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91 Bangladeshi migrants rescued in Thailand
Saturday, 9 May, 2015 03:43pm  
91 Bangladeshi migrants rescued in Thailand
Desk (bangladeshtime):Thai police have rescued 91 Bangladeshi migrants at Rattaphum district in Songkhla province, near the Malaysian border.

"There are 117 people here, 26 of them are Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar and the rest are from Bangladesh," Reuters quoted Ekarat Sisen, deputy governor of Songkhla Province.

Thai authorities on Saturday interrogated the 117 rescued migrants to determine whether they were victims of human trafficking.

Thirteen-year-old Busri Salam, from Bangladesh, said his group disembarked a boat in Thailand and trekked for two weeks in the Thai jungle to try and reach Malaysia.

"My brother is in Malaysia," said Busri. "I wanted to go there."

Some Thai villagers came to donate water, rice and fruit to the migrants.

Ekarat Sisen said: "We need to figure out if any these people are trafficking victims or whether they entered country on their own. If they are victims of human trafficking we must hand them over to Ministry of Social Development and Human Security.

"Those who voluntarily entered the country illegally will be sent immigration police and eventually sent back to their country of origin."

Police had said on Friday that 111 migrants were found.

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered local authorities to eliminate all migrant detention camps within 10 days. The move came after the discovery of 30 more migrant graves at abandoned jungle camps in Songkhla on Thursday.

Earlier on Wednesday, dozens of southern police officers were transferred for the sake of an investigation into human trafficking in the region.

On May 2, police exhumed 26 bodies from a mass grave in the Sadao district in Songkhla province. All are believed to be migrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh.

The UNHCR estimated that some 25,000 Rohingya and Bangladeshis boarded smugglers' boats between January and March in 2015 – almost double the number over the same period in 2014.

UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards released a periodic report on the latest Irregular Maritime Movements in South-East Asia at the press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva on Friday

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