CHIANG RAI – Thai Immigration authorities in Mae Sai have beefed up surveillance measures after a Thai court handed the death sentence to two Burmese defendants in a murder trial.
Immigration police in Mae Sai district decided to tighten border checks in response to reports of protests by Burmese nationals who disapprove of the Samui Provincial Court’s decision to hand the death penalty to Zaw Lin and Wai Phyo, who were convicted of murdering two British tourists.
David Miller and Hannah Witheridge were killed in September 2014 on Koh Tao in the Gulf of Thailand. Zaw Lin and Wai Phyo were later arrested and charged with the double homicide. The defendants will appeal against the ruling.
Immigration officials have been told to closely monitor the situation along the border and respond quickly to any suspicious surge in arrivals from Myanmar.
The Royal Thai Embassy in Yangon has issued a warning to Thais in Myanmar, fearing retaliation for the sentencing to death of two Burmese suspects by a Thai court.
A brief protest was held yesterday with roughly 20 demonstrators in front of the embassy, before being dispersed by police for instigating an unlawful gathering.
By Vipaporn Pooritanasarn and Benjamin Rujopakarn