Twenty-seven ethnic Rohingya have been detained by Thai authorities in the Salamai sub-district of Tak Bai early on Saturday for allegedly trying to enter Malaysia. Col Noppadol Rakchart, Narathiwat Regional Immigration chief, said out of those 27 detainees, 22 are men, while three are women with two children. They were arrested in a lorry at 1.30 am.
"The lorry driver, identified as Somrak, disclosed that he had driven the Rohingya from Ban Mod, Thung Krut in Bangkok to Narathiwat before handing them over to a syndicate which would smuggle them to Malaysia," he told Bernama.
Noppadol said the driver had done the same with two other groups of Rohingya before this. He was paid Baht 30,000 (RM3,800) for each trip.
One of the ethnic Rohingya said via an interpreter that they had entered Thailand through the Mae Sot border after paying Baht 15,000 (RM1,900) to the syndicate.