Army checks claims of military Rohingya smugglers
Defence Minister ACM Sukampol Suwannathat Wednesday vowed to severely punish soldiers found to have illegally smuggled Rohingya people into Thailand for human-trafficking purposes."If found guilty, they deserve harsh punishment because they are unpatriotic," he said.
In less than one month, 1,381 Rohingya people have been arrested in Thailand for illegal entry. On Tuesday, Sukampol urged the Fourth Army Area to launch an investigation into an allegation some soldiers had engaged in the trafficking of the Rohingya.
Sukampol said the investigation was underway but he had not yet received a report.
According to an informed source, the accused officers hold the rank of major, colonel and lieutenant. Their commander, a colonel who heads their unit in Chumphon, is also being investigated.
Sukampol said during the past three months, Thailand has found 4,000 more Rohingya people on its soil. These illegal aliens have come from Myanmar, where they are the Muslim minority. Many Rohingyas have said they were fleeing extreme discrimination and violence in their homeland.