Thais rescued from scammers in Myanmar to return via China

Thais rescued from scammers in Myanmar to return via China

Foreign Affairs Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara (photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Foreign Affairs Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara (photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

More than 160 Thais tricked into working illegally for scam gangs in Laukkaing township of northern Myanmar will be brought home through China's Yunnan province, and face no immigration charges.

Foreign Affairs Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara said on Tuesday the 162 rescued Thais had been lured to Laukkaing town, in the self-administered Kokang zone of Shan State. They had already been evacuated to a safe area and were undergoing nationality verification.

Assuming everything checked out, they would be taken to Lincang city in China's Yunnan province,  about four kilometres from Laukkaing, the minister said. All 162 were safe.

Officials at the Thai embassy in Yangon were providing travel documents, Mr Parnpree said.

Pol Gen Surachate Hakparn, a deputy national police chief overseeig their return, said in Yangon on Tuesday that although they had entered Myanmar illegally, authorities there agreed to spare them from immigration charges. This was a sign of the good relations between Myanmar and Thai immigration police.

He had met Myanmar immigration chief Maung Maung Than to discuss assistance for the 162 Thais. It was agreed it was best to speed up the process and ensure their safe repatriation, given the tense siutation in Shan State. There were pregnant women among the returnees, Pol Gen Surachate said.

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