Hat Yai — Thai authorities have arrested three local officials they allege were involved in trafficking and holding Rohingya Muslims for ransom at a jungle camp where 26 bodies were found last week in the mountains of southern Thailand.
National police chief Gen. Somyot Poompanmoung said Monday that the suspects — two deputy village chiefs and a municipal councilor — were believed to be part of a "transnational crime network" that included people from Thailand, Myanmar and Malaysia and had been operating for three or four years.
Also Read: New law bans children under 12 from house help
The arrests came after the grim discovery Friday of 26 buried bodies at an abandoned camp in southern Thailand, long considered a regional trafficking hub for migrants seeking a better life in third countries.
The Rohingya Muslims are a long-persecuted religious minority in neighboring Myanmar.