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Thursday, November 30, 2023

“Myanmar Pledges Cooperation in Repatriating 164 Thai Nationals Detained in Laukkaing”

Myanmar has affirmed its commitment to aiding in the repatriation process for 164 Thai nationals currently held in the town of Laukkaing in Shan State. This development comes after Deputy National Police Chief Pol Gen Surachate Hakparn engaged in discussions with senior Myanmar officials during his recent visit to Yangon.

Pol Gen Surachate’s mission to Myanmar on November 6 yielded positive results, as Myanmar officials confirmed their cooperation in returning the detained Thais. The individuals in question were accused of involvement in call center fraud operations, a matter that has spurred intricate negotiations between the two nations.

During his visit, Pol Gen Surachate held discussions with high-ranking police officials in Myanmar, presenting a compelling case that many of the detainees were victims of human trafficking, coerced into participating in illicit activities. The acknowledgment of this nuanced aspect has added complexity to the situation, particularly given that Laukkaing is situated in a region grappling with ongoing armed conflicts.

The proposed plan involves relocating the Thai detainees to Kunming in China via the northern border, followed by facilitating their journey back to Thailand. This multi-step process is designed to navigate the challenges posed by the regional conflict and secure the safe return of the individuals involved.

Pol Gen Surachate shared that the Chinese government has already granted consent for the Thai nationals to enter China. Thailand is actively engaged in finalizing the repatriation arrangements with both Myanmar and Chinese authorities, navigating diplomatic channels to ensure a smooth and secure return.

This unfolding scenario highlights the intricacies of international collaboration, especially when addressing complex issues such as human trafficking and transnational crime. The commitment from Myanmar signals a step forward in resolving this challenging situation and underscores the importance of cross-border cooperation in the face of complex legal and geopolitical considerations.

Rei Rattey
Author: Rei Rattey

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