plan to charge and deport 62 undocumented migrants from Myanmar, including five Rohingya Muslims, who were arrested after human smugglers left them in a house near Thailand’s southern border with Malaysia, according to a Radio Free Asia report August 4.
The 62 were said to be waiting to cross into Malaysia illegally but were taken into Thai custody Tuesday after being found at a townhouse in Padang Besar, a sub-district of Songkhla province, the report said.
Padang Besar is the same area where dozens of graves of trafficked Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants were found in the jungle in May 2015. That discovery precipitated a Thai crackdown on human smuggling that contributed to a regional migration crisis.
The flow of Muslims leaving Rakhine State has dropped since the Thai and Myanmar authorities sought to crack down on the trafficking trade last year. The Myanmar government has called for patience in dealing with the problem of the Muslim minority in Rakhine State who are referred to as “Bengalis” indicating they are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. Many of the people who claim they are Rohingya say they were born and have ancestral routes in Myanmar.