Illegal migrant roundup as murder investigation intensifies

Illegal migrant roundup as murder investigation intensifies

Illegal Myanmar migrants are arrested in a rented room in tambon Ban Phru of Hat Yai district, Songkhla, on Thursday night. (Photo: Assawin Pakkawan)
Illegal Myanmar migrants are arrested in a rented room in tambon Ban Phru of Hat Yai district, Songkhla, on Thursday night. (Photo: Assawin Pakkawan)

SONGKHLA: More than 100 illegal Myanmar migrants were arrested when officials raided rented houses in Hat Yai district on Thursday night as the investigation intensified into the murder of a local man whose body was found in a shallow grave on Wednesday.

Officials said 109 illegal Myanmar nationals were arrested from 12 packed rooms at two rented houses in Moo 8 village of tambon Ban Phru.

Police had earlier arrested about 60 illegal migrants following the discovery of the gagged and bound body of Maddol Binsan, 40, on Wednesday morning.

Police believe he was murdered and buried in forest near a golf course after he came across a makeshift camp of illegal Myanmar job seekers waiting to be smuggled to Malaysia, near Ban Khlong Pom in tambon Ban Phru. He was last seen in surveillance camera footage leaving his house in the village to go fishing on Tuesday afternoon.

Vinai Tonyalae, head of tambon Banphru, said smugglers and illegal migrants were the prime suspects. Maddol had not had any conflict with any local people and was always helpful at merit-making events for the village. He worked for a tree-trimming subcontractor of the Provincial Electricity Authority in Na Mom district.

The murder had scared local people, because most of them worked as latex tappers, and rose early to go into the forest and work at rubber plantations, Mr Vinai said.

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