Thailand discovers another suspected refugee camp; the biggest one so far: Report

Thai soldiers securing an abandoned jungle camp believed to have been used by human traffickers to detain Rohingya migrants at a mountain in Sadao, Songkhla province, southern Thailand, on May 12, 2015. -- PHOTO: EPA 
Thai soldiers securing an abandoned jungle camp believed to have been used by human traffickers to detain Rohingya migrants at a mountain in Sadao, Songkhla province, southern Thailand, on May 12, 2015. -- PHOTO: EPA 

SONGKHLA - Thai authorities have discovered another suspected refugee camp at the Thailand-Malaysia border, said to be the biggest one so far.

The camp, believed to have been built a year ago, was found on Tuesday at Khao Kaew Hill which borders Malaysia, Bernama news agency reported on Wednesday.

It is located three kilometres away from the first camp, where 26 bodies of Rohingya nationals were discovered recently, the report said, quoting a Bernama journalist who was at the scene.

The camp is believed to be used to detain Rohingya refugees. It could hold more than 1,000 people, said the report. It has 21 bedrooms, eight toilets, two watch towers, four stoves and a large hall, which is still under construction.

Thailand ordered a clean-up of suspected traffickers' camps last week and also called for a May 29 regional summit to address what it called an "unprecedented increase" in arrivals of ethnic Rohingya refugees from Myanmar and impoverished Bangladeshi migrants, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.

But Malaysia - where more than 1,100 migrants came ashore this week - said it would turn away boats entering its waters unless they were about to sink.

"The policy has always been to escort them out of Malaysian waters after giving them the necessary provisions" including fuel, water and food, First Admiral Tan Kok Kwee of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency told AFP.

The Indonesian navy has already turned away at least one vessel packed with hundreds of abandoned migrants.