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Three local administration officials of Padang Besar, Songkhla’s Sadao district and one Myanmar man were arrested by police on human trafficking charges for alleged involvement in the smuggling and illegal detention of Rohingya people.
The arrest of the four suspects was announced Monday afternoon at a press conference chaired by the national police chief, Pol Gen Somyot Poompunmuang.
The four suspects were identified as Arson Inthathanoo, a member of Padang Besar municipality; Ro-ae Sonyalae, assistant headman of Village 8, Tambon Padang Besar; Arlee Lamoh, assistant headman of Village 8, Tambon Padang Besar and a Myanmar man, Saw Niang.
One 9-mm automatic pistol with eight rounds of bullet was seized from one of the suspects.
Four more suspects are also wanted for alleged involvement in the illegal racket.
Pol Gen Somyot said that surviving Rohingyas and some witnesses had implicated the four suspects of involvement in the smuggling of Rohingyas into the country and keeping them at a detention camp on Khao Kaew mountain in Padang Besar.
A dead Rohingya was found in the camp and 25 more bodies were dug out from graves in the detention camp.
Earlier in the morning, the national police chief said that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha had show very keen interest in the case and ordered that all people who were involved in the illegal racket must be caught and dealt with in accordance with the law.
The police chief was also told by the prime minister to fly to Songkhla to look into the case closely.
He said that the detention camp had existed for quite a long time before it was only recently discovered by police and military forces.
Latest report said that the police station chief in Padang Besar was ordered transferred out of the district to Songkhla township.