Thai police find graves of mostly Rohingyas

Police in Thailand found dozens of shallow graves on Friday and at least one corpse in an isolated mountain shelter that is believed to be a trafficking camp for ethnic Rohingya Muslims fleeing Myanmar. The grim discovery was likely to revive discussion about human trafficking in Thailand, a known transiting route for ethnic Rohingya, one of the world’s most persecuted minorities.

Acting on a tip from local villagers, authorities sent teams of police and rescuers into the mountains of Padang Besar sub-district in southern Thailand’s Songkla province. Reaching the camp on foot, they found a shelter with at least one corpse, one man who was alive but very weak and what appeared to be several other corpses, police Col. Weerasant Tharnpiem said. Weerasant, the commander of Padang Besar police station, initially told The Associated Press that 32 bodies were found but later said he was ordered not to speak to the media further. Human trafficking is a sensitive issue in Thailand since the United States ranked the country in its lowest category ndash “Tier 3” — in its annual assessment of how governments around the world have performed in fighting the practice.