Fake monks intending to enter Thai were arrested by Burmese authorities

Tuesday, 25 May 2010 13:51

Kaw Taung (Thai-Burma boundary)

Local Burmese authorities arrested 20 fake monks who tried to enter Thailand through Kaw Taung, a border town at the Thai-Burma boundary, according to local residents.

Those 20 monks are mainly Arakan youths who arrived to Kaw Taung by flight, express boat. They were arrested and detained at Kaw Taung police station.

A carrier living in Kaw Taung confirmed that: “Yes, I was in with 9 of my men all of us from the Arakan state (11/ was National Identity Card initial number referred to Arakan State). We are not allowed to come but in Arakan state there were many new outposts and soldiers oppressed local people. Local people do not feel safe anymore. Corruption is widespread. If people cut bamboo they have to give them, if people cut fire-wood they also have to give them. When they fish and they also have to give them so we cannot survive in Arakan. Almost all Arakan residents left the town and they shaved their head when they arrived in Rangoon. That is the only way we have so we used it”.

A Kaw Taung resident monk who wants to remain anonymous said; “We can accept people leaving for work considering the very poor situation here but there would be a great heinous if they use our religion as a stepping-stone. Some government officers are also involved by providing fake monk registration documents. The real Monks are guaranteed to be released. The others might be sentenced to prison or send back to their native country”.

This does not only happen in Kaw Taung but also in Myeik and Tavoy for a long time. The authorities arrested them because they believed that the persons who worn robe are actually only planning to enter Thailand for work, according to the opinion of local residents.

The routes along the Thai-Burmese border includes the towns of Tachilake, Myawaddy and Kaw Taung and leads directly to Bangkok, the capital of Thailand; from Kaw Taung, it is the cheapest way for broker fees, that is why many used this route.

Regarding the current cost, it would be between ten hundred thousand to twenty hundred thousand bahts from Rangoon in Burma to Bangkok in Thailand. According to human trafficking brokers, it would cost around fifteen thousand bahts from Mae Sod to Bangkok, ten thousand from Tachilake and six thousand five hundred from Ranong.

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