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Children among the latest arrivals found in Thailand's jungle

More Mystery Travellers Captured

Friday, March 21, 2014
PHUKET: Another 78 illegal immigrants claiming Turkish extraction have been found in the jungle in southern Thailand, with insiders saying that a thousand more could be in hiding nearby.

The capture of the new group in a raid in Songkhla province early yesterday follows the arrest of 220 men, women and children the previous week.

While the first group said they arrived by boat along the Andaman coast, the second group say they spent a month moving overland through Laos and Cambodia and had spent 15 days in Thailand's jungle before being arrested.

Thai Immigration officials have been told that, like the earlier group, the overlanders want to go to Australia and claim Turkish ethnicity.

Their status will be assessed while they are held in detention, with the women and children destined for Songkhla's overcrowded family shelter facilities and the men for Immigration cells.

When asked who organised their trip to Thailand, the travellers said they were unable to say who their helpers were. A similar answer came when they were asked who had held them in the jungle.

The burst of arrivals of people who appear more Western than Asian has diverted attention from the continuing arrival of Rohingya boatpeople from Burma. They are said to still be hidden in large numbers in jungle camps along the Thai-Malaysia border.

Thailand Immigration Division 6 Commander Police Major General Thatchai Pitaneelaboot has been busting the jungle camps and showing journalists how the trafficking network has expanded from the Rohingya to include the newly arrived groups.

They are suspected of being members of China's Uighur ethnic minority, from Xinjiang province. Some of the latest arrivals have said they fled their village when men with arms arrived and began attacking.

NGOs meeting in Bangkok say Thailand could drop to Tier 3 on the US Human Trafficking Watch List in a few months because men in uniform are involved in human trafficking.

The trade in flesh extends to fishing and to factories, according to the NGOs.

The new arrivals are said to be more appealing because the people are more prosperous than the stateless Rohingya, and paying 100,000 baht to be trafficked to Malaysia then on to Australia.

Rohingya usually pay 60,000 baht to end their journey in Malaysia.

In shifting the Rohingya south towards Malaysia in secret, officials in Thailand have encouraged the growth of trafficking networks that are more lucrative and less risky than dealing in drugs.

Thailand's Migrants Working Group, Human Rights Lawyers Association, Human Rights and Development Foundation, Stateless Watch, Prorights Foundation, Cross Cultural Foundation, and Union for Civil Liberty recently called on the Thai government to work with Asean to stop human trafficking through the region.

Names of Latest Arrivals

Abdul Kayum, 25
Muhummed Abdullah, 19
Abdul Rahim, 26
Muhamined, 25
Syasullah, 25
Ahmet, 28
Abbas, 29
Abdullah, 35
Abdulkrien, 31
Mustafa, 21
Muhammed, 32
Andulkadir, 36
Muhammed, 30
Omer, 20
Abdullah, 34
Abdulhamit, 56
Abbus, 28
Abdulhekim, 22
Yasin, 30
Abdullah, 20
Abdulsemi, 26
Abdullah, 24
Abdulrazak, 26
Mustasa, 21
Abdullah, 24
Abduliahman, 23
Satime, 24
Zohre, 23
Buhacer, 48
Ayse, 26
Zeynep, 30
Reyhangul, 33 (pregnant seven months)
Rahile, 23
Reyhangul, 18
Rizvangul, 23 (pregnant seven months)
Rena, 18 (pregnant eight months)
Zaynep, 24
Rokiye 17 (pregnant four months)
Fatima, 27
Havahan, 26 (three months pregnant)
Hadice, 34
Atikem, 21
Habide, 22
Rizvangul, 17
Tahir, 12 (with both parents)
Abdulveli, 9 (with father)
Oner, 9 (came alone)
Arsat, 13 (came alone)
Abdul Sukur, 8 (came with parents)
Abdulaziz, 14 (came with parents)
Ali, 15 (came alone)
Omer, 16 (came with parents)
Ahmet, 14 (came with parents)
Nuahmine, 5 (came with grandfather)
Ayse, 4 (came with grandfather)
Hadice, 7
Hadice, 7 (came with father)
Shehide 5 (came with mother)
Sabire 6 (came with sister and father)
Abide 8 (came with father)
Sehide, 11 (came with father)
Amine, 7 (came with father)
Muslime, 3 (came with family)
Muhammed, one (same family)
Abdulrahim, 3 (came with family)
Abdulrahman, 18 months (came with family)
Abdulvaris, 2 (came with family)
Yasin 4 (came with family)
Siracidin one (came with family)
Muslime, two (came with parents)
Muhlise, five months (came with family)
Habibe, 4 (came with parents)
Sumehya one (came with parents)
Abdulvaris, 3 (came with parents)
Muhammed two (came with parents)
Mustafa, 10 months (came with parents)

Comments

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Unbelievable. Almost literally unbelievable.

I'm surprised the search teams looking for the missing MH370 haven't found any Rohingya boats. Maybe the traffickers are biding their time.

Posted by James on March 21, 2014 16:14

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James, it is trafficking low season, not so much Rohingya boats...
The US should be careful not to tip a uniformed toe or the full force of Thai justice will be brought upon them. Rule of law rules, as Thai Mike would say. 555

Posted by Lena on March 22, 2014 12:22


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