Padang Besar, Malaysia (BBN)-The mayor of Malaysian city Padang Besar has been arrested for his alleged involvement in Rohingya and Bangladeshi human trafficking together with a man accused of running a ransom operation for him.
Bannajong Pongphol was discharged from a police facility in the Songkhla province after seven hours of questioning, before he was taken to a police press conference in Trang as authorities suspect he might have been linked to the discovery of many corpses in Kaew Mountain in Tambon Padang Besar, reports The Nation.
His aide, Suphoj Muensew, was charged with attempted murder in relation to a raid on the chief of Trang prison in 2013.
Thai police chief Gen Somyot Poompanmoung said yesterday investigators were looking into whether Bannajong and Suphoj had a hand in the death of the many migrants whose bodies were exhumed recently.
The deputy mayor, Prasit Lemleh, surrendered to police on Thursday.
He has been detained in Songkhla after being questioned by the police.
There are now a total of 36 people wanted over their roles in the Rohingya labour trafficking by arrest warrants, including 11 whose warrants were issued yesterday and six already in custody, said deputy police chief General Aek Angsa­na­nont.
Two operation centres to deal with the Rohingya issue have been set up.
Giving the latest updates on the situation, he said four detention camps with 51 buildings had been found, 55 migrants were now under government care, including 24 Rohingya, 15 Bangladeshi, and another whose nationality is not known. A total of 33 remains have been found.
Border patrol policemen are still looking for 17 Rohingya who have gone missing in Khao Kaew area between Songkhla and Satun provinces from a group of 50 who were detained while being brought to Satun by a Thai human trafficker.