Sixty-one Thai nationals who are accused of setting up a rubber plantation inside Burmese territory have been detained on the Burma-Thai border, Burmese state-run media said on Monday.
The Burmese army arrested the Thais and a large cache of seized arms and ammunition, and vehicles in an area of Kawthoung Township, Taninthayi Region, on July 4, said The New Light of Myanmar.
The article said the Thais had about 1,000 acres of rubber plantations and a road connecting to Thai territory.
The Thai detainees were rubber farming on a commercial scale and held arms and ammunitions for their security, the article said.
On Friday, Mizzima reported that Thai Gen. Yutthasak Sasiprapa, the Thai deputy prime minister, said the Thais were arrested for illegally crossing the border and building structures on Burmese territory, and the government was trying to provide them aid and secure their release.
Yutthasak, who is in charge of internal security, said the border area is faintly demarcated in Kra Buri District of Ranong Province in southern Thailand.
He said, “The Thai government does not want to have a conflict with Myanmar. The area where the Thai villagers were reported to have been arrested is where local people of the two countries regularly cross back and forth over the border.”