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Immigration Police Nab Man Wanted for Human Trafficking

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Police in southern Thailand have arrested a 38-year-old man wanted in connection with the human trafficking of Rohingya migrants, almost seven years after fleeing to Malaysia.

Immigration police said Mr Chamsudin Tordin was wanted on an arrest warrant issued by Songkhla’s Nathawee Provincial Court on May 18, 2015.

It is believed that the suspect had fled to Malaysia in order to work as part of a fishing crew. An immigration inspector said that he was finally caught on Saturday when he returned to Thailand through the Sadao immigration checkpoint.

Several years ago, Mr Chamsudin was alleged to have been involved in the smuggling of Rohingya migrants along the Thai-Malaysian border in Songkhla and Satun provinces.

The charges against him include human trafficking; abusing children under 15 years old; assisting migrants to enter the kingdom illegally; detaining people and removing them from their homes; colluding with abductors to demand ransom from victims.

Rohingya Refugee Crisis

Rohingyas are a stateless Indo-Aryan ethnic group primarily practising Islam in the state of Rakhine in Myanmar. 1.4 million Rohingya lived in Myanmar prior to the displacement crisis of 2017 when more than 740,000 fled to Bangladesh.

Villages were burned to the ground in Myanmar, families were splintered and killed, and women and girls were gang-raped. After witnessing unspeakable atrocities, most survivors were severely traumatized. Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, is the site of the world’s largest refugee camp, where they found temporary shelter.

According to the United Nations at the end of March 2019, there were about 909,000 stateless Rohingya refugees living in Ukhiya and Teknaf Upazilas. There are 34 extremely congested camps, including the Kutupalong-Balukhali Expansion Site, which houses approximately 626,500 Rohingya refugees.

Many of the Rohingya refugees have been trafficked into Malaysia via boat and on land. Many have been sold into human slavery throughout southeast Asia.

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