By BOONLEUN PROMPRATHANKUL
After their rescue from the mountain in Kra Buri district yesterday by a team of Army and border-patrol police, the 20 men and four women told authorities that they were lured by the promise of job opportunities in Malaysia and had paid Bt20,000 each to their smugglers.
They had travelled by boat from Myanmar to Ranong, and the smugglers then took them to a forest area in the mountains but abandoned them on June 25, reportedly fearing the heavy crackdown on unregistered foreign migrants by Thai authorities.
The group was then sent to the Silasalak Checkpoint where they were given food and drinking water before being picked up by Ranong Immigration Police.
Immigration investigator Pol Lt-Colonel Chitipat Yangsuay said they would be questioned to assist in finding the Myanmar and Thai human smugglers and to determine if the case would be classified as human trafficking.