Thailand finds 13 dead suspected Myanmar migrants

BANGKOK (AP) - Thai police said Sunday that the bodies of 13 people believed to be migrants from Myanmar seeking work have been found off southern Thailand's Andaman Sea coast.

Lt. Col. Nirat Chuayjit said that marine police in Ranong province, 580 kilometers (360 miles) south of Bangkok, had recovered the bodies of 12 men and one woman, whom they believe were on a boat that broke up in bad weather Wednesday as they sought to travel illegally to Thailand.

Thailand hosts hundreds of thousands of migrants from neighboring Myanmar who are willing to take menial jobs at low pay. They can register to work legally under strict conditions, but many also labor illegally.

Nirat said it was unknown how many people from the boat might be missing or survived, but that such boats normally carry about 30 people. Survivors would be unlikely to contact Thai authorities for fear of the legal consequences of trying to enter the country illegally, he said.

It is common for migrant workers to try to sneak into Thailand during the rainy season, because the marine police cannot conduct regular patrols in stormy weather, Nirat said.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Top Stories
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from
In the community
Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.