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Babies are among the mysterious people found in the jungle

Take Us to Australia, Say Some in Thailand's Mysterious Group of Refugees: Photo Special

Saturday, March 15, 2014
PHUKET: Some of the mysterious group of travellers captured in southern Thailand this week want to go to Australia, officials said today.

The group of about 220 men, women and children has added a bizarre overlay to Thailand's continuing human trafficking issues with envoys from China and Turkey both suggesting different originating countries for the group.

Today the latest evidence is that 36 are Turkish,and the rest from China and Syria. The group was being officially recorded by officers at Had Yai Immigration centre today and the adults are to appear in court soon.

From then on their future will be sorted by discussion and debate between the countries with a vested interest, which enlarged to include Australia after some men and women said that was where they wish to go.

Individuals among the group say they arrived in southern Thailand by sea and were transferred to land, another exercise displaying the porous Andaman Sea border of Thailand so often and so easily penetrated by thousands of Rohingya fleeing from Burma.

''They want to go to Australia, not Canada,'' one official told Phuketwan today. Details, though, remain hard to come by.

A Chinese official said yesterday he thought the group was Uyghurs, the oppressed Muslim group in China. A Turkish official said he thought they were from Turkey.

On today's latest revelations, they might both be right. Turkey appears the keener of the two countries to find out more about the group, sending five envoys or officials to southern Thailand to learn more.

Talk has it that thousands of people from other countries have taken advantage of the ''industrial strength'' human trafficking network that has been established through southern Thailand with the connivance of men in uniform.

Comments

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I think they are foreign.

Posted by gump on March 15, 2014 11:51

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It's a shame that Thai navy personnel have invested so much of their time in their body guard and alleged freelance "security" operation that they are unable to effectively patrol the coastline of Thailand. Perhaps one day, the Thai navy will invest more of an effort in securing Thailand's borders than in protecting factions of Thailand's political disputes.

Posted by Ryan on March 15, 2014 14:28

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So how come these people appear to be getting the "red carpet" and the people at Phuket Airport are generally being help captive?

Posted by Tbs on March 15, 2014 19:43

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Probably Uyghurs among them.I hope Turkey would accept them into their country.

Posted by Anonymous on March 16, 2014 13:41


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