Police detain 50 Rohingya
published : 6 Jan 2015 at 06:00
newspaper section: News
Fifty Rohingya migrants are being detained after the Thai traffickers who were allegedly smuggling them abandoned the migrants following a car accident in a southern province early yesterday.
The accident occurred when the alleged traffickers attempted to flee officials who tried to stop their vehicles for a search.
Acting on a tip-off, Takua Pa district chief Manit Pianthong and 30 of his men started looking for Rohingya migrants who were being smuggled to Malaysia on Sunday night.
The team set up a blockade, in Bangkrak Nai village in tambon Khok Kian, and waited for the traffickers. Around 3.30am, a pickup truck with a Bangkok licence plate came through the area.
The officers and volunteers attempted to stop the vehicle for a search, but the driver sped away, hitting two parked vehicles before he slammed into a roadside power pole.
The driver managed to escape on foot, leaving 16 Rohingya inside the damaged truck.
Two other pickup trucks also sped past the officers before the drivers abandoned their vehicles and fled into a palm-tree plantation.
A total of 50 Rohingya migrants, including six children, had been smuggled from Ranong province in the three vehicles.