Police are hunting a suspected gunman they say could lead them to the key men behind the Rohingya death camps in Songkhla province.
Deputy police chief Chakthip Chaijinda said on Wednesday that police were looking for Supoj Muensew and believed the suspected killer was hiding locally in Songkhla.
Police believed Mr Supoj had killed Rohingya people at the camps and that he could lead them to a key suspect in Satun province and a human trafficking network behind the illegal immigration of Rohingya people, he said.
Pol Gen Chakthip said he would discuss the Rohingya issue with senior Malaysian police at a Thai-Malaysian police meeting in Phuket province from May 11 to 14.
He said Malaysian police were cooperating well with their Thai counterparts, and similar cooperation was being sought from police in Myanmar, the country of origin of the Rohingya migrants.
Thailand was in the middle of the smuggling route. Malaysia was the destination, he said.
Pol Gen Chakthip would not confirm a report that a major was among the suspects. He said only that other officials might be involved in Rohingya trafficking in addition to the 15 local police officers recently transferred to inactive posts.
It was reported police were searching for two soldiers who had abducted a trafficker of Rohingya migrants and held him for two-million-baht ransom.
Col Banpot Punpian, spokesman of the Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc), said the military were determined to eliminate all illegal migrant detention camps along the Thai-Malaysian border in Satun and Songkhla provinces, and the navy was intensifying patrols to head off the movement of illegal Rohingya migrants by sea.
The search for Rohingya bodies continued in Padang Besar sub-district of Songkhla's Sadao district on Wednesday, following the discovery of a total of 26 bodies in graves at two illegal migrant detention camps on Khao Kaeo mountain in Padang Besar since Friday.
Six more bodies have been exhumed from an abandoned Muslim graveyard at Ban Taloh Moo 8 in the sub-district, four of them were females.
Residents of the village said they had seen Rohingya people visiting the graveyard several times over the past year.
Army spokesman Winthai Suvaree said late Wednesday that on March 29 a group of army soldiers had questioned two Thai men whom they had found having some Rohingya people staying with them near the Thai-Malaysian border in Padang Besar.
The interrogation had lasted about 12 hours to gather intelligence and the two villagers were then freed. But on the following day, some villagers filed a complaint with local police that the soldiers had detained them for ransom, Col Winthai said.