LANGKAWI - The Thai authorities are hunting down the mastermind of human smuggling syndicate, former government official Pajjuban Aungkachotephan or "Ko Tong" said to be currently hiding in Pulau Langkawi.
The local police arrested two foreigners related to the human smuggling syndicate.
Langkawi police chief Harrith Kam Abdullah said the two foreign men were picked up at different locations last night. They are being probed for involvement in the smuggling of Bangladeshis and Myanmar Rohingya into the country.
However, the police have dismissed "rumours" that the mastermind of the syndicate is currently hiding in Langkawi.
The two arrested foreigners are both in their twenties. One of them was arrested in Kampung Padang Putih at about 9.00 p.m. while the other was picked up at a budget hotel in Kuah at about 9.30 p.m.
"They do not carry identification documents, and the police are conducting the investigation under the Immigration Act 1959/63 Article 61 (a) for their involvement in the smuggling of over a thousand Bangladeshis and Rohingya into the country in recent days."
Harrith Kam also said the police wold work with other enforcement units such as Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (APMM) to step up surveillance of territorial waters round the clock to prevent further influx of illegal migrants into Langkawi.