Trafficking of Rohingyas to be included
By Chutima Sidasathian
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
PHUKET: Representatives from all 10 Southeast Asian nations will meet in Kuala Lumpur in August to discuss human trafficking and solutions for the region, an Interpol officer said today.
”The movement of Rohingya boatpeople through the region will be part of those discussions,” said Ian Rotsey, Coordinator of the Chemex Terrorism Prevention Unit, which is based at Interpol’s headquarters in France.
He said the August meeting would be aimed at coordination among Customs, Immigration and other law enforcement authorities to better prevent human trafficking across Southeast Asia.
Forced to flee ethnic cleansing and repression in Burma, the Muslim-minority Rohingya continue to mysteriously arrive at human traffickers’ camps in southern Thailand in their thousands without the intervention of Thai authorities on land or at sea.
Usually reliable sources told Phuketwan this week that the flow of Rohingya from Burma is continuing because larger vessels, capable of sailing through the monsoon season, are now being used to carry boatpeople south all year long.
According to informed sources both close to the Burma-Thai border and in the south, at the Thai-Malaysia border, about 2000 Rohingya are currently being processed by human traffickers through Thailand.
There were roughly 400 people hidden on an island off Ranong, the major port on the Thai-Burma border, 700-800 more Rohingya being held in secret in jungle camps around Pedang Besar, on the border with Malaysia, and another 400 in secret camps a little further north, around the Songkhla province city of Hat Yai.