Stranded Rohingya confirmed to be human trafficking victims

The group of 65 Rohingya Muslims, including five children and 31 women, were found on a shipwrecked boat in southern Thailand. (AFP pic) 

SATUN: Thai authorities have confirmed that the 65 ethnic Rohingya who were stranded on Rawi Island, off Satun in South Thailand, last June 11, are human trafficking victims.

A police spokesman said the victims, comprising, 31 women, 29 men and five children, had been transferred to a protection centre in Surat Thani and a protection centre for human trafficking in Songkhla.

After thorough investigation, police identified those who were stranded on the boat (at Rawi island) as human trafficking victims, he said, adding that they were now placed under the care of the Thai Ministry of Community Development and Human Peace.

The Thai police had earlier detained six men, comprising the skipper and crew members of the boat.

According to media reports, the skipper, who is a Thai national, claimed that he was paid 100,000 Baht by a Myanmar national to bring the group of ethnic Rohingya to Malaysia.