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About 220 men, women and children face an uncertain future

Mystery Boatpeople Aided by Turkish Envoys

Saturday, March 15, 2014
HAD YAI: Police in Thailand have released a list of names of the adults among a mysterious group of 220 boatpeople who were arrested this week after spending seven days in a human trafficker's secret jungle camp in southern Thailand.

Although the list declares them all ''Turkish,'' envoys from Turkey, who yesterday specified 36 of the travellers as their citizens, would only add today that inquiries are continuing.

Some of the boatpeople possibly have the ethnicity of China's Uyghur Muslim minority, or are from Syria or originated in one or two former Soviet Union satellite states.

The leader and spokesman for the group was seen yesterday and today coaching the group. He appeared to be telling people what to say in interviews with envoys.

Except for him, all the travellers stayed silent for almost two days, keeping even restless children quiet and under control, then broke into tears when Turkish envoys arrived yesterday.

A man from Istanbul who accompanied the envoys appeared to be known by many in the travelling group. Just what his role may have been has yet to be clearly established.

Today the women were given mattresses, health products and other goods before they were transferred to a family shelter with the children, who number 86 and are mostly toddlers and babies.

Although photographers took shots of the children in police and Immigration trucks, Thai authorities have treated the group well so far.

A court appearance was scheduled for today. Most likely, the group will be kept in detention for a few days then deported.

With five envoys in Had Yai to deal with the issue, Turkey seems willing to take back any of the people who show a connection to the country.

According to police interviewers, the group claimed to have arrived in Thailand by sea and say they were then transported overland to a secret jungle camp, not far from the city of Had Yai.

It's believed hundreds of others have taken the same route and are still in the southern Thailand jungle, along with hundreds and possibly thousands of oppressed Rohingya Muslims from Burma.

The Rohingya have been trafficked in such numbers and with such ease that traffickers are now seeking other ''customers'' more widely and the group apprehended on Wednesday night is just one of many from other countries, investigators believe.

Unless Thailand's men in uniform actually do their jobs and intercept and arrest traffickers and their human chattel, the abysmal trade is likely to flourish and grow, Phuketwan has been told by people on all sides of the growing industry.

Police list of 'Turkish' Boatpeople Being Held in Thailand

Abdullah Muhamad, 25
Abdullah Abdullarh, 26
Ibrahim, 34
Abdullah, 21
Abbas, 20
Muhamad, 50
Hafsa, 23
Uman, 32
Abdullah, 23
Yusef, 35
Abdulsassamit, 22
Muhamad, 30
Muhamad, 22
Sofonloarh, 26
Abdulasif, 20
Umas, 20
Abdullah, 25
Umas, 20
Naslula, 27
Amas, 19
Abdullah, 20
Muhammad, 22
Ibrahim, 26
Ali, 20
Abdullaman, 32
Asadulla, 25
Lesis, 27
Cheide, 24
Salim, 23,
Zuher, 22
Ali, 30
Bilar, 25
Saynap, 20
Howsun, 23
Nuthead, 21
Yosef, 32
Fatima, 28
Umas, 25
Rakea, 18
Muhamad, 28
Muanham, 23
Araman, 25
Aninet, 21
Paul, 24
Fatima, 47
Rachid, 64
Fatima, 41
Chasik, 23
Fatima, 34
Ibrahim, 21
Muhamad, 35
Arisa, 39
Abdullah, 20
Labieh, 21
Kasim, 44
Mahirey, 44
Risha, 31
Fatima, 36
Kamil, 36
Fatima, 31
Abdullah, 33
Fatima, 26
Abdullah, 49
Yamine, 35
Ali, 40
Muhamad, 49
Habided, 42
Halip, 20
Halilay, 19
Semsee, 19
Abdullaman, 35
Asisar, 25
Abdullaman, 32
Marianisa, (no age given)
Laheelay, 24
Fatima, 26
Rasee, 25
Fatima, 52
Musar, 34
Marian, 31
Abdulasif, 19
Lahelao, 20
Aminet, 32
Ali, 25
Saleeha, 19
Muhamad, 28
Fatima, 27
Ossman, 37
Yemilay, 35
Asmar, 22
Chelfeyay, 19
Umat, 21
Mustaffa, 28
Tooar, 20
Anat, 27
Arisa, 27
Bilar, 21


Comments have been disabled for this article.


Though I can understand people from Myanmar fleeing the country in a hope to get maybe to Malaysia or Singapore, it's hard to understand that Turkish people would do the same. Especially with so many children, what could they hope for ?
I think the Thai government must do something drastic about this situation, and try to wipe out these people smugglers and all their crimes against humanity, they are the scum of the all, Thailand has to take a serious grip on what is happening, what between the people smuggling and stolen passports, it seems to me to be worsening by the day. The government is not doing their job.

Posted by Elizabeth on March 16, 2014 23:30


The human traffickers become more desperate in south Thailand. They catch and make huge money from Rohingya boat people who come here to get protection and temporary shelter .Now the traffickers have started a new money making industry by trafficking a new people. If Thai authority failed to combat the traffickers ,it should ask Interpol ,US and US experts. Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya boat people fate are still unknown at the hands of traffickers in the south.

Posted by Maung Kyaw Nu,Burmese Rohingya Association in Thailand ,BRAT. on March 17, 2014 03:20


Seems southern Thailand is a proper hornet's nest of smuggled people, this is unbelievable!!

Posted by geoff on March 17, 2014 14:30


Elizabeth, the news tells it clearly: they are of Turkish origin, not from Turkey. In many countries there exist peoples of Turkish, Kurdish and Chinese, etc.

Posted by huseyin on March 24, 2014 18:24


huseyin, using your logic then we are all from African origin. :) Turkey, as a nation, did not exist until 1923. What we have in China is similar to what is happening in Burma, those that the Chinese consider non-ethnic Chinese are persecuted, but because of its economic and military might most nations stay quiet.

Posted by Laurie Howells on March 24, 2014 19:03

Editor Comment:

Emoticons are no welcome here, Laurie. I usually remove them.

Wednesday March 29, 2023
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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