Some Rohingya migrants arrested for illegal entry have confessed to being trained by insurgents to undertake attacks in the restive deep South, according to a highly-placed source in the Justice Ministry’s Forensic Science Institute.
The source said the men had entered Thailand through Mae Sot in northern Tak province and later moved to Sungai Kolok in Narathiwat in the far south. Their case was discovered in 2009.
“These two men confessed that they were trained by the RKK and later were sent back to carry out attacks in the southern border provinces. This is very worrying,” the source said.
RKK refers to the armed wing of the deep South insurgent movement. It stands for Runda Kumpulan Kecil, a Malay name that means “small patrol groups”.
The source, whose agency examines forensic evidence involving insurgency-related cases in the strife-torn region, said that without a clear government policy on how to deal with illegal Rohingya migrants, there could be a threat to national security.
In 2009, a number of Rohingya carrying Malaysian ID cards were arrested after having carried out attacks in the southern border provinces, according to the source. “But a case like this was not common,” the source said.
Authorities also found that some illegal immigrants had smuggled explosive substances from India, she said.
The source said it was possible the illegal immigrants got help from smuggling rings to transport them from border areas to other parts of the country. “Many Rohingya are smuggled to the coastal provinces of Satun and Ranong, and some of them are sent to Malaysia.”
A source at the Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc) yesterday denied having such information about Rohingya in Thailand.
Blood tests on the latest group of more than 800 Rohingya migrants being detained in the South found some had used narcotic substances, according to the Forensic Science Institute source. However, no traces of explosive substances were found on their bodies.
She said traces of narcotics were detected “on many occasions” in the Royingha migrants illegally entering the country – both by boat and on land through the porous borders between Thailand and Myanmar. However, she added, there has been no information that the Rohingya are involved with drug smuggling gangs.
A total of 1,390 illegal Rohingya migrants have been arrested this year – 1,184 of them men and 206 women, according to official statistics.
Human rights groups have urged the Thai government not to deport the Rohingya, many of who have fled ethnic fighting and dire hardship in Myanmar.
A source close to the defence minister said no new refugee camp would be set up specifically for the Rohingya. They would be moved to the nine existing camps for Myanmar refugees along the Thai-Myanmar border, according to the source.
The nine camps for displaced people who have fled fighting in Myanmar are located in the western border provinces of Tak, Mae Hong Son, Ratchaburi, and Kanchanaburi. There are about 130,000 people in the camps, which were first set up 29 years ago. Most of the refugees are ethnic Karen, but there are also Karenni and Mon, plus a number of Shan, Chin, Kachin and Burmese Muslims.