Scores of Thais held for illegal entry in Tachileik

Myanmar authorities asked to help locate fugitives in major cases have detained 81 Thai nationals near the border with Chiang Rai province on charges of illegal entry.

Thai authorities were in contact with their Myanmar conterparts to find out whether one of the men is Pannawit Prathum, who is wanted for the murder of a teenager in Khon Kaen province.

Police Colonel Ekkorn Bussababordin, the immigration chief of Chiang Rai, said on Monday he was informed about the Sunday night raids by Myanmar police in Tachileik township, Shan State, opposite Mae Sai district.

Myanmar police and officials of the Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control rounded up 48 Thai men and 33 women at entertainment venues and hotels in Na Yao village, about 10 kilometres from the Thai border district of Mae Fah Luang.

None had documents showing they went through the immigration process to enter Myanmar, he added. They were being detained for interrogation and other procedures at a security office in Mine Hsat township in Shan State, about 100km from the border with Thailand, Col Ekkorn said.

The roundup followed a request from Thailand to help track down fugitives in drug and other cases who had fled arrest warrants.

Pannawit, 30, is wanted on an arrest warrant for allegedly ordering a beating that killed a 17-year-old boy in Khon Kaen last month in a dispute over payment for drugs.

Police believe he is the ring leader in the ordering of illicit drugs from a neighbouring country and selling them online to customers in the North and Northeast. Authorities have not named the country, but it is believed to be Myanmar.

Pornpat Suvannabhum, chief of Narcotics Control Office Region 5 in Chiang Mai, said they were awaiting confirmation from Myanmar authorities of the identities of the arrested Thais, including Pannawit.

The process could take some time as many could have sneaked across the border using fake Myanmar ID cards.

Source: Myanmar Times

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