SONGKHLA, Aug 20 – Thai authorities recaptured two of the 87 Rohingya detainees who broke out of their Sadao Immigration Office cell in this southern province today, while search for the rest was ongoing.
Songkhla governor Kritsada Boonraj said the latest escape of Rohingya detainees occurred early this morning. They were believed to be attempting to flee into Malaysia.
He said combined forces of Sadao police, immigration, government workers and defence volunteers are searching for the escapees and recaptured two who were found fatigued and with injuries from jumping down from their 10-metre high cell.
The governor said the authorities cordoned off a rubber plantation and other likely areas surrounding the holding cell site to return the rest to detention.
They will be charged with fleeing detention and causing damages to the authorities if they are arrested, said Mr Kritsada.
One hundred thirty seven Rohingyas were reportedly detained at the Sadao immigration Office for several months after they were rescued from human trafficking rings.
Most of the Rohingya minority detainees fled oppression in Myanmar, arriving in Thailand by sea, but they had hoped to disembark in Malaysia.
As the Thai government has no clear policy whether to send the detainees to a third country or not, 30 of them escaped their detention cell on August 9 due to stress but they were all shortly re-arrested by the authorities and returned to their cell. (MCOT online news)
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