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SE Asia
 

Suspected Uighurs rescued from Thai trafficking camp

Published on Mar 14, 2014 3:26 PM
 
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 Hat Yai, Songkla, on March 14, 2014.  About 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. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

HAT YAI (REUTERS) - About 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 US-educated commander who has launched a series of raids on trafficking camps in southern Thailand, including the 200 suspected Uighurs rescued on Wednesday .

Two police raids in January freed a total of 636 people. At least 200 of them were Bangladeshis - an "unprecedented" number, said Thatchai.

 
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