BANGKOK: Twenty-three human-trafficking agents were arrested during a major operation by the Thai police to stop southern Thailand from becoming a transit point for migrants trying to cross illegally into Malaysia.
The operation, which began in May, also uncovered major trafficking routes used by human-trafficking syndicates to smuggle illegals from Myanmar to Thailand with Malaysia as their final destination.
“This trafficking routes began from Koh Song, a Myanmar island situated near Ranong in southern Thailand.
“From Ranong, the illegals will be taken by bus to Chumphon and Phattalung before continuing their journey to Haadyai, a major town in southern Thailand,” said Maj-Gen Surachet Hakpal here.
According to the deputy chief of Thailand’s Tourist Police, the illegals will then be taken either to Sadao or Sungai Golok, two border towns just a stone’s throw from the Thai-Malaysian border for their last leg of the journey to Malaysia.
He said most of the illegals were Rohingya and Myanmar nationals.
He said four of the suspects were Myanmarese, who had been in the business for over five years, facilitating illegal entry of their countrymen into Thailand and Malaysia.
“They would recruit Myanmar nationals and bring them to Koh Song for a journey which most probably ends in Malaysia,” he said. — Bernama