Thailand: 300 "boat people" Landed in Recent Weeks

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

May 29, 2015

Around 300 "boat people" have landed on Thailand's shores in recent weeks, Sek Wannamethee, director-general of the information department at Thailand's Foreign Ministry, said on Friday.

That was in addition to around a further 300 people who were already being held in temporary holding areas in the country, Sek said.

More than 3,000 migrants have landed in Indonesia and Malaysia since Thailand launched a crackdown on human trafficking gangs this month. About 2,600 are believed to be still adrift in boats, relief agencies have said.

The Thai crackdown made it too risky for traffickers to land migrants, prompting them to abandon thousands at sea with scant supplies of food and water.

The foreign ministry gave the numbers to clarify remarks made earlier on Friday by the country's Deputy Prime Minister General Tanasak Patimapragorn, who had said there were 600 new "boat people" in Thailand.

The Southeast Asian nation also shelters around 130,000 asylum seekers and refugees, Tanasak said earlier, many of whom have been in Thailand for years.

Reporting by Amy Sawitta Lefevre

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