July 11, 2012
RANGOON, Burma –- Dozens of Thai nationals will face charges in neighbouring Burma after illegally crossing the border to run rubber plantations, state media said Tuesday (July 10th), according to AFP.
Nine women and 52 men detained during a Burmese army sweep in a southern border region were "safe, but to face charges", a report in the New Light of Myanmar said.
The newspaper detailed weapons seized – including nine assault rifles, 11 "homemade" guns and a landmine – but said no shots were fired during the raids in the country's southeastern Tanintharyi region.
One of Thailand's deputy prime ministers, Yutthasak Sasiprapa, put the number of detained at 49 and said officials from the Thai border province of Ranong would negotiate for their release.
But he said the task would be complicated because the Burmese army had found both illicit drugs and arms.
"They trespassed onto Myanmar's [Burma's] soil to work and planted marijuana, while Myanmar [Burma] has also seized weapons. But I am convinced they will be freed before President Thein Sein's official visit," he said, referring to the Burmese leader's visit to Bangkok, set for July 22nd.