Ranong will send its first batch of 166 detained Myanmar migrants from a total of 402 back to their home country starting on Thursday, Ranong Governor Somkiat Sisanet said on Tuesday.
The 402 were under detention at the Ranong Immigration Office’s quarantine facility for 2-5 months after they were arrested for various non-violent crimes, including illegal entry.
The detainees held a peaceful protest within the quarantine facility on Monday after the province did not send them home following their arrests. Provincial officials reasoned that the Myanmar government was not ready to take them back yet due to the escalating Covid-19 situation there.
The detainees on Monday urged the Ranong governor to contact the Myanmar Embassy to speed up the process of sending them back home now that the virus situation in Myanmar is improving.
After discussions, the governor and the embassy agreed to send the first batch home starting on Thursday, while the rest would follow soon.
Somkiat added that all the detainees had undergone Covid-19 tests and none were found to be infected.