Seven Bangladeshi nationals, masquerading as Buddhist monks to bypass immigration scrutiny, were apprehended yesterday in the southern province of Songkhla, Thailand.
Tipped-off, Songkhla immigration officers and Hat Yai tourist police jointly conducted an operation and arrested them, reports Thaiger.
The men, who had shaven their heads and donned monk robes in their attempts to blend in and evade the authorities, were on their way to Malaysia. Among them, a 46 year old, known only as Rupdah, confessed to leading the group.
Upon deeper investigation, the authorities found that the group had entered Thailand via an unmarked route in Mae Sot District, Tak Province, from Myanmar, having initially journeyed from Bangladesh. Their ultimate destination was Malaysia, with a planned stopover in Narathiwat, reported The Pattaya News.
The men had regular clothing and lacked any monk identification documents. This discovery sparked suspicions about their true identities. The absence of monk identification documents and the presence of regular clothes amongst their belongings led to the conclusion that they were not monks as they had claimed to be.
Consequently, the seven men were charged with illegal entry into Thailand. After renouncing their feigned monkhood at Wat Khok Samankhun, they were transported to Hat Yai Police Station. There, they await the legal proceedings for their deportation back to Bangladesh.