A news agency investigation says Thai officials have been secretly allowing Rohingya Muslim refugees to be dumped off to human traffickers, who hold them for ransom under brutal conditions.
The report by the Reuters news agency said Thai immigration officials were often complicit in the policy toward the Rohingya, who are escaping unrest and religious persecution in neighboring Burma.
It said many of the refugees were told by officials they were being deported back to Burma. Only after they were out at sea, did they realize they had been sold to human traffickers.
The survivors say they were then sent to camps along Thailand's remote border with Malaysia. Many were said to be beaten, and some even killed. They were only allowed to leave if their relatives paid thousands of dollars in ransom....