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Thai police arrested 76 illegal Burmese immigrants, many of them Rohingya Muslims, heading for Malaysia on a Bangkok-Sungai Kolok train in Nakhon Si Thammarat province on Monday.
Acting on a tip-off, Nakhon Si Thammarat and railway police boarded the No.171 south-bound train when it arrived at Thung Song junction station in Thung Song district.
The foreigners had no travel documents. They said through an interpreter that traffickers had put them aboard the train at several different stations, Hua Lamphong terminus in Bangkok and stations in Ratchaburi and Chumphon provinces, so that they would not draw attention.
All of them were destined for the southernmost station of Sungai Kolok, in Narathiwat Province on the border with Malaysia.
They said that relatives and friends staying in Malaysia paid for their trip. The traffickers charged 2.8 million kyat (US$2,800), or about 100,000 baht, for each illegal migrant.
Authorities were compiling their personal details before repatriating them to Burma.
This article was originally published in the Bangkok Post on 30 March 2015.