SA KAEO PROVINCE, Thailand - Fourteen suspected Uighur refugees were rounded up yesterday while trying to hide in a wooded area in Sa Kaew's Wattana Nakhon district. The five men, three women and six children, reportedly abandoned by Cambodian smugglers on Friday, were discovered behind a mental hospital in tambon Nong Nam Sai at about 1pm.
After searching the refugees, authorities found four cell-phones with the data wiped cleaned and 1,027 yuan (S$207) and US$42,950 (S$53,800).
The refugees are not carrying any documents and reportedly can only speak Turkic. They claimed they were travelling to Turkey after escaping from China.
The 14 were charged with illegal entry and sent to Sa Kaew Immigration Police for deportation to China.