Receive Breaking News updates as they occur
By Andrew R.C. Marshall and Jason Szep BANGKOK (Reuters) - The United Nations called on Friday for an urgent investigation into allegations in a Reuters report that Thai immigration officials moved Myanmar refugees into human trafficking rings. The report, published on Thursday and based on a two-month investigation in three countries, revealed a clandestine policy to remove Rohingya refugees from Thailand's immigration detention centers and deliver them to human traffickers waiting at sea. The Rohingya, stateless Muslims from Myanmar, are then transported across southern Thailand and held hostage in camps hidden near the border with Malaysia until relatives pay ransoms to release them, according to the Reuters report. "We have consistently asked countries in the region to provide temporary protection, including protection against abuse and exploitation." Major General Chatchawal of the Royal Thai Police in Bangkok said in the report there was an unofficial policy to deport the Rohingya to Myanmar.