200 Rohingya intercepted off Phuket

Rohingya News Agency – (Bangkok Post): About 200 illegal Rohingya migrants were found crammed inside a vessel searched by marine police and naval officers off Racha Noi island in Phuket’s Muang district on Tuesday morning.
The boat was initially spotted floating between Racha Yai and Racha Noi islands by local fishermen on Monday.
They provided the passengers with food and water and informed the authorities. They suggested the boat people land on Racha Noi, Phuket’s southernmost island, because it was uninhabited. Some of the migrants reportedly camped on the island overnight, but most remained in the boat.
A combined marine police and navy team descended on the boat late Tuesday morning. It was not known where they would take the refugees to.
The 200 Rohingya are the latest group to reach southern Thailand, following a series of arrests in Songkhla and at sea in Phangnga province this month.
This lifts the total number of illegal Rohingya migrants now in Thai custody to about 1,700.
Security agencies have said they will ask the government to build detention centres for Rohingya in Songkhla and Ranong, but not refugee camps.
Officials have yet to settle on the locations, but say each batch of arrivals will not stay at the detention centres longer than six months.

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