400 trafficked Rohingya people rescued in Songkhla
Officials yesterday rescued some 400 Rohingya people from Myanmar who had been kept at a rubber plantation for three months by an alleged human-trafficking gang in Songkhla's Sadao district on the Malaysian border.
The gang reportedly planned to traffic the Rohingya for Bt60,000 per head to clients in Malaysia to work on fishing boats. The authorities raided the plantation in Tambon Padung Besar and rescued the Rohingya, who included five girls and 61 boys under the age of 15.
Police arrested five Rohingya men who were minding the group, and seized a shotgun, a home-made pistol, 10 cellphones and a notebook.
A police investigation found that the Rohingya were smuggled into Thailand via Ranong province and were transported in 10-wheeled trucks to a temporary shelter on the rubber plantation, which reportedly belonged to a local politician. The gang had transported a total of 2,000 Rohingya people in this way before, the police found.
Officials evacuated the Rohingya out of the area and contacted related agencies to aid them, while police continued to investigate the accused human traffickers.