Suspected Uighurs rescued from Thai trafficking camp
HAT YAI / KUALA LUMPUR
Suspected Uighurs from China's troubled far-western region of Xinjiang, rest inside a temporary shelter after they were detained at the immigration regional headquarters near the Thailand-Malaysia border in Hatyai, Songkla March 14, 2014. REUTERS PhotoAbout 200 people rescued by police from a human trafficking camp in southern Thailand are suspected Uighur Muslims from China's troubled far-western region of Xinjiang, Thai police sources said on Friday.
The discovery is further evidence that human smugglers in southern Thailand - already a notorious trafficking hub for Rohingya boat people from Myanmar - are exploiting well-oiled networks to transport other nationalities in large numbers, despite an ongoing crackdown by Thai police.
"The human smugglers are expanding their product range," said Police Major General Thatchai Pitaneelaboot, a U.S.-educated commander who has launched a series of raids on trafficking camps in southern Thailand, including the 200 suspected Uighurs rescued on Wednesday .
'Turks' arrested in Malaysia
Malaysia border control personnel say they have arrested 62 "Turks" suspected of attempting to enter the country illegally at its northern border with Thailand, Anadolu Agency reported.
Malaysian General Operations Force (GOF) Assistant Commanding Officer Deputy Superintendent Sivam told media that the "the Turks" were discovered at the Malaysia-Thailand border fence at about 5.30am on Thursday.
"GOF personnel, their suspicions aroused by human movement early in the morning, surrounded the illegal immigrants," The Star newspaper reported Sivam as saying Friday.
The alleged Turkish nationals comprise of 23 men, 15 women, and 24 children.