The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) has ruled out NGO claims that the surge of illegal Rohingya migrants into Thailand is the result of large-scale human trafficking.
The DSI's Anti-Human Trafficking Centre's director yesterday said an investigation into the wave of Rohingya migrants arriving in Songkhla province found the migrants were not victims of human trafficking.
The army estimates about 4,000 Rohingya have arrived illegally in the past three months.
"The Rohingya who are now being helped by authorities were neither compelled or tortured to work," Pol Lt Col Paisit Sangkhapong said. "We didn't find any evidence to support those claims. So we don't accept the Rohingya migrants influx as a special case," he said.
Activists have urged the government to treat the Rohingya surge as a special human trafficking case to be handled by the DSI.
Pol Lt Col Paisit said those found to have been involved in bringing in the Rohingya migrants will face smuggling charges while the migrants will also face illegal entry charges.
Songkhla police have issued 13 arrest warrants for people found to have been involved in bringing more than 900 Rohingya into the country.
The Rohingya are fleeing persecution in Rakhine state in Myanmar.
Police rounded up 397 Rohingya migrants at a remote rubber plantation in Songkhla's Sadao district on Jan 10, the first time the matter came to public prominence.
Ten people have since been arrested while the other three are still at large.
Those still at large are Prasit Laemlae, former deputy mayor of Padang Besar municipality who is the owner of the rubber plantation, Sarote Kaewmaneechote, Mr Prasit's associate, and Jama Nadee, a Myanmar suspect.
Police suspect two military officers attached to the Internal Security Operations Command's (Isoc) Fourth Region Forward Command of being involved in the smuggling of Rohingya.
The pair, holding the rank of sublieutenant and major, are being probed by a Fourth Region Army panel.
Defence Minister Sukumpol Suwanatat said the two soldiers would face severe punishment if they are found to be involved.
Gen Sukumpol expressed concern about the Rohingya migration.
Meanwhile, Pol Maj Gen Piya Uthayo, spokesman of the Royal Thai Police, said the 9th Police Region Bureau in the South has now rounded up 1,381 Rohingyas in Phangnga, Songkhla, Satun and Ranong.
Of them, 686 are being sheltered by immigration police, 413 are being held by other state agencies and 282 are being held by local police, he said.
Samart Maluleem, a Democrat MP for Bangkok who chairs a House committee on border affairs, said his panel will travel to Songkhla on Monday to visit Rohingya who are being detained in the province.
Mr Samart said his committee wanted to talk to the Rohingya and state agents to see what help they can provide.
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