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Thailand Expels 158 Myanmar Migrants Back Home

Benar News, Thailand, 28 January 2021 - Thai officials on Thursday deported 158 undocumented migrant workers from neighboring Myanmar who had been held at a detention center near the border in southern Thailand.

Nearly another 100 more were expected to be deported to Myanmar in the coming days, said Thai officials in Ranong province who were coordinating with authorities from the neighboring country.

Ranong Gov. Somkiat Srisanet, a Myanmar official in Ranong, Htet Hway Pyo, along with other Thai officials brought the deportees to a customs pier here to board 13 boats destined for Kawthoung, a nearby township in Myanmar.

“The manifest has 166 names but some were repeated, the correct number is 158,” Somkiat told the reporters during the deportation. “Public health officials conducted COVID prevention measures. We affirm that we treat people of all nations well.”

Before the workers boarded the boats, the Myanmar official called out their names one by one to send them for temperature checks.

The 3rd Navy Region, which oversees the Andaman Seas to the west of Thailand, added that the 158 workers who were deported – including 16 women and 5 children – had been cleared of immigration-related offenses. Officials didn’t disclose how long the workers had been held at a local detention center.

Somkiat said Thursday’s batch of deportees included those whose hometowns in Myanmar - such as Kawthoung township, Mergui and Tavoy – were near Ranong.

“We want one or two more days to be able to send the second batch of 97, and for about 200 others we can send them back in another cycle,” Somkiat said.

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Source: https://www.benarnews.org/english/news/thai/migrants-myanmar-deported-01282021183727.html

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