PM Prayuth calls to expedite probe, provide aid for Rohingya stranded in Satun

A Rohingya woman and her baby are detained in a police station in Rawi Island, Thailand, after they were found on a fishing boat bound for Malaysia. (Reuters pic)

BANGKOK: Thai Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan o-cha has instructed relevant authorities to expedite investigations on a group of 65 Rohingya stranded at Rawi Island off the coast of Satun in southern Thailand on Tuesday.

Deputy Government Spokesman, Lt Gen Werachon Sukondhapatipak said Prayuth reiterated that the Thai government would continue to provide humanitarian assistance to the Rohingya, comprising 31 women, 29 men and five children.

“Prime Minister Prayuth urged relevant authorities to expedite investigations in order to determine whether all the passengers on the boat were victims of a human trafficking syndicate.

“Prayuth also ordered public health agencies to provide check-ups and necessary health assistance to prevent disease outbreaks,” he told the media here today.

Prayuth said the Thai government was also working closely with neighbouring countries to address the situation.

“We (Thai government) will beef up patrol along the coast as well as provide necessary humanitarian assistance to Rohingya,” he said.

Prayuth also urged locals to report immediately to relevant authorities if they spotted any suspicious boats along the coast.

On Tuesday, a boat carrying 65 Rohingya refugees entered the waters of Satun and was stranded at Pulau Rawi due to engine problems.

Thai police detained six men who were the captain and crew of the fishing boat yesterday.

Local media reported that the captain, a Thai national, claimed he was hired for 100,000 baht by a Myanmar national to bring the group to Malaysia.

The authorities laid initial charges against him for bringing immigrants to the country.