Thailand evacuates 83 nationals from Myanmar’s war-torn Shan State


BANGKOK: The Thai Foreign Ministry says 83 more Thai nationals were evacuated from war-torn Laukkaing Township in Myanmar’s northern Shan State on Sunday (Dec 3).

Laukkaing, the capital of Kokang Self-Administered Zone on the border with China, is notorious as a hotbed of Chinese-run call-centre gangs that use trafficked labour from Thailand and other countries.

However, Thai police said that many of the latest batch of evacuees had travelled to Laukkaing voluntarily to work for call-centre gangs. They would face legal action on their return to Thailand, officials said.

The Foreign Ministry has already helped evacuate 266 Thais and other nationals from Laukkaing, transferring them across the border to China before transporting them via charter flights to Bangkok.

The ministry said the latest group of 83 evacuees would be screened and divided into victims of human trafficking and suspected members of transnational scam gangs.

Laukkaing is the centre of fierce fighting between Myanmar junta troops and the Brotherhood Alliance, a group of armed ethnic organisations that launched a resistance offensive in late October. - The Nation/ANN

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