in

9 Myanmar migrants caught in Surat Thani

Nine Myanmar nationals, including a child, were arrested for illegal entry at a resort in Phun Phin district, Surat Thani, on Monday night. (Photo: Supapong Chaolan)
Nine Myanmar nationals, including a child, were arrested for illegal entry at a resort in Phun Phin district, Surat Thani, on Monday night. (Photo: Supapong Chaolan)

SURAT THANI: Nine Myanmar nationals, including a child, were arrested at a resort in Phun Phin district on Monday night, according to a police report submitted to governor Wichawut Jinto.

Police said they searched the resort at Moo 1 village in tambon Bang Duan and found them staying together in a room. None of them were carrying a passport.

They allegedly told the police they sneaked across the border into Mae Sot district in Tak province. From Surat Thani, they were to proceed in an arranged trip to Hat Yai and Sadao districts of Songkhla before crossing the border into Malaysia.

Footage from security cameras at the resort showed the nine arrived in an Isuzu pick-up without a licence plate at about 8.30pm on May 7. They were accompanied by a Thai man who rented a room for them to stay in.

They were charged with illegal entry and sent to Bang Ma Dua police station for further legal proceedings.

Police were looking for the man who accompanied them to the resort.

In an apparently connected case, police in Songkhla arrested Sin Ma Thu, a Myanmar woman, and six Myanmar migrants in Hat Yai district on Monday night.

In an interrogation at Border Patrol Police Company 437 in Sadao district, the woman allegedly confessed she was a member of a human trafficking gang that smuggled Myanmar migrants to and from Malaysia via Sadao checkpoint.

She allegedly said the nine Myanmar nationals arrested at a resort in Phun Phin district, Surat Thani, were to be smuggled by her gang across the border to Malaysia.

According to police, Sin Ma Thu also identified three other members of her gang. They were Yi Yi, a Myanmar woman who stayed in Surat Thani, along with two others who were based in Malaysia — a Malaysian man named Ko Ao and a Myanmar man called San Cha. She said they coordinated smuggling operations via mobile phones using WhatsApp.

The woman was handed over to Sadao police and charged with illegal entry and human smuggling.

An investigation into the smuggling gang was underway.

Reference