Stranded Zimbabwean family heads to Philippines

Stranded Zimbabwean family heads to Philippines

Officials talk to the Zimbabwean family stranded at Suvarnabhumi airport in December. (Supplied photo)
Officials talk to the Zimbabwean family stranded at Suvarnabhumi airport in December. (Supplied photo)

A Zimbabwean family stranded at Suvarnabhumi airport for months has left Thailand for the Philippines.

Immigration Police spokesman Cherngron Rimpadee said yesterday the family left Thailand on Monday with the help of the United Nations Refugee Agency UNHCR. It is not known where they will settle next.

UNHCR declined to comment, saying it does not comment on individual cases.

The family of eight including four children arrived in Thailand as tourists in May.

On Oct 23, they bought a ticket from Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) for Barcelona via Kiev but were denied boarding since they did not have visas to enter Spain, a source said.

The airline took the family back to Thailand, where immigration police asked the airline to take them back to Zimbabwe, but the family refused to budge, the source said.

On Nov 7 the family attempted to leave for Spain via Ukraine a second time and made it to Ukraine before they were sent back to Suvarnabhumi airport on Nov 13, the source said.

The family then sought asylum status with the United Nations. While waiting to be relocated, the family stayed at Suvarnabhumi airport's transfer passenger lounge.

The story of the family being stranded at the airport was broken to the public by a Facebook user.


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