Officers detained for migrant smuggling

The army has interrogated two officers suspected of invovling in the smuggling of Rohingya migrants into Thailand, a security source said on Tuesday.

  • Published: 22/01/2013 at 07:16 PM
  • Newspaper section: breakingnews

The source said a major and a lieutenant colonel were summoned by a panel for questioning on a possible link to a human trafficking operation. The two were based in Chumphon province and assigned to help the Internal Security Operations Command in the far South to work with provincial officials and civilians, said the source, who declined to identify the identity of the two.

The two have not been relieved from duty as the investigation was still ongoing, the source added.

The Fourth Army has set up a team to look into soldiers possibly involving in smuggling Rohingya migrants into Thailand and send them to work in neighbouring Malaysia after army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha on Saturday confirmed soldiers' involvement in smuggling.

Fourth Army commander Lt Gen Udomchai Thammasarorach on Tuesday admitted the probe of the officers and refused to give details of the investigation. He said the army responsible for the southern region will not protect any soldiers if they are found guilty.

A police investigation has pointed to soldiers in the southern border region joining smugglers to bring in Rohingya migrants from Rakhine state in Myanmar. In some cases, they were transported to the border in Songkhla province by military truck after entering Thailand, according to the police report.

About 850 illegal Rohingya migrants are being detained in the southern provinces following three raids earlier this month in Songkhla.

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Writer: Wassana Nanuam
Position: Reporter

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