Rohingya flee as guards sleep

PRACHUAP KHIRI KHAN – A total of 34 Rohingya migrants remain at large after 37 of them escaped from a detention centre in Muang district early yesterday.

The detention centre in Prachuap Khiri Khan houses 119 Rohingya.

The escape took place around 2am Saturday at the centre in tambon Klongwan, which has two buildings housing 119 Rohingya who were transferred from Phangnga in January. The site is approximately 10 kilometres away from the Sing Khon temporary checkpoint with Myanmar.

Weera Sriwattanatrakul, the governor of Prachuap Khiri Khan province, said the security guards at the site had fallen asleep while on duty.

More than 200 police and other officials began a search within a radius of five kilometers from the detention site and found three escapers walking along a road.

Mr Weera said the government needed to find a solution for dealing with the Rohingya, thousands of whom have fled persecution in Myanmar.

Many Rohingya have ended up in Thailand in poor temporary shelters and the government has said it cannot afford to house them indefinitely. Some have also been victims of trafficking gangs during their stay in Thailand.

Mr Weera said security at the detention centre would be strengthened and that police would continue to check on possible escape routes, particularly the road leading to the Myanmar border.

Related search: Rohingya, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Sing Khon checkpoint

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Writer: Chaiwat Satyaem
Position: Reporter